There are a lot of things standing in the way for first-time homebuyers, including just figuring out what you're supposed to be doing, whether a house is even something you can afford, and -- worse yet -- the best pace you should move to before it gets too popular. It's intimidating.
Cost information website HowMuch.net has endeavored to illuminate a little bit of that dilemma. It has compiled data to offer what it believes is the income required to purchase an average-priced home in every state. Take it with a grain of salt because a lot of variables go into making this kind of information.
Here's the methodology. HowMuch.net pulled median home prices for every state from the real estate listing site Zillow. It then put that information through a mortgage calculator to determine monthly payments, with an interest rate varying from 4 to 5% depending on the state's market and a down payment of 10%. Since many financial advisors recommend housing costs eat up a maximum of 30% of your gross income, HowMuch.net used that as a benchmark to calculate the minimum salary needed to afford the average home in each state.
Of course, there are a lot of variables at play, including that a state is made up of a bunch of cities that can have wildly different markets. For instance, New York state's average here is $91,720 but that's probably far below what you'll need in New York City and much higher than you'll find outside of the state's larger cities. Additionally, homeowners could certainly spend more than 30% of their gross income on a home.