Could You Afford to Own a Home in These 5 U.S. Cities?

Could You Afford to Own a Home in These 5 U.S. Cities?
Written by Wendy Dessler

Read on for city living tips and affordability.

Your cost of living in the United States will vary greatly depending on your location. Usually, the cost of housing is the most indicative factor to the affordability of a city. While some regions are still reeling from the pain of the financial crisis, others are approaching what some economists consider to be housing bubbles.

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Here’s how affordable it is to own a home in five major U.S. cities, respectively.

Seattle, WA

There’s no denying that Seattle is one of the hottest housing markets in the U.S. right now (even with the rainy winters). In fact, no other major city is seeing home prices rise faster than Seattle. According to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Seattle’s home prices have been rising over 10 percent per year of the past five years.

The Seattle Times reported the average starter home in Seattle will cost its typical buyer half of their income. That’s twice as much as the oft-recommended figure of limiting your mortgage payments to 25 percent of your after-tax income. With a median home price of well over $700,000, and rising, make sure you’ve done some personal accounting before moving your family to Seattle.

San Francisco, CA

Of all major U.S. cities, San Francisco is probably the poster child for skyrocketing home prices. It’s no surprise, considering the Bay Area is a magnet for startup and tech talent. According to Paragon Real Estate Group, the median home price in San Francisco at the end of the first half of 2017 was $1.4 million. That number stands out even more when you compare it to the median home price across the entire U.S., which Zillow pegs at $259,000. Despite its charms, San Francisco probably isn’t somewhere you should consider for your next home unless you have a really solid stream of income.

New York, NY

The Big Apple has traditionally been considered one of the priciest cities on the planet. And a large reason for that has to do with exorbitant housing prices, especially in Manhattan, where the median home price is currently over $1.7 million.  

That shocking sticker price doesn’t include a variety of extra, often overlooked expenses, such as homeowners insurance, maintenance fees and property taxes. It’s crucial to factor all of these costs into your budget before making the decision to move somewhere.

Chicago, IL

Far from either coast, Chicago might not have the inherent appeal of a location like New York or San Francisco, but it also doesn’t come with the high price. The median home price in Chicago right now is $299,900–well below the aforementioned cities, yet still noticeably higher than the median price for the entire U.S. This is certainly one of the more affordable big city real estate markets for the average American.

Detroit, MI

Once known as Motor City, Detroit now carries a reputation of being a place that progress left behind. Although the greater Detroit area has recovered some since taking a dramatic tumble, the median listing price is still under $200,000. If you can handle a little bit of uncertainty, or if you can work from anywhere, you can get a lot of house for your money in Detroit.

When making a massive financial decision such as buying a home, make sure you’ve done your research. It’s essential to not only know you’re getting a fair deal on your new home, but that it’s at a price you can truly afford.

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers  of Self-Acceptance,  Appreciation, and Personal  Achievement.  We ask that every contributor and expert answer    the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the  current article they have written.  In that way, and as a team, we hope to  encourage  and motivate  each other, thus inspiring  you to Get All A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally?  Additionally, what are you  still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

The challenging life of Entrepreneurship

2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally?  On the other hand  OR in contrast,  are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on  appreciating?

I appreciate my work and the opportunity to collaborate with others.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us  not only  what makes YOU most proud  but also  share the  goals and dreams that you still have.

Building my own career.

4.  Of course, we  all have imperfections,  or  so we think.  In truth,  we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways?  Likewise,  what imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

My laugh is one of a kind.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to  appreciate and express  all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU!  In fact, sharing  what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!)  Therefore,  Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my career and my life.



Photo by Hernan Lucio on Unsplash

About the author

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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