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The Salary You Need to Buy a Home in Most Major Cities

Buying a new home is exciting, but it can be difficult to determine how much you can afford to spend, or, whether or not you can afford to buy at all. Through analyzing how much it would cost to pay a median-priced home's mortgage principal, taxes, and insurance, the mortgage website HSH.com has determined how much a family would have to earn to afford to buy a home in many major US cities.

Buying a new home is exciting, but it can be difficult to determine how much you can afford to spend, or, whether or not you can afford to buy at all. Through analyzing how much it would cost to pay a median-priced home’s mortgage principal, taxes, and insurance, the mortgage website HSH.com has determined how much a family would have to earn to afford to buy a home in many major US cities.

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(Photo Credit: caswell_tom/Flickr)

Here are the figures for the five priciest cities:

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1. San Francisco, California.

Salary needed to buy: $145,361

Median home price: $744,400

Although San Francisco experienced the largest quarterly decline in the required salary, it remains the most expensive city for homeownership in the US.

2. San Diego, California.

Salary needed to buy: $101,683

Median home price: $517,800

The second most expensive metro area in California, and the country, is San Diego. Gains in home prices led to an increase in the salary needed for home buyers of almost $1600 this year.

3. Los Angeles, California.

Salary needed to buy: $96,514

Median home price: $481,900

Yet another California city falls in the top three most expensive metro areas for purchasing a home this year. Los Angeles saw a huge price increase last year and the largest quarterly gain of all of the 27 metro areas on the list.

4. New York, New York.

Salary needed to buy: $92,271

Median home price: $410,800

New York City had the third-highest required-salary increase, with the impact of a 3.5 percent increase in prices counteracting a small decline in the average interest rate.

5. Boston, Massachusetts.

Salary needed to buy: $84,476

Median home price: $399,900

Boston rounds out the top five, although it remained stable in terms of affordability. A sharp decline in the required salary in the D.C. metro area pushed Boston higher on the list this year.

Click here to see the complete list, which covers 27 metro areas in total.

Contemplating a move for work? Here’s how to figure out how far your new salary will take you.

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