Top 10 US Metro Areas Where Nurses Can Afford to Buy a Home
Nursing can be a fulfilling career choice — and one that’s also fairly lucrative. However, in terms of homeownership, what’s “affordable” depends on both income and location. Wages vary significantly across the country, and so does the cost of housing and the cost of living in general. A recent StorageCafe research study looked at multiple job categories, including nursing, and identified the metro areas where those employees can best afford to buy a home in today’s market. Here are the top 10 metro areas in the U.S. where nurses enjoy an income high enough to purchase a home:
1. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA
California is an excellent state for nurses, with the top five metro areas where these health care professionals can afford to buy a home located here. Sacramento ranks first — the average annual income for all nursing specialties in the Sacramento metro area stands at almost $136K, which means that buying a home here is affordable for most of them.
For example, registered nurses in Sacramento (a category that usually makes less money than nurse practitioners or midwives) earn on average a hefty $135K annually, while the qualifying income for a mortgage is a little under $100K. The average home price in the area is around $580K, so registered nurses will have to save 20% of their income over 4.2 years to come up with the down payment.
2. Fresno, CA
The Fresno metro area is the second in the state offering excellent employment opportunities for nurses. The average annual income for all categories of nurses here hovers around $121K, while the average home price stands at around $365K. Registered nurses, who make a little under $120K per year, need around three years to save up for a down payment on a home, while nurse practitioners manage to have the down payment in about 2.4 years. The monthly mortgage payment for a home in Fresno averages $1,566 per month.
3. Stockton-Lodi, CA
Located relatively close to San Francisco, Stockton is a laid-back, relaxed metro area, and one that’s very hospitable to nurses. Their average income here is $120K, which, combined with the local average home price of just under $530K, allows most nurses to access a mortgage and buy a home. Assuming they save about 20% of their income, most nurses will have the funds for a down payment in a little over four years.
4. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
The average annual income for nurses of all types in the Riverside metro area stands at around $114K. However, depending on your specialty, you might be able to make more money than that. For example, the average annual income for nurse anesthetists here is over $283K. A registered nurse in the Riverside metro area, on the other hand, earns around $112K per year.
However, all types of nurses can afford to purchase a home here — the average home price in the Riverside metro area is $535K, and the qualifying annual income to access a mortgage is around $92K.
On average, nurses have to save 20% of their income for almost five years for the down payment, at which point they can start looking for their new home. The local self storage market in Riverside makes moving to a new home a lot easier — renting a 10’x10’ self storage unit in Riverside costs $139 per month, and it can be used to keep your belongings safe until your new home is ready.
5. Bakersfield, CA
The Bakersfield metro area is the final one in California among the top 10 where nurses can afford a home. The average home price in Bakersfield is around $315K, which means that a nurse practitioner making around $145K per year earns almost three times the qualifying income for a mortgage and will take a little over two years to save for the down payment. A registered nurse making $107K per year needs three years for the down payment (while saving 20% of income).
6. Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA
Average home prices in the Spokane metro area hover around $413K, which allows most nurses to purchase a home here based on their income. Registered nurses in Spokane have an annual income of around $92K, while the qualifying income for a mortgage is $70K. A registered nurse who is planning to buy a home in Spokane will have to save for almost 4.5 years for the down payment. However, other types of nurses have higher incomes — a nurse practitioner makes a salary of $117K and will be able to save for the down payment in 3.5 years.
7. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
Nurses make, on average, $92K per year in the Minneapolis metro area, while average home prices hover around $360K, and the qualifying income for a mortgage is a little under $62K per year.
Those employed as registered nurses, a category that has an average annual income of $87K, will need a little over four years for a down payment in Minneapolis when saving 20% of their income. A nurse midwife, on the other hand, enjoys an annual income averaging around $122K per year and will manage to save for the down payment in about three years.
8. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
The Las Vegas metro area is a great place to live, offering not only professional opportunities but also access to entertainment and culture. Fortunately, this metro area is also affordable for nurses interested in purchasing a home. The average annual salary for nurses in the Las Vegas metro area is $92K, and the average home price is just under $400K. The qualifying annual income for getting a mortgage in the area is $68K. Depending on your nursing specialty, it could take you around two to three years to save for the down payment.
9. Worcester, MA-CT
For nurses who prefer the East Coast, the Worcester metro area is a good candidate — the average annual income stands at around $91K and average home prices hover around $390K. Nurse practitioners must save 20% of their income for a little over three years for the down payment, while registered nurses need to keep saving for one year longer to reach the same goal.
10. New Haven, CT
The New Haven metro area rounds out the top 10 metro areas where nurses can afford to buy a home based on their income — and it’s a safe haven for nurses looking to purchase a home. The average home price in New Haven is around $305K, and the qualifying income for a mortgage stands at over $52K. Nurse practitioners have an average annual salary of $123K in the area, and if they save 20% of their income, they will be able to make a down payment in just over two years. A registered nurse, on the other hand, makes around $71K on average per year and will probably need 3.5 years to save up for the down payment.