Median Home Price, Median Salary: What It Takes to Buy a Home in America's Top Cities

Median Home Price, Median Salary: What It Takes to Buy a Home in America's Top Cities

For many of us, childhood ideals of growing up probably consisted of getting married, having kids and owning a home.

But with a still-recovering economy and an uptick in home prices, the last part of that American Dream might seem like less and less of an attainable goal.

Curious if you could afford a home of your own?

New figures compiled by might help to give you a good idea. The site crunched the numbers to find the minimum salary needed to buy a home in 27 major cities. They assumed each hypothetical homebuyer was making a 20% down payment, and would put no more than 28% of their income into housing costs.


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Turns out, the average American across the country needs to earn at least $47,253 to afford a home at the national median price of $205,200.

Of course, that figure shifts dramatically depending on just where in the country you're hoping to put up that white picket fence.

Not surprisingly, homes in the Midwest were generally found to be the most affordable. In Cleveland, for example, you'll only need to bring home about $29K a year in order to afford the average $105K home. And citizens in St. Louis, Cincinnati and Detroit making in the low $30Ks could also manage a median-priced home in their area.

But if your American Dream entails owning a piece of property in California, you'll need to rake in a higher salary. Of the top five most expensive real estate markets—San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Los Angeles and Boston—California cities claim three.

In fact, in San Francisco—the most unaffordable city on the list—a median home costing $748K would require an average annual salary of more than $141K.

Find out where your own locale ranks by checking out the full list here.

RELATED: The Rent Is Due! The Best Cities for Apartment Dwellers


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