Many couples looking to start a family may wonder whether they can afford extra space in a historically unaffordable housing market. While square footage comes at a premium in many areas, others offer more reasonable prices.
In this report, we at RealtyHop set out to find the cities in America that were the cheapest for families looking to purchase a larger home with an extra bedroom. Specifically, we examined the difference in mortgage and property tax cost between a single family home with 2 bedrooms versus 3 bedrooms across the 100 largest cities in America. Our results offer a snapshot of where couples can find much-needed relief from high housing costs when looking to expand their family.
- Philadelphia offered the most affordable housing flexibility for new families, where the difference in monthly payments was just $88 for a home with an extra bedroom.
- San Francisco was the most expensive city for new families purchasing a home, with an extra bedroom costing $525,000 on average, or an additional $2,941 in mortgage/tax payments per month.
- 6 of the 10 most expensive cities to purchase a family home are located in California.
- In 43 out of 100 cities, a family would only need to spend an extra $500 or less per month for a family home with an additional bedroom.
The 10 Most Affordable Cities to Purchase a Family Home
Philadelphia came in as the city with the most affordable housing options for new families. The difference, on average, between a 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom home in Philly was just $15,100, meaning that a family would only need to spend an extra $88 per month on mortgage and tax payments.
Birmingham, AL (+$20,000, $110 more per month), New Orleans, LA (+$21,000, $121 more per month), and Pittsburgh, PA (+$20,000, $122 more per month) were also very affordable.
Other Bright Spots For Couples Looking to Start a New Family
Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City has seen a dramatic boom in migration in recent years, thanks in part to a high quality of life, as well as affordable housing relative to other desirable cities. On average, the difference in the purchase price for a home with 2 bedrooms versus 3 bedrooms in SLC was $59,950, or an extra $332 per month in mortgage payments.
Irving, with its close proximity to Dallas, is another solid option for families looking to grow. The median home price in Irving is $320,000 for a 2 bedroom and $360,000 for a 3 bedroom. This extra cost equates to a very affordable $264 extra per month for the added space.
For those families in California looking for some relief from the sky-high prices along the coast, look toward Sacramento. A home with an extra bedroom costs just $351 more in mortgage and tax payments per month.
The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Purchase a Family Home
Our most expensive list was unsurprisingly dominated by cities in California, with 6 out of the top 10 located in the Golden State. Families in San Francisco had the least financial flexibility when looking for extra space; a home with an extra bedroom in SF costs an additional $525,000, equating to $2,941 in extra mortgage and tax payments every month.
Outside of California, Scottsdale, AZ (+$365,000, $1,997 more per month), Yonkers, NY (+$300,999, $1,929 more per month), Arlington, VA (+$325,100, $1,889 more per month), and Honolulu, HI (+$329,000, $1,752 more per month) were also expensive for families looking to upgrade to a larger home.
Methodology & Limitations
In this report, we analyzed home price data taken from over one million listings on RealtyHop between January 1, 2023 and March 31, 2023. Listings included residential single-family homes, condos, co-ops, and townhouses actively on the market. The 100 largest American cities are selected based on the population count released by the Census Bureau. For each city, we focused on the incremental cost, and subsequent mortgage and property tax payments, of purchasing a larger home, specifically the difference between a 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom dwelling.
There are many personal and financial considerations that go into the decision to grow a family. To compile our data, we focused solely on the incremental cost of purchasing a larger living space in a single-family home; further studies should incorporate these findings with other datasets, such as local income, schools, childcare expenses, and more, to provide an even more comprehensive analysis.
Furthermore, in some cities, moving from a 2-bedroom to a 3-bedroom property may add additional amenities such as a yard, pool, or deck that are not included in our study.
Have questions or comments about this report? Reach us at [email protected]