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Finding Affordable Homes in Big Cities

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The mortgage rates and median home prices in 25 of the country's largest metro areas were, researched by, and they determined the salaries needed to cover the principal and interest payments on the average home. used the "National Association of Realtor"' fourth-quarter data for median home prices, and their own fourth-quarter average interest rate for 30-year fixed- rate mortgages, to determine how much money home buyers needed to earn. Property taxes, insurance, and other expenses did not factor in the calculation.

San Francisco ranked No. 1 on the list (with No. 25 as the highest salary), requiring the highest salary -- $115,510.06 -- to buy a house, according to the research.

The median home price in the D.C. area is $368,000, according to the website.

  • Cleveland: $19,435.17
  • Cincinnati: $22,226.95
  • St. Louis: $22,397.54
  • Atlanta: $24,390.94
  • Tampa: $24,650.88
  • Orlando: $28,298.47
  • San Antonio: $29,305.47
  • Dallas: $29,751.24
  • Houston: $31,298.99
  • Chicago: $32,388.90
  • Phoenix: $32,811.94
  • Minneapolis: $33,800.09
  • Philadelphia: $36,836.47
  • Baltimore: $41,155.40
  • Sacramento: $42,832.20
  • Miami: $43,918.66
  • Portland, Ore.: $45,872.78
  • Denver: $48,122.72
  • Seattle: $59,129.86
  • Washington, D.C.: $62,809.63
  • Boston: $63,673.13
  • New York City: $66,167.27
  • Los Angeles: $72,126.90
  • San Diego: $81,570.40
  • San Francisco: $115,510.06

Being that the average working earning $20 hr. only takes home around $40,000 annually; most of the salaries listed puts the cost of living into perspective, for people earning $13 hourly or less, in these cities." provides a tool you can use to calculate the equivalent annual salary based on your hourly wage. You can factor in paid vacation time and holidays to figure out the total number of working days in a year. The salary calculator will also give you information on your daily, weekly, and monthly earnings. Remember that a full salary with benefits can include health insurance and retirement benefits that add more value to your total annual salary compared to similar hourly rates. You may also want to factor in overtime pay and the effects of any income taxes on your take home pay.”

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