Owning a home in Chicago getting more affordable?

Looking to buy a home in Chicago? It might be more affordable today.

That’s the finding from the November RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index. In October, Chicago ranked 29 out of 100 cities when it came to the share of household income it took to purchase a home. In November, though, Chicago dropped to 32nd on this list, meaning owning a home is consuming a bit less of the average Chicago-area resident’s monthly income.

According to RealtyHop’s numbers, the average home price in the Chicago area as of November stood at $319,000. The estimated mortgage and taxes that Chicago-area homeowners pay each month came in at an average of $1,659.25, according to RealtyHop. At the same time, RealtyHop said that the average household income for Chicago-area residents stood at $52,497 in November.

According to RealtyHop, then, the cost of owning a home was consuming 37.93 percent of the average Chicago homeowner’s monthly income as of November.

That’s a big difference from the city that topped RealtyHop’s list, Los Angeles. According to the numbers, as of the beginning of November, the cost of owning a home in Los Angeles consumed 91.5 percent of the monthly income of the average Los Angeles homeowner.

The key to buying a home that is affordable to you, lies in drafting a monthly household budget that includes your expenses and income for the month, including those expenses that change from month to month and those that are discretionary, such as entertainment and eating out. By knowing how much extra money you have each month, you can better determine the impact that a new monthly mortgage payment – and don’t forget to include the cost of property taxes and homeowners’ insurance in that calculation – will have on your financial health.

It helps, too, to work with a REALTOR®. This professional can help you find the best Chicago condo or single-family home in your budget.