When buying a home, making sure you can afford the purchase is the first hurdle to overcome, and that may be a lot easier to do, depending on where you live.
Moving to a less-expensive locale may make sense, especially for freelancers, telecommuters and independent contractors whose jobs allow them to reside almost anywhere. Those who need to live close to work or school may have little choice but to stay put and save up until they can make that down payment.
Still, if you're thinking of relocating — or curious about what kind of house you could afford on your salary if you lived in another city — a recent analysis by HSH.com shows how much pay or income you'll need to buy a house in 27 metro areas.
A median-priced home in Pittsburgh, for example, costs $128,000, about a sixth of what it costs in tony San Francisco. Pittsburgh residents need wages of just $31,134 to become homeowners, while those in San Francisconeed to earn nearly $150,000.
Once you've figured out where you want to live — and how much you'll need to earn to afford a house there, assuming you'll make a 20 percent down payment — follow these steps to help ensure your house hunt goes smoothly:
Happy house hunting!