Can You Afford to Buy a Home?

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If you are you wondering whether you can afford to buy a home these days, HSH.com’s quarterly report might help. The report tells you how much annual income you’d need in order to qualify for a mortgage in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

By looking at the 2019 second-quarter median home prices from the National Association of Realtors — and using the industry standard of 28 percent debt-to-income ratio to qualify prospective borrowers — it determined the earnings required to qualify for a home priced at the median in each area. (A 20 percent down payment and a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage at current rates were assumed.)

The national median home price in the second quarter of 2019, $279,600, required an annual income of $61,123. But of course, median prices and the costs of buying a home vary by location. The following are the U.S. markets where the 10 highest and 10 lowest incomes are required to qualify for a mortgage, and what the monthly payment would be in each, including principal, interest, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

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LOWEST REQUIRED INCOME

HIGHEST REQUIRED INCOME

San Jose, Calif.

Monthly payment: $5,831

San Francisco

Cincinnati

Los Angeles

Louisville, Ky.

Indianapolis

Washington

Oklahoma City

Pittsburgh

Portland, Ore.

HIGHEST REQUIRED INCOME

San Jose, Calif.

Monthly payment: $5,831

San Francisco

Los Angeles

Washington

Portland, Ore.

LOWEST REQUIRED INCOME

Cincinnati

Louisville, Ky.

Indianapolis

Oklahoma City

Pittsburgh

Sources: HSH Associates, National Association of Realtors

By The New York Times

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