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- Nearly every US county is less affordable today than its historical average, according to Attom.
- There are places where a typical wage earner still won’t bust his housing budget, however.
- Here are five counties where homeowners should have plenty of money to live on, after housing.
Homeownership is not impossible everywhere.
Despite the fact that median-priced homes in 99% of US counties are now less affordable than their historical averages, there are some beautiful places in the northern part of the country where just 15% of a typical income is needed for housing payments, according to a new report from housing data company Attom.
If you’re planning on moving to these counties you’ll be surrounded by nature: from the lakes, rivers and streams of upstate New York to the forests and parks of Illinois. But you’ll definitely have to buy a good winter coat — temperatures in all five of these counties drop below freezing between December and March.
Still, these Attom findings are refreshing at a time when homeownership can feel impossible due to high prices and mortgage rates. The affordability crisis is especially severe in places like luxe Marin County, California, where the typical home payment takes nearly 110% of annualized weekly wages, and tropical Maui County, Hawaii, where the typical worker would need to put 104% of their income to housing costs, the data show.
Those numbers are staggering against recommendations cited by Insider’s personal finance team. Its research suggests that people should spend no more than 30% of their salaries on housing costs.
But for those that live and work in places like Canton, a college town in upstate New York, or Pottsville, in Pennsylvania’s coal region, owning a home at a reasonable cost should be within reach.
5. Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Percent of wages needed to afford a home: 14.1%
Typical annual wage: $44,746
Typical mortgage payment per month: $525
4. St. Lawrence County, New York
Percent of wages needed to afford a home: 13.6%
Typical annual wage: $55,172
Typical mortgage payment per month: $623
3. Peoria County, Illinois
Percent of wages needed to afford a home: 13.5%
Typical annual wage: $69,238
Typical mortgage payment per month: $780
2. Schuylkill County Pennsylvania
Percent of wages needed to afford a home: 12.8%
Typical annual wage: $50,336
Typical mortgage payment per month: $536
1. Macon County, Illinois
Percent of wages needed to afford a home: 12%
Typical annual wage: $62,686
Typical mortgage payment per month: $625