Where does your state stack up?
If you've ever wondered the salary you'd need to afford a home as you casually browse through local real estate listings, you're not alone. If you've ever taken the time to calculate it, you're a math superhuman — and we commend your efforts.
Now, HowMuch.net, a data visualization site for understanding money, has done the superhuman grunt work for us to determine the annual salary needed to afford the average home in every state in America. Crunching numbers based on a 30-year mortgage with a 10% down payment, HowMuch.net collected average home prices for every state from Zillow and plugged them into a mortgage calculator to calculate monthly payments. For the endeavor, they used the typical financial investor reccomendation that the total cost of housing should be no more than 30% of gross income (for more on the nitty gritty of their data calculations, click here).
Out of the top five places where you'd require the lowest salary to afford your state's average home, three Southern states made the list: West Virginia came in first place as the lowest salary in the country, with a minimum salary requirement of $38,320 for a house worth $149,500; Arkansas came in fourth with a minimum salary requirement of $41,040 for a house worth $161,000; Missouri came in in fifth with a $42,200 minimum salary requirement for a house worth $165,900.
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Here's a list of the minimum salary required to afford the average home in every Southern state:
North Carolina: $63,840
South Carolina: $58,840
West Virginia: $38,320
Of course, in-demand cities and affluent ZIP codes can throw off the affordability factor for any given state. "The best takeaway from our map is that housing remains affordable in large swaths of the country, even though there will always be places like California and New York where there is simply too much demand for the available inventory," as the folks at HowMuch.net put it. "Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that buying a home is suddenly out of reach for average Americans in Ohio or Mississippi, for example."