Buying a House in San Francisco? Here's What Your Salary Should Be.

Categories: Real Estate
moneypit.jpg
Too much, too much, too much...
When queried by curious neighbors, family members, or solicitors how much they paid for their residence, every last recent San Francisco homebuyer has a built-in answer: Too much. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home price here is now $682,410. So, how much do you have to earn to pay too much? Answer: A lot. 

Exact answer: $115,510.06. The six cents is, apparently, important. 

That's the calculation reached by the website HSH.com, which tabulated the salary one must pull down in order to afford the median-priced home in 25 cities. 

Congratulations! You're gonna put 20 percent down. You're gonna have a "standard 28 percent 'front-end' debt ratio." And your salary will, in actuality, have to be much higher to pay taxes, furnish the place, and squander your remaining savings on food and heat. 

Oh, you're gonna pay too much. Here's how much of a salary it takes to afford a median-priced home in those 25 bergs: 

1.     Cleveland: $19,435.17
2.     Cincinnati: $22,226.95
3.     St. Louis: $22,397.54
4.     Atlanta: $24,390.94
5.     Tampa: $24,650.88
6.     Orlando: $28,298.47
7.     San Antonio: $29,305.47
8.     Dallas: $29,751.24
9.     Houston: $31,298.99
10.   Chicago: $32,388.90
11.   Phoenix: $32,811.94
12.   Minneapolis: $33,800.09
13.   Philadelphia: $36,836.47
14.   Baltimore: $41,155.40
15.   Sacramento: $42,832.20
16.   Miami: $43,918.66
17.   Portland, Ore.: $45,872.78
18.   Denver: $48,122.72
19.   Seattle: $59,129.86
20.   Washington, D.C.: $62,809.63
21.   Boston: $63,673.13
22.   New York City: $66,167.27
23.   Los Angeles: $72,126.90
24.   San Diego: $81,570.40
25.   San Francisco: $115,510.06

What's it all mean? It means that home ownership is elusive in San Francisco -- surprise, surprise, surprise. The median household income here is $73,802. So you'll have to earn nearly 160 percent of that just to really think about buying a middle-of-the-road home here -- and even more still to be able to afford to live in it. 

Alas. In San Francisco, you're never home-free. 



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28 comments
dna1x
dna1x

I can't wait to see you all back in Modesto, CA

Elizabeth Skow
Elizabeth Skow

I bought a house. But I'm 47 and I have 3 roomies. Still, with the price of rent, a house in the hood is actually cheaper. Even now.

Ned Ramsay
Ned Ramsay

Yeah but an average cost of 600k dollars, thats not at all bad, like 400k GBP. Leander way went for around that.

Denny Parker
Denny Parker

Doesn't work like that in the UK ned, usually you can borrow another 1/3 if your partner is on the same salary. Work that out.

Ned Ramsay
Ned Ramsay

That's quite reasonable compared to what I was expecting. Most people who buy have a partner. Split that down the middle and you have 60k each.

Teresa Callaghan
Teresa Callaghan

Dim sum for lunch , North Beach Italian for dinner and Oakland boutique brewed beer

Teresa Callaghan
Teresa Callaghan

SF sucks? Please tell me where you live that compares? Buried in snow? I'm sitting looking down at the SF Bay and the Bay bridge lights opening windows cause it's warm , din

ياسمن غفاری
ياسمن غفاری

It's actually probably more. You'd need that much left after taxes! SF isn't expensive coz its a desirable place to live, it sucks. It's just that space is limited and yuppies are artificially driving prices up.

Matt Dewalt
Matt Dewalt

The real question is, "Why are other American cities so undesirable to live in?"

Rita Haas
Rita Haas

Guess I won't be a homeowner in San Francisco ANYTIME soon.

Richard St.Clair
Richard St.Clair

Being an X Bay Area Native. I will never be able to move back. But its beautiful and fun to visit.

sfhrod
sfhrod topcommenter

I was born and raised here, and I really don't get it, maybe I see the city differently, maybe not. Don't get me wrong, SF is beautiful but there are plenty of other cities nationwide and the world that are just as spectacular. I just can't comprehend why of all places on planet Earth and the universe--soooo many people want to live in this small earthquake prone town with a fervor ...? 

Chris Charles
Chris Charles

If price is a consideration when buying a house, then one shouldn't even be looking in San Francisco.

John Turner
John Turner

Or is that your RENT in San Francisco ???

Mathew Ringhofer
Mathew Ringhofer

Idiotic... I would never own a home in SF..may rent here forever though...lol

Jp Pipkin
Jp Pipkin

But what a beautiful City to own property in or rent. It doesn't get much better where cities are concerned.

AJ McNichol III
AJ McNichol III

Mark Bentley Sandford Detroit is not even on the list. Detroit pays you to live in Detroit.

Emily Lopez
Emily Lopez

I think I might puke after reading this article.

hopelives
hopelives

And wouldn't it be nice if mom & dad voted to reform Prop 13, than at least our grandkids would have a fighting chance.

nooneuknow
nooneuknow

socal - half the price and much sunnier!

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

@sfhrod There's a lot of awesome cities in the world, but how many of them have such a low rate of unemployment?  That's the key difference here.

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