Becoming a homeowner? Here’s how much you’ll need to make in your city

March 7, 2018 - 2 min read

How much money for a mortgage?

Owning a home in one of the nation’s largest cities doesn’t have to come with equally large costs. In fact, in some American towns, a salary of only $20K is enough to afford a mortgage.

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Low-cost big cities

Taking into account U.S. Census data, property taxes, current interest rates, down payments and median home values, SmartAsset recently calculated how much income you’d need to afford a home in the nation’s 15 biggest cities.

Indianapolis came in as most affordable. Residents there need a salary of just $20,294 per year to afford their monthly home payments.

“On average, Indianapolis has the most affordable homes of the largest 15 cities in America,” SmartAsset’s Derek Miller reported. “Monthly payments on the median-value house will come to around $609.”

How much home can you afford?

Jacksonville, Florida took the second spot, with a salary of $23,332, followed closely by San Antonio, which calls for a salary of $23,529. The average monthly home payment for a San Antonio resident is just $706 per month, while the median home price sits at an even $117,000.

Several other Texas cities came in with low salary requirements. Houston calls for a salary of just $27K, while Dallas needs just slightly more – $27,505. Philadelphia, Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio also came in with salaries under the $28K mark.

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Bringing home the bacon

On the other end of the spectrum sits two California cities: San Francisco and San Jose, which call for the highest salaries out of all 15 big cities. Residents in San Fran need an income of $128K to afford home payments in the area (around $3,858 per month).

“Buying a home in San Francisco really is as expensive as it’s made out to be,” Miller wrote. “Although San Francisco is home to some of the most well-paid individuals in the country, the median home is still largely out of reach for the typical household.”

Can home buyers in San Francisco finally be optimistic? These stats say yes

In San Jose, you’ll need a salary of just under $100K to afford a home. New York, Los Angeles and San Diego all require over-$75K salaries.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.