Salary needed to afford home payments in the 15 largest U.S. cities – 2019 edition


By Derek Miller, CEPF® | SmartAsset

Even though many people picture the high cost of living when they think of America’s biggest cities, the housing markets in these areas actually vary quite a bit. Part of that range comes from particular local factors such as property taxes. It is helpful to be aware of a city’s reputation as expensive or affordable, but in order to make the step from renter to homeowner in a responsible fashion, it’s a good idea to have a plan. To help people make the most of their savings, below we model the salary needed to afford the average home in America’s largest cities.

In order to model the salary needed to afford home payments, we used five inputs: home value, down payment, property tax rate, homeowners insurance and other monthly debt payments. The Data and Methodology section below shows our sources and how we put the data together to create our final rankings.


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