How Much House Can I Afford? Here’s a Breakdown by State and Major City

Are you planning a move or a relocation? You probably have questions like, “How much house can I afford? or “Should I rent or buy?” We’ve taken data from websites like Zillow, How Much and Unison to break it down for you.

First off, these figures were calculated by taking data from Zillow about each state’s median home sale price and deducting a 10% down payment. The remaining amount was dropped into a mortgage calculator with an interest rate of 5%. And according to How Much, “Financial advisors commonly recommend the total cost of housing take up no more than 30% of gross income (the amount before taxes, retirement savings, etc.).” Following that sensible rule, they worked out what your annual salary should be to own a home.

Here’s the answer to “How much house can I afford?” and the salary you’ll need to make homeownership a reality, by state.

Top 5 states where you can get more house for less money

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1. West Virginia | Median House Price: $149,500 | Salary Needed: $38,320

 

2. Ohio | Median House Price: $149,900 | Salary Needed: $38,400

 

3. Michigan | Median House Price: $160,000 | Salary Needed: $40,800

 

4. Arkansas | Median House Price: $161,000 | Salary Needed: $41,040

 

5. Missouri | Median House Price: $165,900 | Salary Needed: $42,200

 

5 most expensive states to buy a house

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1. Hawaii | Median House Price: $610,000 | Salary Needed: $153,520

 

2. Washington, DC | Median House Price: $549,000 | Salary Needed: $138,440

 

3. California | Median House Price: $499,900 | Salary Needed: $120,120

 

4. Massachusetts | Median House Price: $419,900 | Salary Needed: $101,320

 

5. Colorado | Median House Price: $415,000 | Salary Needed: $100,200

 

Breaking down how much house you can afford by city

 

The issue with deciding on “how much house I can afford” when looking state-by-state is that a high-demand city can throw off the affordability of the rest of the state. California is the perfect example. There are plenty of affordable cities where you can buy a house in California, but San Francisco and Los Angeles (both in the top five most expensive cities in the US) dramatically bump up the average salary needed to buy a house in California.

 

Fortunately, Unison has broken the figures down of how much salary you’ll need to buy a median home, by major US cities.

You can buy a house with a smaller salary in these 5 cities

1. Detroit | Median House Price: $31,787  | Salary Needed: $8,328

2. Kansas City | Median House Price: $110,827 | Salary Needed: $29,036

3. Philadelphia | Median House Price: $142,864 | Salary Needed: $37,429

4. Tampa/St. Petersburg | Median House Price: $148,248  | Salary Needed: $48,052

 

5. Dallas | Median House Price: $186,597  | Salary Needed: $48,887

 

Most expensive cities to buy a house

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1. New York City | Median House Price: $1.6 Million  | Salary Needed: $418,482

2. San Francisco | Median House Price: $1.3 Million | Salary Needed: $349,650

3. Boston | Median House Price: $762,454  | Salary Needed: $199,755

4. Los Angeles | Median House Price: $714,935  | Salary Needed: $187,306

5. Seattle | Median House Price: $654,889  | Salary Needed: $171,575