How much money do you need to make in order to afford a home?


Using data from the National Association of REALTORS®, mortgage site pinpointed the minimum salary required to pay for the principal loan amount, interest, taxes, and insurance payments on a median-priced home in some of the largest metro areas in the country.

Nationwide, buyers would need to earn about $51,247 to afford a median-priced home of $217,300, assuming a 20 percent down payment and a 4.37 percent interest rate, according to

However, the minimum income needed to afford a home in specific areas can be much higher. Here are the five metros of the 27 analyzed where buyers would need to have the highest salaries to afford a median-priced home there:

  • San Francisco 
Salary needed: $145,351 Median home price: $744,400
 Monthly payment (PITI): $3,392
  • San Diego 
Salary needed: $101,683 
Median home price: $517,800 
Monthly payment (PITI): $2,373
  • Los Angeles 
Salary needed: $96,514
 Median home price: $481,900
 Monthly payment (PITI): $2,252
  • New York City 
Salary needed: $92,271 
Median home price: $410,800 
Monthly payment (PITI): $2,153
  • Boston 
Salary needed: $84,476 
Median home price: $399,900
 Monthly payment (PITI): $1,971

On the other hand, these are the metros that would require the least amount of salary to purchase a median-priced home there:

  1. Pittsburgh 
Salary needed: $32,373 
Median home price: $136,700 
Monthly payment (PITI): $755
  2. Cleveland 
Salary needed: $33,909 
Median home price: $129,900 
Monthly payment (PITI): $791
  3. Tampa 
Salary needed: $35,732 
Median home price: $145,000 
Monthly payment (PITI): $834
  4. Cincinnati 
Salary needed: $35,765 
Median home price: $149,000 
Monthly payment (PITI): $835
  5. St. Louis 
Salary needed: $35,800
 Median home price: $150,200
 Monthly payment (PITI): $835

Source: “The Salary You Must Earn to Buy a Home in 27 Metros,” (Dec. 1, 2014)

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