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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:

  • Only three metro areas were more affordable during the second quarter: Tampa, Orlando and Miami.
  • Mortgage rates fell in every metro on our list.
  • Several metros saw substantial price gains during the second quarter when compared with the first quarter. Notable increases include: Cleveland at 24 percent, Chicago at 18 percent, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati at 17 percent. 
  • After a 15 percent increase in the second quarter, the median price of a single-family home in the San Francisco metro is $885,600.

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 second-quarter data for median-home prices and HSH.com’s 2016 second-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.

The second quarter saw some rather astonishing home price increases, especially given the fact that during the first quarter, home prices rose by more than 1 percent in only six metro areas. It’s too soon to tell if the second-quarter increases are the beginning of a new trend or simply an anomaly.

“Steadily improving local job markets and mortgage rates teetering close to all-time lows brought buyers out in force in many large and middle-tier cities,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a release. “However, with homebuilding activity still failing to keep up with demand and not enough current homeowners putting their home up for sale, prices continued their strong ascent – and in many markets at a rate well above income growth.”

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.

Mortgage rate: 3.62 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.13 percent

Home price: $140,500

  • Quarterly change: +17.13 percent
  • YOY change: +3.61 percent

Monthly payment: $755.77

Salary: $32,390.09

  • Quarterly change: +$2,909.13

Pittsburgh is once again the most-affordable metro area on our list. If homebuyers in the Pittsburgh metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $32,390 to $37,122.

Mortgage rate: 3.72 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $138,100

  • Quarterly change: +24.08 percent
  • YOY change: +6.48 percent

Monthly payment: $803.46

Salary: $34,433.95

  • Quarterly change: +$3,935.82

Thanks to the largest quarterly-price increase on our list, affordability is way down in the Cleveland metro compared to the previous quarter. If homebuyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $39,118.

Mortgage rate: 3.79 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.09 percent

Home price: $160,600

  • Quarterly change: +16.55 percent
  • YOY change: +5.73 percent

Monthly payment: $867.51

Salary: $37,179.18

  • Quarterly change: +$3,395.41

The Cincinnati metro had one of the largest home price increases during the second quarter at nearly 17 percent. If homebuyers in the Cincinnati area put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases by $5,474 to $42,654.

Mortgage rate: 3.70 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.16 percent

Home price: $170,300

  • Quarterly change: +15.22 percent
  • YOY change: +4.10 percent

Monthly payment: $889.73

Salary: $38,131.22

  • Quarterly change: +$3,089.80

A 15 percent price increase in the second quarter caused the required salary in the St. Louis metro to increase by over $3,000. If buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases by $5,768 to $43,899.

Mortgage rate: 3.78 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.19 percent

Home price: $164,200

  • Quarterly change: +15.61 percent
  • YOY change: +7.43 percent

Monthly payment: $899.31

Salary: $38,541.83

  • Quarterly change: +$3,003.94

Steady home price gains continue to help Detroit-area homeowners recover some of the equity they lost during the downturn. While that's very important to the health of the metro's real estate market overall, it does crimp affordability for new buyers. If homebuyers in the Detroit metro put down 10 percent instead of 20 percent, the required salary would increase another $5,593 to $44,135.

Mortgage rate: 3.71 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.17 percent

Home price: $192,000

  • Quarterly change: +14.42 percent
  • YOY change: +5.79 percent

Monthly payment: $935.48

Salary: $40,092.12  

  • Quarterly change: +$3,267.15

Homebuyers in the Atlanta metro saw a substantial increase in home prices during the second quarter, especially considering that prices had fallen by 1 percent in the first quarter. If buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $46,600.

Mortgage rate: 3.71 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.18 percent

Home price: $234,700

  • Quarterly change: +5.20 percent
  • YOY change: +7.71 percent

Monthly payment: $1,043.37

Salary: $44,715.99

  • Quarterly change: +$1,049.08

If homebuyers cannot afford to make a 20 percent down payment ($46,940), a 10 percent down payment will cost half that, but the required salary increases to $52,671.

Mortgage rate: 3.86 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $199,900

  • Quarterly change: -0.35 percent 
  • YOY change: +14.23 percent

Monthly payment: $1,047.08

Salary: $44,874.70

  • Quarterly change: -$704.99

Thanks to lower mortgage rates and lower home prices during the second quarter, Tampa is just one of three metros to see the required salary figure fall in the second quarter. If buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $51,723.

Mortgage rate: 3.71 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.16 percent

Home price: $210,500

  • Quarterly change: +7.67 percent
  • YOY change: +5.57 percent

Monthly payment: $1,137.57

Salary: $48,752.98  

  • Quarterly change: +$1,759.96

Given that the salary increase in the first quarter was only $18 in the San Antonio metro, the second-quarter increase of $1,760 may seem rather significant. If buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary figure increases by another $7,135 to $55,888.

Mortgage rate: 3.76 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.18 percent

Home price: $223,000

  • Quarterly change: +0.90 percent 
  • YOY change: +12.63 percent

Monthly payment: $1,152.25

Salary: $49,382.26

  • Quarterly change: -$460.94

Orlando is the second metro on the list so far to see a lower required salary in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter, as the decline in mortgage rates more than offset the small increase in home prices. If buyers decide to put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $56,968.

Mortgage rate: 3.68 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.18 percent

Home price: $242,400

  • Quarterly change: +9.44 percent
  • YOY change: +6.32 percent

Monthly payment: $1,208.52

Salary: $51,793.80

  • Quarterly change: +$2,513.49

Lower mortgage rates were not enough to curtail the impact of higher home prices during the second quarter in the Minneapolis metro, as the required salary rose by over $2,500 on a quarter-to-quarter basis. If buyers in the Twin Cities metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $59,992.

Mortgage rate: 3.75 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $217,400

  • Quarterly change: +4.52 percent 
  • YOY change: -1.67 percent

Monthly payment: $1,219.74

Salary: $52,274.68

  • Quarterly change: +$882.63

The Houston metro moved down one spot on our list, swapping places with the Philadelphia metro. Home prices in the Houston area did not increase nearly as much as many other metros on our list, allowing the required salary to increase by only $883 in the second quarter. If buyers in the Houston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $59,664.

Mortgage rate: 3.73 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.16 percent

Home price: $232,200

  • Quarterly change: +13.88 percent 
  • YOY change: +0.22 percent

Monthly payment: $1,246.51

Salary: $53,421.87

  • Quarterly change: +$3,845.39

The Philadelphia metro swapped places with the Houston metro during the second quarter as a surge in median home prices trimmed affordability to a greater degree. If buyers in the Philly metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary is $61,303.

Mortgage rate: 3.76 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $232,200

  • Quarterly change: +10.52 percent
  • YOY change: +7.90 percent

Monthly payment: $1,277.84

Salary: $54,764.49

  • Quarterly change: +$2,938.20

The Dallas metro swapped places with the Baltimore metro for the second quarter. A price increase of 10.52 percent boosted the required salary by nearly $3,000. If Dallas-area buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $62,663.

Mortgage rate: 3.73 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $265,800

  • Quarterly change: +15.97 percent
  • YOY change: +4.44 percent

Monthly payment: $1,326.20

Salary: $56,837.35

  • Quarterly change: +$5,170.93

A price increase of nearly 16 percent caused the required salary in the Baltimore metro to rise by $5,171. If Baltimore-area buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary figure comes in at $65,859.

Mortgage rate: 3.72 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.17 percent

Home price: $246,400

  • Quarterly change: +18.12 percent 
  • YOY change: +6.90 percent

Monthly payment: $1,457.30

Salary: $62,455.94

  • Quarterly change: +$5,287.58

The Chicago metro had the second-highest price gain of any metro on our list. Thanks to that increase, the required salary rose by $5,288 in the second quarter. If buyers in the Windy City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary figure increases to $70,813.

Mortgage rate: 3.76 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.17 percent

Home price: $310,000

  • Quarterly change: -0.86 percent
  • YOY change: +6.93 percent

Monthly payment: $1,519.48

Salary: $65,120.41

  • Quarterly change: -$1,469.76

The Miami metro swapped places with the Sacramento metro this time around as Miami was only one of three metros on our list to see a salary decline in the second quarter due to a combination of both lower prices and lower mortgage rates. If buyers in the Miami metro put down 10 percent instead of 20 percent, the required salary figure increases to $75,665.

Mortgage rate: 3.79 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.15 percent

Home price: $323,700

  • Quarterly change: +8.77 percent
  • YOY change: +11.24 percent

Monthly payment: $1,525.13

Salary: $65,362.63

  • Quarterly change: +$3,289.67

The Sacramento metro swapped places with the Miami metro during the second quarter as the home-price growth in the River City metro was substantially stronger during the quarter. Higher prices led to a salary increase of nearly $3,300 in the second quarter. If buyers in the Sacramento metro want to put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary figure increases to $76,397.

Mortgage rate: 3.83 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.13 percent

Home price: $356,700

  • Quarterly change: +9.18 percent 
  • YOY change: +13.31 percent

Monthly payment: $1,647.65

Salary: $70,613.37

  • Quarterly change: +$3,976.32

Lower mortgage rates in the second quarter were not enough to increase affordability in the Portland, Oregon metro area. Significantly higher home prices caused the required salary figure to rise to $70,613. If you were to put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary would be $82,807.

Mortgage rate: 3.75 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.19 percent

Home price: $394,400

  • Quarterly change: +6.88 percent
  • YOY change: +8.68 percent

Monthly payment: $1,699.77

Salary: $72,847.39

  • Quarterly change: +$2,660.76

Home prices in the Denver metro continue to improve. Unfortunately for homebuyers, lower mortgage rates could not prevent affordability from slipping. The required salary in the Mile High metro increases to $86,253 if buyers make a 10 percent down payment instead of a 20 percent down payment.

Mortgage rate: 3.70 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.18 percent

Home price: $406,900

  • Quarterly change: +10.45 percent
  • YOY change: +1.45 percent

Monthly payment: $1,911.94

Salary: $81,940.22

  • Quarterly change: +$4,782.32

It’s the second quarter in a row that the Washington D.C. metro appears before Seattle on our list. However, the required salary for the D.C. metro area is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you put 10 percent down: $95,722.

Mortgage rate: 3.90 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.12 percent

Home price: $420,500

  • Quarterly change: +9.76 percent
  • YOY change: +9.14 percent

Monthly payment: $1,928.98

Salary: $82,670.73

  • Quarterly change: +$5,141.72

In the second quarter, the Seattle metro had one of the highest salary increases on our list at $5,142. If buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary in the Seattle metro increases to $97,118.

Mortgage rate: 3.70 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.17 percent

Home price: $395,400

  • Quarterly change: +6.03 percent
  • YOY change: -0.73 percent

Monthly payment: $2,011.69

Salary: $86,215.44

  • Quarterly change: +$2,314.67

While still more expensive in the second quarter than the first, the New York metro moved up in affordability one notch as Boston surged past it in the second quarter. A required-salary increase of just over $2,300 is certainly not the worst we’ve ever seen this time around, but that's little consolation to people looking for affordable housing options. Worse, perhaps is that the required salary figure in the New York metro increases to $99,607 for buyers who put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent.

Mortgage rate: 3.67 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.14 percent

Home price: $435,800

  • Quarterly change: +15.14 percent
  • YOY change: +5.11 percent

Monthly payment: $2,042.99

Salary: $87,556.61

  • Quarterly change: +$7,979.03

Speaking of the Boston metro, a 15-percent increase in home prices during the second quarter caused the required salary figure to rise by nearly $8,000. For buyers who put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $102,285.

Mortgage rate: 3.74 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.16 percent

Home price: $480,000

  • Quarterly change: +4.48 percent
  • YOY change: +7.82 percent

Monthly payment: $2,148.81

Salary: $92,091.89

  • Quarterly change: +$1,830.46

We've come to the spot on our list where the priciest California metros take over. Despite a relatively muted quarterly home price increase when compared to many other metros there is still an $1,830 bump in salary needed to keep up. As well, the required salary in the LA metro increases to $110,710 when a buyer decides to put only 10 percent down.

Mortgage rate: 3.84 percent (jumbo rate)

  • Quarterly change: -0.07 percent

Home price: $589,900

  • Quarterly change: +6.42 percent
  • YOY change: +7.69 percent

Monthly payment: $2,553.62

Salary: $109,440.97

  • Quarterly change: +$4,954.24

San Diego is one of two metros on our list where, even with a 20 percent down payment, buying a median-priced home requires a jumbo mortgage. Rates for jumbos fell less than for conforming loans over the period and provided little offset for fast-rising home prices. If buyers in the San Diego metro put down 10 percent instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $132,466, and the mortgage amount needed moves buyers even deeper into jumbo territory.

Mortgage rate: 3.77 percent (jumbo rate)

  • Quarterly change: -0.04 percent

Home price: $885,600

  • Quarterly change: +14.83 percent
  • YOY change: +9.52 percent

Monthly payment: $3,778.78

Salary: $161,947.60

  • Quarterly change: +$17,607.57

The king of inaffordability continues to reign. With a near-15-percent increase in home prices in the second quarter, affordability grows even further out of reach for borrowers in the San Francisco metro. If buyers put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $196,363.

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 second-quarter data for median home prices and our 2016 second-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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Metro Area

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate % Change from 1Q16 Median Home Price % Change from 1Q16 Monthly Payment (PITI) Salary Needed
National 3.73% -0.14% $240,700 10.82 $1,229.65 $52,699.17
Pittsburgh 3.62% -0.13% $140,500 17.13 $755.77 $32,390.09
Cleveland 3.72% -0.14% $138,100 24.08 $803.46 $34,433.95
Cincinnati 3.79% -0.09% $160,600 16.55 $867.51 $37,179.18
St Louis 3.70% -0.16% $170,300 15.22 $889.73 $38,131.22
Detroit 3.78% -0.19% $164,200 15.61 $899.31 $38,541.83
Atlanta 3.71% -0.17% $192,000 14.42 $935.48 $40,092.12
Phoenix 3.71% -0.18% $234,700 5.20 $1,043.37 $44,715.99
Tampa 3.86% -0.15% $199,900 (0.35) $1,047.08 $44,874.70
San Antonio 3.71% -0.16% $210,500 7.67 $1,137.57 $48,752.98
Orlando 3.76% -0.18% $223,000 0.90 $1,152.25 $49,382.26
Minneapolis 3.68% -0.18% $242,400 9.44 $1,208.52 $51,793.80
Houston 3.75% -0.15% $217,400 4.52 $1,219.74 $52,274.68
Philadelphia 3.73% -0.16% $232,200 13.88 $1,246.51 $53,421.87
Dallas 3.76% -0.14% $232,200 10.52 $1,277.84 $54,764.49
Baltimore 3.73% -0.14% $265,800 15.97 $1,326.20 $56,837.35
Chicago 3.72% -0.17% $246,400 18.12 $1,457.30 $62,455.94
Miami 3.76% -0.17% $310,000 (0.86) $1,519.48 $65,120.41
Sacramento 3.79% -0.15% $323,700 8.77 $1,525.13 $65,362.63
Portland 3.83% -0.13% $356,700 9.18 $1,647.65 $70,613.37
Denver 3.75% -0.19% $394,400 6.88 $1,699.77 $72,847.39
Washington 3.70% -0.18% $406,900 10.45 $1,911.94 $81,940.22
Seattle 3.90% -0.12% $420,500 9.76 $1,928.98 $82,670.73
New York City 3.70% -0.17% $395,400 6.03 $2,011.69 $86,215.44
Boston 3.67% -0.14% $435,800 15.14 $2,042.99 $87,556.61
Los Angeles 3.74% -0.16% $480,000 4.48 $2,148.81 $92,091.89
San Diego 3.84% -0.07% $589,900 6.42 $2,553.62 $109,440.97
San Francisco 3.77% -0.04% $885,600 14.83 $3,778.78 $161,947.60

Comments

  1. Ronda July 05, 2016 2:32 am

    Can you do this calculation for Honolulu county%u2026 note that NAR uses statistics for Honolulu as the county of Honolulu or the entire island so the #s could be construed as false for the city of Honolulu

      Reply»  
  2. 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 »  
  3. 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»  
  4. 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

  5. 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 »  
  6. 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 »  
  7. 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»  
  8. 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 »  
  9. 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 »  
  10. 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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