This is how much you need to earn to buy a home in different US cities

Originally published at: This is how much you need to earn to buy a home in different US cities | Boing Boing


I feel like that Seattle number is about 60k too low.


Not to this WoC; my life expectancy is likely to be higher in CA than in TN, especially given the recent political environment.


I question what they’re calling the DC metro area borders, because if you make $110,000 here and want to buy something, you’re either commuting from an hour plus away without traffic, living in a tiny condo, or forgoing food for the next decade.


Soon to be 833 square feet of prime ocean floor real estate if we don’t make some headway in fighting climate change.


Boston only needs $130k/yr?

This doesn’t account for the fact that $500k “house” you can buy around here in urban area at the price is either a flood-prone hovel or a closet-sized condo. Realistically, it’s more like 1.2M+ for bare minimum home in the suburbs.



And an ever increasing water bill–assuming there is water.


I wish i made what was needed to buy a house in Austin :smiling_face_with_tear:


Well…if it weren’t for … literally everything else … I might look into moving back to Oklahoma City.


Well clearly to water your avocado trees since you can afford that home by growing your own avocados and making toast at home just like your elders did.


There is an additional consideration in that one ‘might expect’ to earn more at a San Jose job than one in Memphis Tennessee. So these, certainly onerous and increasing, housing costs, do get a bit of a median expected income compensation. Here’s one effort in that regard:


I’m with you: $76,500 for Chicago? The City of Chicago had to scrap its requirement for public school teachers to live within city limits because a teacher’s salary won’t get you a rental apartment big enough for a family of 4, let alone allow for BUYING such an apartment (forget buying a house). The police and firefighters have carved out a niche in a couple of neighborhoods on the northern and western borders (literally, a couple of blocks bounded by a city border) in which they only sell to each other, so they’re managing to stay within the requirements still.


yeah. i feel like this map just isn’t realistic. they have to be pulling in the sprawl for some cities and not for others for it to make any sense


Median home price is a pretty useless metric though. They have Los Angeles listed at 149k, but that doesn’t mean anything. There are huge swathes of very cheap (and not so nice) neighbourhoods in LA, and then some smaller pockets of insanely expensive housing. In most of LA, the required salary is probably more like 60k, but in the “nice” parts, it’s more like 200k+.

This data also seems to be focused on the mortgage payment, but that’s honestly the easiest part of homeownership. Taxes, insurance, repairs, and the down payment are the real barriers for most people. In CA at least, mortgages are generally lower than rent if you put 20% down on the house. That’s the part most people can’t do. I did it, but it took me 15 years of good paying jobs to save that first down payment. Once you’re “on the real estate ladder” it’s easy street from then on, but that initial down payment is a huge barrier.


I assumed they were defining a “home” as a 500 sq ft studio condo. East of the river.


Yeah, for context, Mr. Bells and I live just outside of Seattle and have a combined income significantly above the amount they show. We are just now looking into buying a CONDO. And we will probably have to move further north or south of the metro area to buy one that isn’t tiny. And, our mortgage will likely be more than our current rent on a 4 bedroom house that’s 2 miles from both our workplaces.

The house across the street from us just sold for 1.2 million. We had to move here when our last landlord decided to sell our rental home. Tired of feeling temporary.


I’m in the process of buying a condo in Boston and this is an exaggeration, it’s very expensive but there are perfectly nice 2-bedroom condos below $500K (options double if you go to $550K though). If you replaced “Boston” with neighboring “Cambridge,” then it would be accurate, there are literally six homes in Cambridge that cost less than $500K, sizes range from 345 to 541 square feet.

“Home” does not only mean a single-family house and in metro areas they should not be the norm for housing.

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What do you mean by “very cheap?” I just did a search on Redfin and only found one 2-bedroom house for sale anywhere in the city of Los Angeles for under $400k, and “house” is a very generous description of this shack.


You aren’t looking very hard, then. I found 371 properties under 250k in five seconds just now. You have to include the entire metro area and be willing to consider condos, manufactured homes, and other options.

I lived in LA for 15 years and owned real estate there. I know what I’m talking about, dude.


That checks out. And has serious maintenance needs.

In which case, if you can buy it, turn it around, and hold on to it safely for a few more years… you may make bank when that neighborhood turns into SoDoSoPa and mortals can’t afford to live there anymore.

Problem is you have no idea when or if that’s gonna be.

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