Mapped: What You Need to Earn to Own a Home in 50 American Cities

(Source: Home Sweet Home & Visual Capitalist)

A map of the U.S. with the median home price as well as the salary needed to own a home 50 American cities.

Once a fundamental part of the American dream, the ability to own a home is drifting farther and farther away for many Americans.

Between skyrocketing prices, stagnating wages, and now rising interest rates, the deck seems to be increasingly stacked against home ownership.

Using May 2023 data tabulated by Home Sweet Home, we map out the annual salary needed to afford a 30-year mortgage (at 6.37%) to buy a home in America’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas.

The monthly minimum mortgage payment includes taxes and insurance as well, and is capped at roughly one-third of the income. This analysis also assumes that the homeowner will put down a 20% down payment.

The Least and Most Affordable American Cities to Own a Home

At the top of the list, and at the very west of the country, San Jose is the least affordable city to own a home for the average American.

One would have to earn at least $374,000 a year to afford a $1.6 million dollar home in the city.

To put those numbers into perspective, the median American annual income is $75,000, about one-fifth what’s required to buy a home in San Jose.

Other Californian cities, San Francisco (ranked 2nd), San Diego (3rd), and Los Angeles (4th) all require an annual income of at least $180,000 to attempt home ownership within their metropolitan boundaries.

Boston (ranked 6th) and New York (ranked 7th) represent unaffordability on the East Coast, both requiring at least $160,000 a year to buy homes there.

It’s not just the coasts that are expensive however. To buy a home in Denver (ranked 8th) and Salt Lake City (15th) means earning more than $120,000 a year.

However, cities in the Midwest and South, like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Oklahoma City, and Louisville, are far more affordable, requiring less than $63,000 a year to buy a home.

Interest Rates Rock Home Ownership Chances

Aside from the obvious price differences in housing markets, a key factor that has elevated income requirements across the board is the rapid rise in interest rates in the last year. In fact the average 30-year mortgage has pushed past 7%, the highest it’s been since the 2000s.

This means that while the median price of a house in San Jose has actually come down between 2022 and 2023, the minimum monthly payment has increased from $7,717 to $8,720 this year.

So to afford a median-priced home in the country, an American needs to earn closer to $100,000 a year, up from $75,500 in 2022. And even then, they would be priced out of owning a home in nearly half of the 50 largest cities in the country.

As a result Americans may yet further delay home ownership. Renting is now a far more attractive option, thanks to the biggest difference between rent and mortgages in over 50 years.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: Home Sweet Home (HSH).

Note: HSH used different sources for their median home prices, mortgage rate, property taxes and home insurance figures for their analysis. Please visit their website for more information.

Other: If other personal debts exceed 8% of one’s given monthly gross income, this may increase the salary needed to qualify for a mortgage.

The full story is available: What You Need to Earn to Own a Home in 50 American Cities (visualcapitalist.com)

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SEXENNIAL REAPPRAISAL AND TRIENNIAL UPDATES FOR OHIO’S 88 COUNTIES | 2023-2028

SEXENNIAL REAPPRAISAL AND TRIENNIAL UPDATES FOR OHIO’S 88 COUNTIES
2023-2028

The latest sexennial reappraisal and triennial real estate tax update periods have been released for Ohio’s 88 counties from years 2023 through 2028.

2023 Reappraisal Counties

Auglaize
Clinton
Darke
Defiance
Delaware
Franklin
Gallia
Geauga
Hamilton
Hardin
Harrison
Henry
Jackson
Licking
Mahoning
Mercer
Morrow
Perry
Pickaway
Pike
Preble
Putnam
Richland
Seneca
Shelby
Trumbull
Vanwert
Wood

2024 Reappraisal Counties

Belmont
Brown
Crawford
Cuyahoga
Erie
Fayette
Highland
Huron
Jefferson
Lake
Lorain
Lucas
Morgan
Muskingum
Ottawa
Portage
Stark
Warren
Williams

2025 Reappraisal Counties

Carroll
Champaign
Clark
Fairfield
Logan
Marion
Medina
Miami
Ross
Union
Wyandot

2026 Reappraisal Counties

Ashland
Ashtabula
Athens
Butler
Clermont
Fulton
Greene
Knox
Madison
Montgomery
Noble
Summit
Wayne

2027 Reappraisal Counties

Allen
Coshocton
Guernsey
Sandusky
Vinton

2028 Reappraisal Counties

Adams
Columbiana
Hancock
Hocking
Holmes
Lawrence
Meigs
Monroe
Paulding
Scioto
Tuscarawas
Washington

2023 Update Counties

Ashland
Ashtabula
Athens
Butler
Clermont
Fulton
Greene
Knox
Madison
Montgomery
Noble
Summit
Wayne

2024 Update Counties

Allen
Coshocton
Guernsey
Sandusky
Vinton

2025 Update Counties

Adams
Columbiana
Hancock
Hocking
Holmes
Lawrence
Meigs
Monroe
Paulding
Scioto
Tuscarawas
Washington

2026 Update Counties

Auglaize
Clinton
Darke
Defiance
Delaware
Franklin
Gallia
Geauga
Hamilton
Hardin
Harrison
Henry
Jackson
Licking
Mahoning
Mercer
Morrow
Perry
Pickaway
Pike
Preble
Putnam
Richland
Seneca
Shelby
Trumbull
Vanwert
Wood

2027 Update Counties

Belmont
Brown
Crawford
Cuyahoga
Erie
Fayette
Highland
Huron
Jefferson
Lake
Lorain
Lucas
Morgan
Muskingum
Ottawa
Portage
Stark
Warren
Williams

2028 Update Counties

Carroll
Champaign
Clark
Fairfield
Logan
Marjon
Medina
Miami
Ross
Union
Wyandot

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Fraud Protection

Fraud protection is essential in the title industry. Fraudulent wiring instructions have caused dramatic financial losses for title agents, realtors, homeownership, and homebuyers.

We want to keep you safe.

What we know:

    • Changes to wire instructions are not normal
    • Lender payoffs are being manipulated
    • Large losses are occurring in the industry
    • Payoff instructions are not verified

Safety Measures:

    • Question every single change to wire instructions, change requests are not normal and probably fraudulent
    • Do not reply directly to emails requesting the movement of money
    • Instead, use the “forward” option and type in the correct email address or select it from your email address book
    • Validate new payment instructions received via email—even if it is internal
    • Always verify the authenticity of each wire transfer request
    • Call, using a number you have previously called—not one from the current wire transfer request—to verify verbally
    • Verify payment instructions with any new vendor
    • Verify changes to payment instructions for an existing vendor
    • Verify pay-off account numbers before wiring funds

How can you avoid fraud?

  • Establish a verification protocol
  • Enforce the protocol with all employees
  • Re-review on a regular basis
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
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Recording fees set to increase October 17, 2019

Effective October 17, 2019, recording fees for most documents will increase by $6 due to the passage of HB 166 by the Ohio Legislature.

The new recording fee will be $34 for the first two pages and $8 for each additional page. Half of all recording fees collected are required to be submitted to the state to the credit of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.

Ohio Revised Code 317.32 and 317.36

 

Sample Fee Chart

Number of Pages Fee*
1 page
2 pages
3 pages
4 pages
5 pages
6 pages
7 pages
8 pages
9 pages
10 pages
$34
$34
$42
$50
$58
$66
$74
$82
$90
$98
  • $4 marginal fees and standardization guidelines still apply.

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Interim Guidance for the Blue Water Navy Act of 2019

The following is excerpted from a notification from the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association.

VA Releases Circular 26-19-23 on August 12, 2019
Circular 26-19-23, interim guidance for the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. Some key provisions of the Act, effective with loans closed on or after (and not before) January 1, 2020, are:

Veterans with loans amounts over $144,000, with full entitlement, will not need a down payment regarldess of purchase price;

The guarantee for loans at $144,000 and less will not change;

For Veterans who have previously used entitlement that has not been restored, the maximum amount of guaranty is the lesser of 25 percent of the loan amount OR the maximum amount of guaranty entitlement available. The maximum amount of guaranty entitlement is 25 percent of the Freddie Mac Conforming Loan Limit, reduced by the amount of entitlement previously used (not restored). In other words, the loan amount without a down payment could be 4 times the remaining entitlement. 25% down payment would be required over and above that loan amount.

Funding Fees will be as follows for all veterans, regardless of whether Regular Military, Reservist, or National Guard:

Type of Loan Downpayment Percentage for First Time Use Percentage for First Time Use
Purchase and Construction Loans None
5% but less than 10%
10% or more
2.30%
1.65%
1.40%
3.60%
1.65%
1.40%
Cash-out Refinance Loans n/a 2.30% 3.60%
IRRRLS n/a 0.50% 0.50%
Loan Assumptions n/a 0.50% 0.50%

Purple Heart recipients will be exempt from paying the Funding Fee.

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Mortgage terms | the basics

 

Buying a home can be daunting with all of the jargon and terms. Here are five basic terms that will be helpful to you during your loan shopping and purchase.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) – The cost of all credit and finances as determined by the length of a year, including the interest rate, points, broker fees, and other credit charges obligated to the buyer.

CLOSING COSTS – Also referred to as transaction costs or settlement costs. These may include various fees and charges associated with finalization. Closing costs can relate to application fees, title examination, title insurance, property fees, settlement documents, and attorney charges.

DOWN PAYMENT – Just like purchasing a new car, the process typically involves a downpayment. Larger sums of money are involved with most mortgages. The downpayment is the amount paid by the homebuyer to make up for/lower the gap between the purchase price and mortgage amount. It is generally advised this amount be no less than 10% to 15%, with the average magic number being 20%, of the purchase price. Avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and lower interest rates are key goals in the downpayment process.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI) – when a homebuyer places less than 20% of a downpayment on their home purchase, PMI is typically required. This insurance protects the lender in the instance of possible loan default. PMI is an added expense tacked onto the monthly mortgage payment and can take years to pay down.

LOAN ESTIMATE (LE) – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, requires lenders to issue a Loan Estimate within three business days of the mortgage application. The Loan Estimate details the loan terms and also estimated closing costs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Moving checklist

Moving Checklist

You may not be able to move mountains, but you can plan an organized move with a little help from this step-by-step timeline.

By PETER LAMASTRO (as published in REAL Magazine)

Two Months Before

        • Sort and purge. Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of. Think about whether any items will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.
        • Research. Start investigating moving company options. Do not rely on a quote over the phone; request an on-site estimate. Get an estimate in writing from each company, and make sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it if you are moving to a different state. If you’re moving within a state, some states require a USDOT number, check here to see if your state does. You can also check with your state’s public utilities commission, moving association, or Better Business Bureau.
        • Create a moving binder. Use this binder to keep track of everything—all your estimates, your receipts, and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.
        • Organize school records. Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.
        • Six Weeks Before
        • Order supplies. Order boxes and other supplies such as tape, Bubble Wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.
        • Use it or lose it. Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.
        • Take measurements. Check room dimensions at your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door.

One Month Before

        • Choose your mover and confirm the arrangements. Select a company and get written confirmation of your moving date, costs, and other details.
        • Begin packing. Start packing the things that you use most infrequently, such as the waffle iron and croquet set. While packing, note items of special value that might require additional insurance from your moving company. Make sure to declare, in writing, any items valued over $100 per pound, such as a computer.
        • Label. Clearly label and number each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. This will help you to keep an inventory of your belongings. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.
        • Separate valuables. Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box. You’ll need it for reference on moving day.
        • Do a change of address. Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online at usps.gov. But in case there are stragglers, it’s always wise to ask a close neighbor to look out for mail after you’ve moved. Check-in with him or her two weeks after the move, and again two weeks after that.
        • Notify important parties. Alert the following of your move: banks, brokerage firms, your employer’s human resources department, magazine and newspapers you subscribe to, and credit card, insurance, and utility companies.
        • Forward medical records. Arrange for medical records to be sent to any new health-care providers or obtain copies of them yourself. Ask for referrals.

Two Weeks Before

        • Arrange to be off from work on date of closing and moving day. Notify your office that you plan to supervise the move and therefore need the day off.
        • Tune-up. Take your car to a garage, and ask the mechanic to consider what services might be needed if you’re moving to a new climate.
        • Clean out your safe-deposit box. If you’ll be changing banks, remove the contents of your safe-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.
        • Contact the moving company. Reconfirm the arrangements.
      • One Week Before
          • Refill prescriptions. Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.
          • Pack your suitcases. Aim to finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Then pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.

A Few Days Before

        • Defrost the freezer. If your refrigerator is moving with you, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day.
        • Double-check the details. Reconfirm the moving company’s arrival time and other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the staff. Include contact information, such as your cell phone number.
        • Plan for the payment. If you haven’t already arranged to pay your mover with a credit card, get a money order, cashier’s check, or cash for payment and tip. If the staff has done a good job, 10 to 15 percent of the total fee is a good tip. If your move was especially difficult, you might tip each mover up to $100. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.

Moving Day

        • Verify. Make sure that the moving truck that shows up is from the company you hired: The USDOT number painted on its side should match the number on the estimate you were given. Additionally, you can check if the moving truck has the company’s branding, or vehicle number that was listed in your confirmation. Scams are not unheard of.
        • Take inventory. Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.
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