By David Widner
If you’re in the market for a house but aren’t sure if your current salary would help you qualify for a home loan, living in the Buckeye State is a distinct advantage.
HSH.com, a mortgage research and tools website, recently identified the salary required to pay the loan principal and interest for a median-priced home in the top 25 U.S. metro areas as of the 4th quarter of 2013. Leading the list for lowest salary required were two Ohio cities: Cleveland, which requires an annual salary of less than $20,000; and Cincinnati, where the salary requirement is just over $22,000.
In Cleveland, the salary amount actually decreased by approximately $2,900 compared with the previous quarter. The median home price there is about $113,000, which reflects an 11 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2013 but a 0.1 percent increase year-over-year.
Similarly, Cincinnati experienced a quarterly decrease in required salary of $2,900 and in the median home price of just under 10 percent, but year-over-year that price has risen by 2 percent.
Ranking No. 3 on the list is another Midwest city, St. Louis. Though the median home price there has declined by more than 9 percent from Q3 of 2013, the year-over-year increase has been more than 11 percent.
In all three cities, the required monthly payments on the median home price were approximately $520, with mortgage rates ranging between 4.4 and 4.5 percent.
Some of the other cities on the salary-requirement list may surprise you. No. 4 Atlanta, home to Fortune 500 companies and the transportation hub for the Southeast, requires a salary of less than $25,000 and a monthly payment of about $570. Year-over-year, the median price has rebounded by 33 percent.
What’s more, the three largest cities in Texas – Houston, San Antonio and Dallas – all made the top 10. Each of them required an annual salary of less than $30,000 and monthly home payments of less than $750.