Have houses in the U.S. gotten too expensive? It depends. Financial website How Much used data from real-estate site Zillow to collect home prices for every state to find the minimum income needed to afford a place there and found that, in some areas, the income necessary is well below the national average.
Using a mortgage calculator, How Much calculated monthly payments, including the principal and the interest for an assumed home loan: "The interest rate varied from 4-to-5 percent in each state, depending on the market. The lower the rate, the lower the monthly payment. We assumed buyers could contribute a 10 percent down payment."
Based on that data, here are five states where you can afford a home while making an annual salary of around $40,000:
Minimum annual income: $38,320
Average home value: $149,5000
Minimum annual income: $38,400
Average home value: $149,900
Minimum annual income: $40,800
Average home value: $160,000
Minimum annual income: $41,040
Average home value: $161,000
Minimum annual income: $42,200
Average home value: $165,900
At the other extreme, "there are several pockets in which only the upper-middle class and above can afford to own even the average home, most notably across the West and in the Northeast, " How Much notes. In Hawaii, the median home value is $610,000. In California, it's $499,900.
"Our map creates a quick snapshot of housing across the United States, " writes How Much. Even though there are certain high-profile states where finding a home could be more difficult, "the best takeaway is that housing remains affordable in large swaths of the country."
If you're thinking of buying a home, check out these tips to get started.
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