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The salary you must earn to buy a home in 27 metros

See below exactly how much salary you would need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in 27 metro areas.

Key takeaways:

  • Mortgage rates fell in every metro but San Diego
  • The Denver metro had the strongest price growth overall, with substantial price gains both quarterly and year-over-year
  • For the first time on our list, the Seattle metro is less affordable than the Washington, D.C. metro
  • Affordability improved in 22 markets in the first quarter of 2016, compared to 24 markets in the fourth quarter of 2015

PLEASE SEE: Metro area definitions

 

Chicago

How much salary do you need to earn in order to afford the principal and interest payments on a median-priced home in your metro area?

To find out, HSH.com took the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 first-quarter data for median-home prices and HSH.com’s 2016 first-quarter average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to determine how much of your salary it would take to afford the base cost of owning a home -- the principal, interest, taxes and insurance -- in 27 metro areas.

We used standard 28 percent "front-end" debt ratios and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the NAR’s median-home-price data to arrive at our figures. We've incorporated available information on property taxes and homeowner’s insurance costs to more accurately reflect the income needed in a given market. Read more about the methodology and inputs on the final slide of this slideshow.

In the commentary section of each slide, we discuss how the required salary would change if you were to put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent. Here’s a hint, things get more expensive when you cut the down payment in half.

Last quarter, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that the NAR expected to see home prices rise in the first three months of the year. While year-over-year home prices are still higher in 25 of our 27 markets, on a quarterly basis, home prices rose more than 1 percent in only six metro areas. That’s roughly the same pattern we observed last quarter.

Although two quarters is not enough to be considered much of a trend, if this quarter-to-quarter fade should continue, it may be that home-price gains are cooling to something more sustainable.

Here’s a current look at how much salary you would need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in your metro area. The metropolitan areas are ranked from the lowest income needed to the highest.

Mortgage rate: 3.75 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $119,950

  • Quarterly change: -6.29 percent
  • YOY change: +0.80 percent

Monthly payment: $687.89

Salary: $29,480.96

  • Quarterly change: -$1,653.54

The Pittsburgh metro area has the lowest mortgage rates on our list which certainly contributed to the increased affordability in the first quarter. For borrowers making a 10 percent down payment in the Steel City metro, the required salary increases to $33,558 because the loan amount increases by nearly $12,000.

Mortgage rate: 3.86 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $111,300

  • Quarterly change: -8.62 percent
  • YOY change: +5.10 percent

Monthly payment: $711.62

Salary: $30,498.13

  • Quarterly change: -$2,025.34

If borrowers in the Cleveland metro area put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, they will need to earn over $3,800 more per year. Cutting the down payment in half adds an extra $11,130 to the loan amount and about $40 per month in mortgage insurance costs.

PMI Calculator: What will mortgage insurance cost with less than a 20-percent down payment?

Mortgage rate: 3.88 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $137,800

  • Quarterly change: +0.88 percent
  • YOY change: +2.07 percent

Monthly payment: $788.29

Salary: $33,783.78

  • Quarterly change: -$183.24

While home prices declined in the Cincinnati metro on both a quarterly and yearly basis last time, prices are up in both instances this time around. To put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, homebuyers must earn a salary of $38,511, over $4,700 more per year.

Mortgage rate: 3.86 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14% percent

Home price: $140,700

  • Quarterly change: -2.09 percent
  • YOY change: +4.38 percent

Monthly payment: $790.97

Salary: $33,898.82

  • Quarterly change: -$878.70

Quarterly home prices continue to slide in the St. Louis metro area which is helping to keep housing costs more affordable. While putting 10 percent down instead of 20 percent does prevent borrowers from having to save an extra $14,000, it also means that the required annual salary increases to $38,719.

Mortgage rate: 3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.10 percent

Home price: $142,030

  • Quarterly change: -4.46 percent
  • YOY change: +5.21 percent

Monthly payment: $829.22

Salary: $35,537.89

  • Quarterly change: -$1,376.67

Detroit-area borrowers making a 10 percent down payment (compared to 20 percent) must earn over $4,900 more per year in order to afford the larger loan amount ($14,203) and the monthly mortgage insurance ($47/month) associated with the smaller down payment.  

Mortgage rate: 3.88 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $167,800

  • Quarterly change: -0.83 percent
  • YOY change: +6.20 percent

Monthly payment: $859.25

Salary: $36,824.97

  • Quarterly change: -$726.10

The salary you must earn in order to afford the median-priced home in the Atlanta metro is $42,582 when putting 10 percent down. The tradeoff is that borrowers don’t have to save up for the extra $16,780, but they must earn $5,757 more per year.

Mortgage rate: 4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $179,900

  • Quarterly change: +0.78 percent
  • YOY change: +15.32 percent

Monthly payment: $984.37

Salary: $42,187.31

  • Quarterly change: -$302.60

The Tampa metro sported the largest year-over-year price gain on our list at over 15 percent, but had a quarterly gain of less than 1 percent which served to keep affordability in place. With a 10 percent down payment, the above numbers don't look as attractive, as the required salary increases to $48,417.  

Mortgage rate: 3.89 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $223,100

  • Quarterly change: +0.95 percent 
  • YOY change: +8.25 percent

Monthly payment: $1,018.89

Salary: $43,666.91

  • Quarterly change: -$270.84

A 10 percent down payment on a $223,100 home is $22,310, compared with a 20 percent down payment of $44,620. The smaller down payment increases the monthly payment by $105 and increases the required salary by $7,660.

Mortgage rate: 3.87 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $195,500

  • Quarterly change: +1.77 percent
  • YOY change: +5.85 percent

Monthly payment: $1,096.50

Salary: $46,993.02

  • Quarterly change: +$18.23

The San Antonio metro had the smallest salary increase on our list at just $18. Borrowing costs increase a lot more than $18 when putting 10 percent down instead of 20 percent. Thanks to the larger loan amount and the need for mortgage insurance, the required salary increases to $53,695 per year.  

Mortgage rate: 3.94 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $207,600

  • Quarterly change: +1.27 percent 
  • YOY change: +11.61 percent

Monthly payment: $1,112.20

Salary: $47,665.67

  • Quarterly change: -$145.14

The Orlando metro area has the smallest salary decline on our list at $145. However, that decline evaporates when putting 10 percent down instead of 20 percent. With a 10 percent down payment, the required salary increases to $54,819.

Mortgage rate: 3.86 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $222,800

  • Quarterly change: -0.40 percent
  • YOY change: +6.40 percent

Monthly payment: $1,154.76

Salary: $49,489.52

  • Quarterly change: -$761.16

Homebuyers who make a 10 percent down payment instead of 20 percent will save $22,280, but the larger loan amount and mortgage insurance adds $105 to the monthly payment. The result? A required salary of $57,122.

Mortgage rate: 3.89 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.11 percent

Home price: $203,900

  • Quarterly change: -4.59 percent 
  • YOY change: -0.49 percent

Monthly payment: $1,156.78

Salary: $49,576.48

  • Quarterly change: -$2,045.92

Philadelphia is one of two metro areas on our list to see both monthly and yearly price declines. If the required salary of $49,576 seems like too small of a figure, consider that you would need to earn $56,577 a year if you were putting 10 percent down instead of 20 percent. If you choose to put 5 percent down, the salary figure would be even higher.

Mortgage rate: 3.90 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $208,000

  • Quarterly change: -0.57 percent 
  • YOY change: +3.84 percent

Monthly payment: $1,199.15

Salary: $51,392.04

  • Quarterly change: -$771.88

For the first time on our list, the Houston metro is more affordable than the Dallas metro. Price and rate declines in the first quarter led to the increased affordability. However, things do get pricier when making a 10 percent down payment. With 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the salary you need to earn to afford the median-priced home in the Houston metro increases by $7,146.

Mortgage rate: 3.87 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.11 percent

Home price: $229,200

  • Quarterly change: -1.84 percent
  • YOY change: +2.73 percent

Monthly payment: $1,205.55

Salary: $51,666.42

  • Quarterly change: -$1,198.15

The Baltimore metro was more affordable in the first quarter thanks to lower mortgage rates and lower home prices. But the salary figure isn’t as attractive once you reduce the down payment from 20 percent to 10 percent. Cutting the down payment in half saves buyers nearly $23,000, but increases the required salary to $59,524.

Mortgage rate: 3.90 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $210,100

  • Quarterly change: +1.89 percent
  • YOY change: +9.14 percent

Monthly payment: $1,209.28

Salary: $51,826.29

  • Quarterly change: +$20.28

Things are getting less affordable in the Dallas metro. Dallas is one of five metros on our list to see the salary figure increase. However, the required salary increases much more dramatically when you put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent. The required salary figure in the Dallas metro with 10 percent down is $59,045.

Mortgage rate: 3.89 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $208,600

  • Quarterly change: -0.57 percent 
  • YOY change: +8.36 percent

Monthly payment: $1,333.93

Salary: $57,168.35

  • Quarterly change: -$814.50

Quarterly home prices have declined in the Windy City metro for two straight quarters, allowing the required salary to fall to $57,168 in the first quarter. But the required salary reverses course when cutting the down payment in half. With just 10 percent down, the required salary in the Chicago metro is $64,330.

Mortgage rate: 3.94 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.11 percent

Home price: $279,600

  • Quarterly change: -4.93 percent
  • YOY change: +1.38 percent

Monthly payment: $1,380.12

Salary: $59,147.93

  • Quarterly change: -$2,995.53

To this point on our list, the Sacramento metro area has the largest salary decline – nearly $3,000. But since most homebuyers will find it quite difficult to save for a 20 percent down payment (nearly $56,000), 10 percent down payment may be more realistic. A 10 percent down payment requires an annual salary of $68,782 to purchase a median-priced home in the River City metro.

Mortgage rate: 3.93 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $286,700

  • Quarterly change: +0.60 percent
  • YOY change: +6.54 percent

Monthly payment: $1,455.31

Salary: $62,370.25

  • Quarterly change: -$512.75

Miami is the first metro area on our list to have a required salary figure over $60,000. If you were to make a 10 percent down payment on a median-priced home in the Miami metro, the salary figure jumps to $72,242.

Mortgage rate: 3.96 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.09 percent

Home price: $326,700

  • Quarterly change: +2.48 percent 
  • YOY change: +12.89 percent

Monthly payment: $1,554.86

Salary: $66,637.04

  • Quarterly change: +$719.57

Home prices are holding strong in the Portland metro area – the year-over-year price gains are the second highest on our list. But the quarterly increase in required salary ($720) is nothing compared to much the salary increases when the down payment is cut in half. At 10 percent down, the required salary figure is $77,910.

Mortgage rate: 3.94 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.11 percent

Home price: $369,000

  • Quarterly change: +4.38 percent
  • YOY change: +9.14 percent

Monthly payment: $1,637.69

Salary: $70,186.63

  • Quarterly change: +$1,750.41

The Denver metro had the strongest price growth overall on our list (quarterly and yearly). These price gains led to the highest salary increase amongst our 27 metros -- $1,750. The required salary increases even more -- nearly $13,000 -- if a buyer chooses to put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent.

Mortgage rate: 3.88 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.13 percent

Home price: $370,400

  • Quarterly change: -0.32 percent
  • YOY change: +0.71 percent

Monthly payment: $1,807.88

Salary: $77,480.54

  • Quarterly change: -$1,145.16

For the first time on our list, the Washington D.C. metro is more affordable than the Seattle metro. Minimal price growth over the last year has been the driving force behind the increased affordability. But these modest D.C.-metro numbers really start to inflate once the down payment shrinks. With a 10 percent down payment, buyers in and around the nation’s capital will need to earn at least $90,188 just to afford a median-priced home.

Mortgage rate: 4.02 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.07 percent

Home price: $383,100

  • Quarterly change: -0.57 percent
  • YOY change: +8.71 percent

Monthly payment: $1,809.01

Salary: $77,529.01

  • Quarterly change: -$895.92

For the first time on our list, the Seattle metro is more expensive than the D.C. metro, albeit not by much. To afford a median-priced home with a 10 percent down payment in this Pacific Northwest metro, a buyer needs to earn at least $90,805 per year.

Mortgage rate: 3.81 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $378,500

  • Quarterly change: -3.84 percent
  • YOY change: +1.04 percent

Monthly payment: $1,856.81

Salary: $79,577.57

  • Quarterly change: -$3,573.85

Affordability continues to improve in the Boston metro area thanks to lower mortgage rates and lower home prices. Since saving for a 20 percent down payment for a home in the Boston area will require $76,000, many borrowers are opting to save much less to lower their initial costs. However, at 10 percent down, a median-priced home requires an annual income of at least $92,498.

Mortgage rate: 3.87 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.13 percent

Home price: $381,000

  • Quarterly change: -0.94 percent
  • YOY change: -1.04 percent

Monthly payment: $1,988.14

Salary: $85,205.89

  • Quarterly change: -$1,564.30

In an area known for high prices, the cost of real estate in the New York City metro does not disappoint. The dollar signs are even larger when a borrower reduces the size of their down payment. At 10 percent down, the required salary in the Big Apple metro is $98,268.

Mortgage rate: 3.90 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.12 percent

Home price: $458,900

  • Quarterly change: -4.77 percent
  • YOY change: +6.30 percent

Monthly payment: $2,104.21

Salary: $90,180.58

  • Quarterly change: -$4,859.62

Oddly enough, Los Angeles retains its title as the third-most-expensive metro area on our list despite having the largest salary decline on our list. To see the salary numbers move in the other direction, consider a 10 percent down payment. At 10 percent down, the required salary increases by nearly $18,000.

Mortgage rate: 3.91 percent (jumbo rate)

  • Quarterly change: +0.01 percent

Home price: $554,300

  • Quarterly change: +1.37 percent
  • YOY change: +8.62 percent

Monthly payment: $2,438.02

Salary: $104,486.73

  • Quarterly change: +$1,321.77

San Diego easily retains its title as the second-most-expensive metro area on our list thanks to a salary increase of over $1,300. Speaking of salary increases, putting 10 percent down in the San Diego metro requires buyers to earn $126,217 per year.

Mortgage rate: 3.81 percent (jumbo rate)

  • Quarterly change: -0.13 percent

Home price: $770,300

  • Quarterly change: -1.45 percent
  • YOY change: +7.92 percent

Monthly payment: $3,364.57

Salary: $144,196.08

  • Quarterly change: -$3,800.11

The priciest metro continues its reign. As if the required salary in the San Francisco metro wasn’t high enough when putting 20 percent down, it jumps to $174,206 when putting 10 percent down. And remember, that’s simply for a median-priced home. The closer you buy to the city center, the more that salary figure will rise.

To compile these results, HSH.com calculated the annual before-tax income required to cover the mortgage's principal, interest, tax and insurance payment. We used standard 28 percent "front-end" debt ratios and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the median-home-price data to arrive at our figures. Loans with less than a 20 percent down payment will incur mortgage insurance, which would in turn increase the required salary and require Private Mortgage Insurance.

We utilized the NAR's 2016 first-quarter data for median home prices and our 2016 first-quarter average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to determine how much money homebuyers in 27 major metro areas would need to earn in order to purchase the median-priced home in their market.

The average mortgage rate information we used was for purchase-money mortgages made to borrowers with good to excellent credit.

We created metropolitan-area average property tax information using data made available from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). We use 2011-2013 ACS 3-year estimates, which are the latest available data.

We used the latest available data for statewide average homeowner insurance premium costs from the Insurance Information Institute (http://www.iii.org), whose mission is to improve public understanding of insurance.

Note: Property taxes and insurance costs are specific to an individual property itself and will be different for any single property in which you may have an interest. Also, if other personal debts exceed 8 percent of one's given monthly gross income, this will increase the salary needed to qualify.

PMI costs used in our calculations are for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. For conforming loan amounts, these are costs for FICO scores of greater than 720 but less than 759; for jumbo loan amounts, these costs are for FICO scores of 760 or greater. You can calculate mortgage insurance costs for other credit scores, down payment amounts and mortgage types using HSH.com's PMI Cost Calculator.

Data for the Pittsburgh metro area was provided by RealSTATs, a locally owned and operated real estate information company. Home-price data for Detroit was provided by Realcomp II Ltd., Michigan's largest Multiple Listing Service.

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How much salary do you need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in your metro area?

salary you need to earn in order to afford home in 27 metro areas
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Cities 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate % Change from 4Q15 Median Home Price % Change from 4Q15 Monthly Payment (PITI) Salary Needed
National 3.87% -0.15% $217,600 -2.29 $1,158.15 $49,634.86
Pittsburgh 3.75% -0.15% $119,950 -6.29 $687.89 $29,480.96
Cleveland 3.86% -0.14% $111,300 -8.62 $711.62 $30,498.13
Cincinnati 3.88% -0.14% $137,800 +0.88 $788.29 $33,783.78
St Louis 3.86% -0.14% $140,700 -2.09 $790.97 $33,898.82
Detroit 3.97% -0.10% $142,030 -4.46 $829.22 $35,537.89
Atlanta 3.88% -0.15% $167,800 -0.83 $859.25 $36,824.97
Tampa 4.01% -0.15% $179,900 +0.78 $984.37 $42,187.31
Phoenix 3.89% -0.14% $223,100 +0.95 $1,018.89 $43,666.91
San Antonio 3.87% -0.14% $195,500 +1.77 $1,096.50 $46,993.02
Orlando 3.94% -0.14% $207,600 +1.27 $1,112.20 $47,665.67
Minneapolis 3.86% -0.14% $222,800 -0.40 $1,154.76 $49,489.52
Philadelphia 3.89% -0.11% $203,900 -4.59 $1,156.78 $49,576.48
Houston 3.90% -0.14% $208,000 -0.57 $1,199.15 $51,392.04
Baltimore 3.87% -0.11% $229,200 -1.84 $1,205.55 $51,666.42
Dallas 3.90% -0.15% $210,100 +1.89 $1,209.28 $51,826.29
Chicago 3.89% -0.15% $208,600 -0.57 $1,333.93 $57,168.35
Sacramento 3.94% -0.11% $279,600 -4.93 $1,380.12 $59,147.93
Miami 3.93% -0.14% $286,700 +0.60 $1,455.31 $62,370.25
Portland 3.96% -0.09% $326,700 +2.48 $1,554.86 $66,637.04
Denver 3.94% -0.11% $369,000 +4.38 $1,637.69 $70,186.63
Washington 3.88% -0.13% $370,400 -0.32 $1,807.88 $77,480.54
Seattle 4.02% -0.07% $383,100 -0.57 $1,809.01 $77,529.01
Boston 3.81% -0.15% $378,500 -3.84 $1,856.81 $79,577.57
New York City 3.87% -0.13% $381,000 -0.94 $1,988.14 $85,205.89
Los Angeles 3.90% -0.12% $458,900 -4.77 $2,104.21 $90,180.58
San Diego 3.91% 0.01% $554,300 +1.37 $2,438.02 $104,486.73
San Francisco 3.81% -0.13% $770,300 -1.45 $3,364.57 $144,196.08

Comments

  1. Eleanor May 10, 2016 1:00 pm

    I just bought a house in the Riverside county area after looking in the San Diego county area where I have lived for over 30 years. There is no way my realtor would have gotten me a mortgage for that low monthly payment that INCLUDES impound of property taxes 1% AND the cheapest home owners insurance of 50 bucks. I have a near 800 credit score and low debt. Maybe if we signed up for a NO INTEREST Jumbo loan...

      Reply»  
    1. AP May 30, 2016 11:50 am

      These numbers are if you put 20% down.

        Reply »  
  2. Greg Hall March 26, 2016 7:51 am

    Wise observation. Realtor's want to sell your as much house as possible to maximize their profit. First house I bought was ok. I was starting my career and my salary increased quickly. Later in my career, I bought a house and went along with standard debt ratio recommendations. My salary was no longer increasing at the same rate. The monthly mortgage payment was uncomfortable. I was essentially married to my hours.

      Reply»  
  3. Beth Gilbert March 22, 2016 8:21 am

    Your stats on Washington are incorrect - unless you are including the entire DC metro area - which is not specified in your data source. The median price for a home - this includes condos - in DC is $537,000. And, fyi, to qualify for $1,800. per month in rent, the income requirement is $74,000. (gross). Please let me know if you need more info, or perhsps, a real estate journalist! Regards, Beth 202-422-4314.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team March 28, 2016 9:23 am

      Beth, Our home price data comes from the NAR and is 100% correct. We reiterate as many times as possible that this data pertains to metro areas (including in the title). Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
      1. james hearo April 09, 2016 3:07 am

        The NAR publishes false numbers. They is no way you can get approval for a mortage much less pay the mortgage payment based on the after tax earnings of these salaries. Another misleadeing marketing article.

        1. Editorial Team April 12, 2016 9:15 am

          James, The NAR publishes the numbers based on the properties sold in a given area. Please also we aware that these are salaries to cover the base cost of owning a home: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. You'll need to earn more to pay bills and for spending money. -Tim Manni, HSH.com

  4. Kim March 16, 2016 12:07 pm

    I'm self employed. Trying to get an Apx number of what I would need to show on my tax returns for two years in Denver Colorado to qualify for a home between $350- 400,000.?

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team March 16, 2016 1:49 pm

      Kim, Since your numbers jive with what we're showing above, you can use the salary we provide as a benchmark to get started. However, you will need to discuss this with a mortgage lender or broker to determine what exactly you qualify for based on your salary. Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  5. Jeff Grenz March 07, 2016 9:53 am

    Was getting pretty excited until I saw that 20% down payment was your baseline. That no longer reflects the US housing market which has fallen to 14-15% average down payment. That seems like a good number except most of my buyers are either 100% cash or 0-3% down VA/FHA, so maybe a median down payment % in the average price range for owner occupied would be a more reasonable measure.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team March 07, 2016 10:04 am

      Jeff, That's why we included info on 10% down in every slide. The intro slide says, "In the commentary section of each slide, we discuss how the required salary would change if you were to put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent." Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  6. Jim Klecha March 07, 2016 7:31 am

    Very interesting study. I live in the Charleston South Carolina area and by all indications is a very 'hot' real estate market for it's size. Any way you could give me the data for this market?

      Reply»  
  7. Mike March 05, 2016 7:04 pm

    I feel like that is a low amount for Dallas. if you have 0 debt other than a car payment you would be spending about 2600 per month. I make 59k in dallas and take home 3600 per month after taxes and 401k. I am sure you will also be paying water and garbage in a house. so after you pay all your bills you have 800-1000 left over with a 59k salary. That 800- 1000 has to cover your random fun money plus any savings you can do. how do you save up for when something goes wrong with your appliances or other unexpected expenses. You would be so house poor you can't even afford to furnish it or have any fun at all. And that is for 1 person. If you have more than one person your food expenses will go up. I am sure you other expenses would go up as well. I think in dallas you need to make at least 75k to comfortably afford a 200k house and not have to go thousands in debt if something comes up. And that is after you save up for a 20% down payment.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team March 07, 2016 7:28 am

      Mike, Thanks for your comment. You're right, you will need to earn more money to help pay for things like furnishings and any other bills you might have. As we noted, this is the salary needed for the base cost of owning a home: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. And this is the Dallas metro, not just the city. Thanks, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  8. The Doc March 05, 2016 4:21 am

    My colleague lives in Honolulu. Why are they excluded from your list of metropolitan areas?

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team March 07, 2016 7:29 am

      Doc, Thanks for commenting. This list of metros is based on population: 27 largest metro areas. -Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  9. Doc R March 05, 2016 4:16 am

    There are some flaws with the methodology. The largest cities have fewer single family homes. I would like to see a breakdown of multi unit versus single family homes and see where the averages would be. How would the breakdown be for 15 year mortgages? I put 20% down on my 15 year mortgage. The average person doesn't have 20% to put down on a home. That assumption is a stretch. This analysis is even less realistic. Most people that I know, have 10% down, at best. Lastly, taxes in some locales are much higher than the average, such as NYC. Are those factors calculated in your methodology?

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    1. Editorial Team March 07, 2016 7:35 am

      Doc, Thanks for your comment. These calculations are very straightforward. This is not just based on cities, but rather metro areas. A 15-year loan would increase the required salary for sure as the monthly payment would be higher. You're correct, the average person doesn't have 20% to put down, that is why we also provide the required salary based on 10% down in every slide.Yes, property taxes are included. For more on the methodology, please refer to the first and last slides of the slideshow: http://www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/salary-home-buying-25-cities.html#how-did-we-come-up-with-these-salaries -Tim Manni, HSH.com

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  10. Daisy Swearingen March 04, 2016 8:31 am

    Household income of 51,000? Or is family size not factored in?

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    1. Editorial Team March 04, 2016 1:32 pm

      Daisy, Thanks for commenting. It's the total salary you need, whether single or family total. -Tim Manni, HSH.com

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