According to a new report by HSH.com, an online mortgage and consumer loan information site, it depends. The cost of owning the roof over your head fluctuates considerably from city to city.
A hefty $115,500 annual salary will get you an average house in the San Francisco metropolitan area, where the median home price is $682,410, leaving you with a $2,700 monthly mortgage payment.
If that seems too expensive, simply head east to Cleveland, the cheapest city for housing on HSH’s list, where $19,000 a year in pay will buy you an average home with a $453 house payment. Median-priced homes in Cleveland go for $112,800.
In Seattle, a base salary of $59,130 is enough to purchase a median-priced home of $344,400. On the East Coast, Atlanta homes average $142,400, requiring a $24,391 paycheck to cover the $569 mortgage payment.
Do these numbers seem reasonable to you? Actually there’s a huge caveat with these figures.
Using its mortgage rate data and fourth-quarter median home prices from the National Association of Realtors, HSH.com calculated how much a homebuyer would need to earn to afford the principal and interest payments on a median-priced home. The figures do not include property taxes, insurance and other expenses.