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How Much Income Do You Need to Afford a Million Dollar Home?

By , July 27th, 2017 | No Comments


how much income do you need to afford a million dollar home
A lot of people view the value of their home as an indicator of their success. And for many of those, being able to afford a million dollar house is a particularly important sign of their wealth. For others, such as families in expensive areas like San Francisco or New York, owning a million dollar home may be a matter of practical necessity.  In any event, you may be wondering: how much income do you need to afford a million dollar home?

Let’s walk through an answer to that question.

First, we need to determine what a typical mortgage payment for a million dollar home looks like, then we can generate an estimate of the annual income you’d need to afford the mortgage.  So, what does a mortgage usually cost you? Mortgage expenses typically involve the following:

  1. Principle and interest (P&I)
  2. Taxes
  3. PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)
  4. Homeowner’s insurance

Principal And Interest

According to Bankrate.com, the average interest rate on a 30 year mortgage is 4.08 percent. Using a mortgage calculator, the monthly principal and interest payment on $1,000,000 would be $4,820.00.

Property Taxes

Although property tax rates differ significantly depending on the county where you live, data provider RealtyTrac.com lists the average 2016 property tax rate in the US as 1.21%. Here is a fun graphic which shows some of the differences between counties.

2016 property tax rates by county

Source: Attomdata.com.

Using the average property tax rate of 1.21%, a home assesed at $1,000,000 would have an annual property tax bill of $12,100 or $1,008.33 a month.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is typically required until the loan to value ratio on a mortgage drops below 80%.  PMI terms also vary, but for most mortgages PMI is paid monthly.  According to the Federal Housing Administration (1), on average a million dollar mortgage will have a PMI cost equal to 1.05% of the loan, or $10,500.  This gives you a monthly PMI payment of $875.00.

Homeowner’s Insurance

The cost of homeowner’s insurance will vary based on location, deductible, coverage and other factors.  Nationwide the average homeowner’s policy costs $964 a year (1), or $80.33 per month.

Total Payment

Using the numbers above, our sample mortgage payment for 100% financing on a million dollar home is:

Principal and Interest: $4,820.00
Property Taxes: $1,008.33
Private Mortgage Insurance: $875.00
Homeowner’s Insurance: $80.33

Total Monthly Mortgage Payment: $6,783.66

Income Needed To Afford a Million Dollar Home

With this ballpark estimate of how much a million dollar mortgage payment is, we can determine what kind of income is required to afford it.

Since the personal finance rules of thumb say a mortgage payment should be no more than 28% of your monthly income, you’d need about $290,728.20 annually to carry the mortgage on a million dollar home.

There is a lot of variability in determining what a mortgage payment would be for a home worth a million dollars.  The figures in this article are sample values.  How much the actual amount is will depend on your credit, how large a downpayment you have, prevailing rates of interest and the market for insurance in your state.  However, given the template of how the value is calculated you should be able to gather the information required and answer the question, “How much income do you need to afford a million dollar home?”

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