Map Shows How it Really Costs to Own a Home in America

Ah yes, home ownership, that sparkling jewel of adulthood. Or, at least, it used to be. A new map from shows just how much money it costs on average to own a home in America, and there's good news and there's bad news.

The good news? Well, owning a home is still looking like a smart investment in many areas of America. However, it's becoming increasingly difficult for first-time owners looking to buy.

This map uses data from the National Association of Realtors using the most complete year available (2015). It compiled that information to find the median price of a single family home in different regions and cities in America. As you can guess, it varies widely depending on what part of the country you want to live in.

Across the board, a home in America costs $223,900. The Midwest is easily the most affordable area of the country, with averages coming in around $175,500. After that, Southerners enjoy the second least-expensive at $196,400. But living in the Northeast takes a much larger chunk of change ($262,500). And if you want to enjoy the beauty of the Golden Coast, get ready to pay for it. Owning a home out West, on average, costs $319,100.

Numbers a little difficult to grasp? Don't fret. also put together a helpful list of how much money you'd need to make every year to afford a home in different major metro areas.


No surprise here, but America's most expensive city also requires the biggest salary. San Francisco has an average house price of a whopping $781,600. That requires $147,996 a year to swing.

Though people tend to think of New York City as an expensive place, home ownership is comparatively affordable at a $86,770 salary. That's probably because most of the homes out there aren't in the heart of the city like they are in San Francisco.

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Think Detroit is still the cheapest place to own a home in America? Well, you're close. Pittsburgh is actually the place to be if you're looking to own on the cheap. The average home price in the steel city is $128,000, which requires $31,134 per year.

Texans fall in the middle, with the salary needed to own single family digs sitting around $50,000 per year. Houston edges out Dallas as the most expensive spot in the state.

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Map Shows How it Really Costs to Own a Home in America