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

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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