With the national down payment averaging $85,100, the expenses of the first year of homeownership can add up quickly when considering upfront closing costs, recurring mortgage payments, property taxes, and homeowners’ insurance.
According to a new analysis from Point2, the cost of the first year ranges from $25,100 to $389,900 across the 100 largest U.S. cities. The analysis found that only 16 large cities have first-year homeownership expenses of less than $80,000, and the Midwest is home to most.
The top 10 U.S. cities with the lowest first-year expenses include:
- Detroit: $25,110
- Toledo, Ohio: $38,008
- Cleveland: $38,569
- Fort Wayne, Indiana: $59,779
- St. Louis: $61,635
- Milwaukee: $63,001
- Memphis, Tennessee: $63,198
- Wichita, Kansas: $71,050
- Tulsa, Oklahoma: $71,386
- Buffalo, New York: $71,489
In contrast, 15 out of the 100 largest cities stretch above $200,000 for first-year expenses with 11 being in California and eight of those being in the top 10.
The top 10 U.S. cities with the highest first-year expenses include:
- San Francisco: $389,910
- Fremont, California: $389,151
- San Jose, California: $388,731
- Irvine, California: $387,891
- Los Angeles: $270,954
- San Diego: $260,477
- Oakland, California: $256,458
- Anaheim, California: $236,303
- New York City: $233,598
- Seattle: $232,530
Diving deeper into which cities would be easier to cover upfront costs, Point2 found that in 75 markets, it would take more than a decade to save up to cover the full cost of the first year of homeownership. In Los Angeles, New York City, and Irvine, the average home buyer is priced out as it would require more than 20 years to match the amount needed to save.
The cities requiring the fewest years to save for upfront costs were again mostly in the Midwest and included Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Fort Wayne, and Milwaukee in the top five with ranges of 3 to 5.8 years of saving to cover upfront costs.
The analysis considered upfront costs of a 20% down payment, closing costs, and recurring costs including payments for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with an average interest rate of 6.78%, insurance, and average property tax.