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How Much of Your Salary You’ll Need To Spend To Afford a House Across America

Cameron Huddleston

If you’re thinking about buying a house this year, there is good news and bad news.

Mortgage rates are expected to remain low in 2020, according to forecasts by real estate marketplace Zillow. That’s good news for people who plan to borrow money to buy a house.

However, the bad news is that home prices will continue to rise — albeit, at a slower pace than last year, according to Zillow. That could make coming up with a 20% down payment on a home difficult for buyers, especially in expensive markets. And high home prices could put monthly mortgage payments out of reach for many — even though mortgage interest rates are low.

The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on housing. Families who spend more than that are considered cost-burdened and may have trouble paying for other necessities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sticking to that rule of thumb, though, can be a challenge in some parts of the country where home prices are high and median household incomes aren’t quite high enough to make the math work, according to a new GOBankingRates study.

GOBankingRates found what percentage of income would go toward paying a mortgage in each state using the following data:

  • The median home value in each state, according to Zillow’s October 2019 housing data
  • The median property tax rate in each state, according to Tax-Rates.org
  • The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Median monthly and annual household income in each state, according to the Census Bureau

Zillow’s mortgage calculator was used to estimate monthly mortgage payments for each state based on median home values, tax rates and a 20% down payment. Then GOBankingRates calculated what percentage of the median household income that the estimated mortgage payments would be and ranked the states from lowest to highest percentage.

GOBankingRates also calculated the salary needed to afford a home using the mortgage payment estimate and the annual cost of necessities based on data from the Census Bureau and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. That number was doubled to find the annual salary needed in every state to satisfy the 50/30/20 rule, which recommends that necessities make up 50% of a household budget.

The study found that, for the most part, a smaller salary is needed to afford a home in the South and Midwest. States in the West and Northeast tend to require higher salaries because home prices are higher. And there are some places where you won’t be able to afford a home unless you earn more than the median income.

Last updated: Jan. 15, 2020

West Virginia

  • Median home value: $99,700
  • 20% down payment: $19,940
  • Median property tax rate: 0.49%
  • Median annual mortgage: $4,908
  • Median annual household income: $44,097
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $21,231.65
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $42,463.30
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $3,539

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 11.13%

Oklahoma

  • Median home value: $125,800
  • 20% down payment: $25,160
  • Median property tax rate: 0.74%
  • Median annual mortgage: $6,516
  • Median annual household income: $51,924
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $23,815.65
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $47,631.29
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $3,969

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 12.55%

Alabama

  • Median home value: $135,500
  • 20% down payment: $27,100
  • Median property tax rate: 0.33%
  • Median annual mortgage: $6,456
  • Median annual household income: $49,861
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $23,944.24
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $47,888.48
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $3,991

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 12.95%

Arkansas

  • Median home value: $129,800
  • 20% down payment: $25,960
  • Median property tax rate: 0.52%
  • Median annual mortgage: $6,432
  • Median annual household income: $47,062
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $22,584.54
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $45,169.08
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $3,764

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 13.67%

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Kansas

  • Median home value: $141,500
  • 20% down payment: $28,300
  • Median property tax rate: 1.29%
  • Median annual mortgage: $8,100
  • Median annual household income: $58,218
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $25,868.10
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $51,736.19
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,311

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 13.91%

Iowa

  • Median home value: $146,900
  • 20% down payment: $29,380
  • Median property tax rate: 1.29%
  • Median annual mortgage: $8,412
  • Median annual household income: $59,955
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $26,714.38
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $53,428.75
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,452

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 14.03%

Indiana

  • Median home value: $148,500
  • 20% down payment: $29,700
  • Median property tax rate: 0.85%
  • Median annual mortgage: $7,848
  • Median annual household income: $55,746
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $25,810.79
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $51,621.58
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,302

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 14.08%

Louisiana

  • Median home value: $147,900
  • 20% down payment: $29,580
  • Median property tax rate: 0.18%
  • Median annual mortgage: $6,828
  • Median annual household income: $47,905
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $24,557.95
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $49,115.89
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,093

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 14.25%

Mississippi

  • Median home value: $129,700
  • 20% down payment: $25,940
  • Median property tax rate: 0.52%
  • Median annual mortgage: $6,432
  • Median annual household income: $44,717
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $23,315.42
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $46,630.85
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $3,886

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 14.38%

Ohio

  • Median home value: $143,300
  • 20% down payment: $28,660
  • Median property tax rate: 1.36%
  • Median annual mortgage: $8,304
  • Median annual household income: $56,111
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $26,298.48
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $52,596.95
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,383

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 14.80%

Kentucky

  • Median home value: $149,300
  • 20% down payment: $29,860
  • Median property tax rate: 0.72%
  • Median annual mortgage: $7,692
  • Median annual household income: $50,247
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $25,152.73
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $50,305.46
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,192

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 15.31%

Missouri

  • Median home value: $163,700
  • 20% down payment: $32,740
  • Median property tax rate: 0.91%
  • Median annual mortgage: $8,748
  • Median annual household income: $54,478
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $26,770.96
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $53,541.92
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,462

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 16.06%

South Carolina

  • Median home value: $171,800
  • 20% down payment: $34,360
  • Median property tax rate: 0.50%
  • Median annual mortgage: $8,484
  • Median annual household income: $52,306
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $26,511.55
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $53,023.11
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,419

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 16.22%

Michigan

  • Median home value: $154,700
  • 20% down payment: $30,940
  • Median property tax rate: 1.62%
  • Median annual mortgage: $9,372
  • Median annual household income: $56,697
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $27,266.08
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $54,532.17
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,544

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 16.53%

Tennessee

  • Median home value: $172,000
  • 20% down payment: $34,400
  • Median property tax rate: 0.68%
  • Median annual mortgage: $8,796
  • Median annual household income: $52,375
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $25,511.50
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $51,023.00
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,252

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 16.79%

Pennsylvania

  • Median home value: $177,500
  • 20% down payment: $35,500
  • Median property tax rate: 1.35%
  • Median annual mortgage: $10,272
  • Median annual household income: $60,905
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $29,443.59
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $58,887.18
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,907

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 16.87%

Illinois

  • Median home value: $184,000
  • 20% down payment: $36,800
  • Median property tax rate: 1.73%
  • Median annual mortgage: $11,340
  • Median annual household income: $65,030
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $30,205.04
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $60,410.07
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,034

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 17.44%

Georgia

  • Median home value: $195,500
  • 20% down payment: $39,100
  • Median property tax rate: 0.83%
  • Median annual mortgage: $10,296
  • Median annual household income: $58,756
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $27,967.34
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $55,934.67
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,661

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 17.52%

Nebraska

  • Median home value: $170,100
  • 20% down payment: $34,020
  • Median property tax rate: 1.76%
  • Median annual mortgage: $10,536
  • Median annual household income: $59,566
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $28,199.42
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $56,398.83
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,700

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 17.69%

Delaware

  • Median home value: $237,200
  • 20% down payment: $47,440
  • Median property tax rate: 0.43%
  • Median annual mortgage: $11,544
  • Median annual household income: $64,805
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $30,847.85
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $61,695.70
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,141

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 17.81%

North Carolina

  • Median home value: $191,400
  • 20% down payment: $38,280
  • Median property tax rate: 0.78%
  • Median annual mortgage: $9,984
  • Median annual household income: $53,855
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $28,434.47
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $56,868.95
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,739

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 18.54%

Maryland

  • Median home value: $292,300
  • 20% down payment: $58,460
  • Median property tax rate: 0.87%
  • Median annual mortgage: $15,504
  • Median annual household income: $83,242
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $34,806.30
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $69,612.60
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,801

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 18.63%

Minnesota

  • Median home value: $240,800
  • 20% down payment: $48,160
  • Median property tax rate: 1.05%
  • Median annual mortgage: $13,212
  • Median annual household income: $70,315
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $32,350.87
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $64,701.75
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,392

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 18.79%

Virginia

  • Median home value: $266,300
  • 20% down payment: $53,260
  • Median property tax rate: 0.74%
  • Median annual mortgage: $13,776
  • Median annual household income: $72,577
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $31,447.30
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $62,894.60
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,241

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 18.98%

North Dakota

  • Median home value: $209,600
  • 20% down payment: $41,920
  • Median property tax rate: 1.42%
  • Median annual mortgage: $12,276
  • Median annual household income: $63,837
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $31,453.56
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $62,907.12
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,242

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 19.23%

Wyoming

  • Median home value: $237,100
  • 20% down payment: $47,420
  • Median property tax rate: 0.58%
  • Median annual mortgage: $11,892
  • Median annual household income: $61,584
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $29,535.88
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $59,071.76
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,923

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 19.31%

Connecticut

  • Median home value: $245,000
  • 20% down payment: $49,000
  • Median property tax rate: 1.63%
  • Median annual mortgage: $14,856
  • Median annual household income: $76,348
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $36,126.91
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $72,253.83
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,021

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 19.46%

Wisconsin

  • Median home value: $192,900
  • 20% down payment: $38,580
  • Median property tax rate: 1.76%
  • Median annual mortgage: $11,952
  • Median annual household income: $60,773
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $30,782.02
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $61,564.04
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,130

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 19.67%

South Dakota

  • Median home value: $195,700
  • 20% down payment: $39,140
  • Median property tax rate: 1.28%
  • Median annual mortgage: $11,184
  • Median annual household income: $56,274
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $29,031.92
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $58,063.84
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,839

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 19.87%

Texas

  • Median home value: $200,100
  • 20% down payment: $40,020
  • Median property tax rate: 1.81%
  • Median annual mortgage: $12,492
  • Median annual household income: $60,629
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $30,023.90
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $60,047.79
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,004

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 20.60%

New Mexico

  • Median home value: $196,300
  • 20% down payment: $39,260
  • Median property tax rate: 0.55%
  • Median annual mortgage: $9,780
  • Median annual household income: $47,169
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $27,481.60
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $54,963.21
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $4,580

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 20.73%

Vermont

  • Median home value: $210,700
  • 20% down payment: $42,140
  • Median property tax rate: 1.59%
  • Median annual mortgage: $12,696
  • Median annual household income: $60,782
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $33,082.33
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $66,164.66
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,514

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 20.89%

Arizona

  • Median home value: $258,700
  • 20% down payment: $51,740
  • Median property tax rate: 0.72%
  • Median annual mortgage: $13,332
  • Median annual household income: $59,246
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $32,034.18
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $64,068.36
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,339

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 22.50%

Montana

  • Median home value: $241,700
  • 20% down payment: $48,340
  • Median property tax rate: 0.83%
  • Median annual mortgage: $12,720
  • Median annual household income: $55,328
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $30,077.26
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $60,154.52
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,013

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 22.99%

Florida

  • Median home value: $238,600
  • 20% down payment: $47,720
  • Median property tax rate: 0.97%
  • Median annual mortgage: $12,900
  • Median annual household income: $55,462
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $31,386.49
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $62,772.97
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,231

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 23.26%

Maine

  • Median home value: $237,100
  • 20% down payment: $47,420
  • Median property tax rate: 1.09%
  • Median annual mortgage: $13,104
  • Median annual household income: $55,602
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $33,036.70
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $66,073.41
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,506

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 23.57%

New Hampshire

  • Median home value: $281,600
  • 20% down payment: $56,320
  • Median property tax rate: 1.86%
  • Median annual mortgage: $17,724
  • Median annual household income: $74,991
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $37,820.90
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $75,641.81
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,303

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 23.63%

Alaska

  • Median home value: $326,300
  • 20% down payment: $65,260
  • Median property tax rate: 1.04%
  • Median annual mortgage: $17,868
  • Median annual household income: $74,346
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $43,261.51
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $86,523.01
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $7,210

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 24.03%

Utah

  • Median home value: $348,000
  • 20% down payment: $69,600
  • Median property tax rate: 0.60%
  • Median annual mortgage: $17,520
  • Median annual household income: $71,414
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $35,482.96
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $70,965.92
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,914

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 24.53%

Idaho

  • Median home value: $275,100
  • 20% down payment: $55,020
  • Median property tax rate: 0.69%
  • Median annual mortgage: $14,100
  • Median annual household income: $55,583
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $31,648.82
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $63,297.64
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,275

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 25.37%

New Jersey

  • Median home value: $330,000
  • 20% down payment: $66,000
  • Median property tax rate: 1.89%
  • Median annual mortgage: $20,868
  • Median annual household income: $81,740
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $40,338.95
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $80,677.89
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,723

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 25.53%

New York

  • Median home value: $305,800
  • 20% down payment: $61,160
  • Median property tax rate: 1.23%
  • Median annual mortgage: $17,328
  • Median annual household income: $67,844
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $36,749.45
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $73,498.90
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,125

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 25.54%

Rhode Island

  • Median home value: $285,500
  • 20% down payment: $57,100
  • Median property tax rate: 1.35%
  • Median annual mortgage: $16,512
  • Median annual household income: $64,340
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $36,968.50
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $73,937.00
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,161

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 25.66%

Nevada

  • Median home value: $292,900
  • 20% down payment: $58,580
  • Median property tax rate: 0.84%
  • Median annual mortgage: $15,456
  • Median annual household income: $58,646
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $34,198.89
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $68,397.77
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $5,700

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 26.35%

Colorado

  • Median home value: $385,200
  • 20% down payment: $77,040
  • Median property tax rate: 0.60%
  • Median annual mortgage: $19,392
  • Median annual household income: $71,953
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $37,308.44
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $74,616.88
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,218

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 26.95%

Massachusetts

  • Median home value: $410,200
  • 20% down payment: $82,040
  • Median property tax rate: 1.04%
  • Median annual mortgage: $22,464
  • Median annual household income: $79,835
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $43,242.98
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $86,485.95
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $7,207

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 28.14%

Washington

  • Median home value: $395,500
  • 20% down payment: $79,100
  • Median property tax rate: 0.92%
  • Median annual mortgage: $21,180
  • Median annual household income: $74,073
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $41,291.17
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $82,582.35
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,882

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 28.59%

Oregon

  • Median home value: $351,700
  • 20% down payment: $70,340
  • Median property tax rate: 0.87%
  • Median annual mortgage: $18,660
  • Median annual household income: $63,426
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $39,280.69
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $78,561.37
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $6,547

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 29.42%

Hawaii

  • Median home value: $622,700
  • 20% down payment: $124,540
  • Median property tax rate: 0.26%
  • Median annual mortgage: $29,232
  • Median annual household income: $80,212
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $56,626.94
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $113,253.88
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $9,438

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 36.44%

California

  • Median home value: $552,100
  • 20% down payment: $110,420
  • Median property tax rate: 0.74%
  • Median annual mortgage: $28,572
  • Median annual household income: $75,277
  • Annual necessary expenditures: $50,637.65
  • Salary needed to afford a home: $101,275.29
  • Monthly income needed to afford a home: $8,440

Mortgage as a percentage of income: 37.96%

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates used Zillow’s mortgage calculator to create (1) estimated monthly and annual mortgage payments for each state based on: (2) the state’s median home value according to Zillow’s October 2019 housing data, (3) each state’s median property tax rate according to Tax-Rates.org, (4) a 20% down payment estimate and (5) the national average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate as of Dec. 12, 2019, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. GOBankingRates then compiled information on (6) each state’s median monthly and annual household income according to the 2018 American Community Survey. This allowed (7) the percent of total household income that the median mortgage would cost in each state to be calculated. States were then ranked according to factor No. 7, with No. 1 being the state where the median annual mortgage is smallest in proportion to the median annual household income.

Information on the necessary annual salary to cover necessities according to the 50/30/20 rule is provided as supplemental data. GOBankingRates found the average annual cost of necessities (including groceries, utilities, transportation and healthcare) in the U.S. from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and adjusted these estimates to the state level by multiplying each figure by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s third quarter 2019 cost-of-living indices for each category in each state. GOBankingRates then added the annual mortgage estimate to find the total expected annual cost of necessities in every state, and doubled this number to find the annual salary one would need in every state to satisfy the 50/30/20 rule, which recommends that necessities comprise 50% of one’s total budget.

All data was compiled on and is up-to-date as of Dec. 17, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Much of Your Salary You’ll Need To Spend To Afford a House Across America