10 U.S. metro areas where home ownership is most affordable


Home ownership rates are on the rise in our country, but low salaries can still be an impediment when you want to buy.

Unless, of course, you live in a metro area that doesn’t require a huge salary to cover all the costs of home ownership!

10 metro areas where home ownership is most affordable

HowMuch.net recently examined median-home price data, national mortgage rate data and property tax and homeowner’s insurance costs in the nation’s 50 largest metro areas.

What they came up with was a list of the most affordable metro area real estate markets and how much annual salary you need to earn to afford a home:

10. Buffalo, NY – $45.7K

buffalo, ny skyline

9. Birmingham, AL – $44.6K

birmingham, alabama skyline

8. St. Louis, MO – $44.2K

st louis missouri archway

7. Cincinnati, OH – $43.4K

cincinnati, ohio skyline

6. Louisville, KY – $42.3K

louisville kentucky skyline

5. Indianapolis, IN – $42.2K

indianapolis, indiana


4. Memphis, TN – $41.4K

memphis tennessee

3. Oklahoma City, OK – $41.3K

oklahoma city

2. Cleveland, OH – $40.4K

cleveland, ohio

1. Pittsburgh, PA – $37.6K

pittsburgh, pa

The 90% mortgage rule

Money expert Clark has a simple rule of thumb to follow when shopping for a mortgage: See what you qualify for when it comes to a traditional 30-year fixed rate loan. Then back off and go house shopping at only 90% of that dollar amount.

“So if you qualify for a $200,000 mortgage, for example, don’t look at houses above $180,000. By doing that, you will help create extra financial breathing room in your life,” Clark says.

“The expense of housing is like a rubber-band — stretch it too far and it will break. Stay at 90% or lower and your wallet will smile.”

More real estate stories on Clark.com

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