Where Buyers Are Stretching Their Budgets Most

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When calculating how much house you can comfortably afford, there are a few commonly cited rules that can be used. Among them, the one that says your home’s price shouldn’t be more than three times your annual income is popular. Of course, there are many other factors that play a role, including the amount of debt you have, your retirement goals, other expenses, etc. However, as a simple rule, it can be a good way to quickly come up with a ballpark price range before you work out the fine details. Using a variation on this rule, a recent study took data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and looked at the median amount home buyers borrowed and compared it to borrowers’ median income to calculate how and where buyers were pushing their financial limits to purchase a house. The results, in all but a few cases, weren’t that surprising. That’s because the cities where home buyers had to stretch the most were mostly out West, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle. However, though rust-belt metros like Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo were the least leveraged, the middle of the pack included places like Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston, which might not be the first places thought of when listing affordable areas to buy a house. More here.

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