I Make $100,000 a Year. How Much House Can I Afford?

By Caroline Banton · April 15, 2024 · 8 minute read

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I Make $100,000 a Year. How Much House Can I Afford?

On a salary of $100,000 per year, as long as you have minimal debt, you can afford a house priced at around $311,000 with a monthly payment of $2,333. This number assumes a 6.5% interest rate and a down payment of around $30,000.

The 28/36 rule is often used as a guide when deciding how much house you can afford. The rule stipulates that you should not spend more than 28 percent of your salary on overall housing costs and no more than 36 percent on housing costs and your debt. On a salary of $100K with debts of about $250 per month, a house costing $311,000 just fits in your budget.

However, how much home you can afford depends on other factors also, such as where you intend to live and how much you have saved as a down payment.

This article looks at how all of these factors affect your home purchase and gives some examples of how much home you can realistically afford on a salary of $100,000.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

What Kind of House Can I Afford With $100K a Year?

Another rule of thumb often applied when buying a home is to not spend more than three times your annual income on a home. If you earn $100,000 a year, that would be $300,000.

A salary of $100,000 is well above the national median income (according to Census data, the national median income was $74,580 in 2022). That puts you in a good position if you want to buy a home, particularly if the cost of living is low in the area that you are targeting. If you have substantial savings for a down payment and little debt, you’re even better positioned. Debt is important because lenders look at how much debt you have when they qualify you for a mortgage.

Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the amount of income you receive relative to the amount of payments you make each month to cover your debt. You’ll get better loan terms, and your monthly mortgage loan payments will be less, if you have less debt.

That’s why many experts also recommend the 28/36 rule. So, if you earn $100K, your housing costs should be less than $28,000, $2,333 a month, and your debt and housing costs should not exceed $36,000, or $3,000 a month.

Your Down Payment

Unless you qualify for a zero-down USDA or VA loan, most lenders will expect a down payment of between 3% and 20%. The more you put down, the more house you can afford, but as you think about your down payment amount, make sure you reserve funds for closing costs, moving costs, and an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

Home Affordability

Homes are more affordable in certain areas. Some areas have a higher cost of living and higher property taxes.

Your credit score will also affect how much home you can afford. If you have a high credit score, you will qualify for a lower interest rate loan. If you pay less interest, you can borrow more and still meet your monthly payments.

Depending on where you want to live, the housing market might dictate how big a home you can afford. House prices are affected by the economic conditions, and low unemployment rates and healthy economic growth gives buyers more purchasing power. If buyers have more purchasing power, they can afford bigger loans, and this will push up house prices.

💡 Quick Tip: When house hunting, don’t forget to lock in your home mortgage loan rate so there are no surprises if your offer is accepted.

How to Afford More House with Down Payment Assistance

Some people, such as first-time buyers or certain professionals like nurses and teachers, can qualify for down payment assistance from federal, state, and local government, private entities, and charitable organizations. Assistance might be in the form of a low-rate loan, cash grant, tax credit, or a reduced interest rate.

Applying for down payment assistance can add weeks or months to your home buying timeline, but for more information, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) keeps a list of programs listed by state, county, and city.

Here are typical down payment amounts for various types of mortgages.

•   Conventional mortgages require a 3% down payment for first-time buyers

•   FHA mortgages require 3.5% down

•   VA mortgages require 0% down

•   USDA: These zero down payment loans serve low-income borrowers in rural areas.

Home Affordability Examples

Let’s take a look at some hypothetical examples for those wondering, “If I make $100K how much home can I afford?” These examples assume an interest rate of 6.5% and average property taxes.

Example #1: Low Down Payment and Significant Debt

Gross annual income: $100,000
Down payment: $10,000
Monthly debt: $1000

Home budget: $238,441

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,000

Payment breakdown:

•   Principal and interest: $1,444

•   Property taxes: $208

•   Private mortgage insurance: $264

•   Homeowner’s insurance: $83

Example #2: Bigger Down Payment, Less Debt

Gross annual income: $100,000
Down payment: $40,000
Monthly debt: $300

Home budget: $333,212

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,333

Payment breakdown:

•   Principal and interest: $1,853

•   Property taxes: $208

•   Private mortgage insurance: $188

•   Homeowner’s insurance: $83

How to Calculate How Much House You Can Afford

You need a budget to find out how much house you can afford. Keeping a budget will show you how much you are spending each month versus how much income you have. Whatever you have leftover after paying essentials like food, clothing, and utilities is how much you can afford to spend on housing.

You can also use a mortgage calculator to help you. Just plug in your own numbers to find out what your monthly payments would be.

💡 Quick Tip: Not to be confused with prequalification, preapproval involves a longer application, documentation, and hard credit pulls. Ideally, you want to keep your applications for preapproval to within the same 14- to 45-day period, since many hard credit pulls outside the given time period can adversely affect your credit score, which in turn affects the mortgage terms you’ll be offered.

How Your Monthly Payment Affects Your Price Range

The more you can afford to pay each month for your mortgage and other housing expenses, the more house you can afford. However if you have significant debt payments each month, or you have a poor credit score that results in a higher interest rate for your loan, that will reduce the amount of loan you can afford and the price range.

Types of Home Loans Available to $100K Households

Four types of loans are the most common. These are conventional loans, FHA loans, USDA, and VA loans.

Conventional loans typically require a credit score of 620 or more, but the down payment can be as low as 3 percent. Remember that a lower down payment means higher monthly payments because you will have to borrow more.

FHA loans. With an FHA loan, home buyers with a credit score over 580 can borrow up to 96.5% of a home’s value. Home buyers with a lower credit score, between 500 to 579, can still qualify for a loan as long as they have a 10% down payment.

USDA: USDA loans are zero down payment financing for low-income borrowers in designated rural areas.

VA: VA loans also require no down payment and are available to qualified military service members, veterans, and their spouses.

The Takeaway

If you are looking to buy a home and would like a more realistic idea of what you can afford, first find out how much you are spending on necessities like food, clothing, transportation, and, most importantly, debt. What you have leftover is how much you can spend each month on housing expenses.

Once you have a grasp on your finances, you can use an affordability calculator to see how much of a house you can afford. The size of home that the amount will buy depends on the local housing market and the cost of living where you want to live.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.


Is $100K a good salary for a single person?

A salary of $100k is above the national median income (according to Census data, the national median income was $74,580 in 2022). This is a good salary, but you still might struggle to buy a home in areas with a high cost of living. The larger down payment you have, and the better your credit score, the bigger house you can buy.

What is a comfortable income for a single person?

A comfortable income for a single person is dependent upon where that person lives. The findings from a study using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the cost of necessities to determine a living wage shows wide variance existing among states. According to the study, Hawaii is the most expensive state, and singles require an annual salary of $112,411 to live comfortably. In Mississippi, you can live comfortably on $45,906 a year.

What is a liveable wage in 2023?

A liveable wage will vary depending on where you live. However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined that $104,07 per year was a liveable wage before taxes in 2022. This was for a family of four with two working adults and two children.

What salary is considered rich for a single person?

According to Internal Revenue Service data, an income of $540,009 per year puts a person in the top 1% earnings category.

Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

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*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

+Lock and Look program: Terms and conditions apply. Applies to conventional purchase loans only. Rate will lock for 91 calendar days at the time of preapproval. An executed purchase contract is required within 60 days of your initial rate lock. If current market pricing improves by 0.25 percentage points or more from the original locked rate, you may request your loan officer to review your loan application to determine if you qualify for a one-time float down. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate this offer at any time with or without notice to you.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

¹FHA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by FHA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. FHA loans require an Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP), which may be financed or paid at closing, in addition to monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP). Maximum loan amounts vary by county. The minimum FHA mortgage down payment is 3.5% for those who qualify financially for a primary purchase. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.
Veterans, Service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserve may be eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by VA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. VA loans typically require a one-time funding fee except as may be exempted by VA guidelines. The fee may be financed or paid at closing. The amount of the fee depends on the type of loan, the total amount of the loan, and, depending on loan type, prior use of VA eligibility and down payment amount. The VA funding fee is typically non-refundable. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.


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