How Much Money Do You Have to Earn to Buy a Home?

Big news guys: I’m meeting with a realtor tomorrow! OK, it’s very, very, very preliminary, but I’m happy that I’m being proactive about it—and there’s the added bonus of crossing something off my 2014 To-Do List. Basically I just want to figure out if it’s feasible for me to even be thinking about buying a condo or if I should scrape together ever penny for the next year and try again then. Is it a good time to buy? How much do I have to put down exactly? Why are HOA fees so friggin’ much?

I hope she’s ready for those questions and about a million more. Poor woman. But in doing some background research to prepare, I ran across this new Business Insider article about how much money you have to earn to buy a home in 25 different US cities. Here’s Chicago’s numbers:

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 5.56.31 PMI don’t know about you, but this seems extremely low. Then again, I live in a relatively clean, violence-free and accessible part of the city, and that’s generally where I’ve been stalking places on Zillow too. We’ll see what the realtor has to say. A 2BD/2BA for $187K? I could do that—but I doubt she could.

See the dets for other cities here.

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House Tour: Apartment Therapy-Style

A few months ago now, I posted a teaser pic of an apartment in Edgewater. I couldn’t explain any more than that at the time because… I was trying out to be a House Tour Contributor for Apartment Therapy! Well, sadly that didn’t pan out—I never actually heard anything back!—but why let the pictures (interiors photography is much harder than you’d think, especially on a cloudy day!), words and inspiration go to waste? Enjoy—and click through to the jump for more pics and a resource list!

Name: Tom Matthews, a children’s respiratory therapist, his boyfriend Chris Lalamay, a printmaker-turned-marketing exec, and their dog Kota
Location: Edgewater, Chicago
Size: 1,265 square feet
Years lived in: 14 months; owned

Green. Sure, it’s a great color—the Color of the Year even—but for every single wall in an apartment? That’s another story. But that’s exactly what Tom and Chris were dealing with when they moved into their condo in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood in April 2012. Room by room, they’re repainting, repurposing and finding the perfect pieces to fit their new home.

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