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The Biggest Cities With the Cheapest Homes



Housing affordability is a major concern, but that doesn’t mean home ownership is out of reach. From Chicago to Dallas, the salary required to afford a home might be less than you’d expect.

Here are the top 10 big cities with affordable homes.

10. Phoenix, Arizona

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 8.3 years

Salary needed: $60,256

Median income: $55,260

Monthly payments: $1,506

Median home value: $229,992

Phoenix may be at the bottom of this list, but remember it’s still a Top 10 — not to mention it averages the most annual days of sunshine in the U.S. and has over 200 golf courses. Did someone say “retirement”?

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9. Nashville, Tennessee

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 8.0 years

Salary needed: $62,309

Median income: $59,245

Monthly payments: $1,558

Median home value: $237,831

One of three state capitals on the list, Nashville is also the capital of country music.

8. Tampa, Florida

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 7.0 years

Salary needed: $43,978

Median income: $48,248

Monthly payments: $1,099

Median home value: $167,862

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area offers the subtropical beach life without the bustle — or prices —of South Florida.

7. Atlanta, Georgia

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 6.7 years

Salary needed: $52,770

Median income: $60,147

Monthly payments: $1,319

Median home value: $201,421

Atlanta plays host to some major American corporations and not surprisingly has one of the highest rates of job growth in the country.

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 6.5 years

Salary needed: $56,655

Median income: $66,257

Monthly payments: $1,416

Median home value: $216,250

Full of history and some very happy football fans, the “city of brotherly love” has a lot to offer — including homes you can actually afford.

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5. Chicago, Illinois

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 6.9 years

Salary needed: $58,214

Median income: $64,430 

Monthly payments: $1,455

Median home value: $222,198

The Windy City has a lot to offer, with decent home prices being no exception. Even in Chicago city proper, the median-priced home is right on par with the median income. That’s not true for many metros.

4. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 7.0 years

Salary needed: $65,522

Median income: $71,597

Monthly payments: $1,638

Median home value: $250,095

The Minneapolis metro is really two cities for the price of half of one.

3. Dallas, Texas

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 6.3 years

Salary needed: $51,995 

Median income: $63,380

Monthly payments: $1,300

Median home value: $198,460

Apparently not everything is bigger in Texas — not price tags. Despite being the fourth-most populous metro in the U.S., it ranks third on the list for affordable homes.

2. Kansas City, Missouri

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 5.2 years

Salary needed: $40,869

Median income: $60,098

Monthly payments: $1,022

Median home value: $155,995

Kansas City has grown up a lot in the past decade, but housing remains affordable even among high demand. That won’t last forever, but for now the metro ranks second on the list.

1. Detroit, Michigan

Time to save for a 10% down payment: 5.1 years

Salary needed: $35,909

Median income: $53,992

Monthly payments: $898

Median home value: $137,062

Detroit might be the least surprising metro on the list — it was among the most devastated by the recession and is still on its way back up. But the key here is that Detroit is on the rise, and still quite affordable.

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