What percentage of your after tax income is devoted to housing?

REPE8's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 695

There is an age old adage that your monthly housing expense should never be above 30% of your after tax income that I think is completely irrelevant in today's rental and housing market.

I'm curious to see what the average renter's/home owner's monthly expense including everything (HOA, utilities, PITI, etc) relative to after tax income is on a monthly basis.

I am currently at 32% in a major SE metro.

Comments (111)

Best Response
Jan 3, 2018

I thought it was gross income, not after tax

    • 7
    • 1
Jan 3, 2018

Yeah I'm right there with you at around 32% in major east coast metro. That includes rent, cable, utilities.

    • 1
    • 1
Jan 3, 2018

34% and I am incredibly jealous of you peeps in the Southeast that don't have to shell out 1,500 to get a decent place inside the city

Jan 3, 2018
LReed:

34% and I am incredibly jealous of you peeps in the Southeast that don't have to shell out 1,500 to get a decent place inside the city

Eh. If you're in Atlanta you're going to struggle to get less than that for a decent place.

Maybe Greenville, Charleston, or Charlotte you could pull it off.

    • 1
Jan 4, 2018

Yup. Lived in Atlanta for a year. It really is not as cheap as people think, Most of the Southeast is increasing in price too.

    • 3
Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jan 4, 2018

I'm at roughly 30%, not counting 401k contributions, healthcare, year end bonus etc. just the percentage of cold hard cash wired to my account every month. This includes utilities, internet, and streaming subscriptions.

20% gross including utilities, internet, streaming subscriptions

p.s. I have no roommates

Feb 15, 2018

Streaming subscriptions? I thought we were talking about housing, not pornhub premium.

    • 6
Jan 4, 2018

I've also always heard 30% of gross rather than net as the heuristic. By that measure, I'm at about 21% including utilities, PITI, etc. in a tier 2/3 city.

Why do you say that this standard is irrelevant? Cause living costs are too expensive or the metric is too conservative?

Edit: This is for a solely owned/occupied SFH.

Jan 3, 2018

It is gross.

Jan 3, 2018

Mine is around 17% gross and maybe 24%ish net salary. Bonus drives that down to 11%/16.5% respectively.

Living with a girlfriend is pretty cool. On my own you'd double all of those.

    • 1
Funniest
Jan 3, 2018

0% under mom's roof, unless you factor in the high opportunity cost...

    • 7
    • 1
Jan 4, 2018

Your missing out on prime POON

    • 8
Feb 26, 2018
SGL7313:

Your missing out on prime POON

nah, his mom's is pretty prime

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

    • 3
Jan 17, 2018

hahahaha

Wise Men Listen & Laugh While Fools Talk

Jan 3, 2018

I'm at about 55% net/33% gross, but have a mortgage/prop taxes, etc (living in an investment prop.), so I have been able to write off the interest (at least for now). If you factored in the write-offs for prop taxes/interest, it probably knocks me back down to between 35-40% net, but that's also not factoring in that I'm (theoretically) building equity unless the housing market blows up before I am able to sell.

EDIT: should mention that this is on monthly income only, does not include bonus.

    • 1
Jan 3, 2018

How's that working out for you? Did you have to downgrade on location/interiors/lifestyle to go this route?

I always think about it, but then I remember I'm an apartment/townhouse snob.

Jan 3, 2018

Will PM you.

    • 1
Jan 4, 2018

Yes you are fine on your ratios. You can't compare mortgage directly to rent since your paying principal too and in the past could credit the tax benefits too.

Array
Jan 3, 2018

Yes understood, I was just giving data points.

Jan 13, 2018

Why do you say "at least for now" regarding interest write off? Are you over $750k? You get 100% write off of interest once you move out and its completely a rental.

Jan 3, 2018

Said that in regards to the fact that I may move out/upsize eventually. Didn't mean it with respect to the current property.

Jan 4, 2018

I'm at 20% with solid amenities in a tier 2 city - spent a decent chunk of time in a tier 1 city prior, and was at 25%, but that was much more bare-bones; to get a comparable apt. in tier 1 would have been ~30%.

Jan 4, 2018

17% of gross in a non-major hub with childhood bestfriend roommate. Works out well, I had my own place last year now I'm saving a third of my old rent by having a roommate.

Jan 4, 2018

the 30% rule is gross, not net (same math as the NYC rule that your salary should be 40x your monthly rent).

currently just under 11% gross. Live frugally with GF.

Jan 4, 2018
Ricky Sargulesh:

the 30% rule is gross, not net (same math as the NYC rule that your salary should be 40x your monthly rent).

Never realized this, +1

12/40 = 30%, duhhh

    • 2
Jan 4, 2018

Chicago has really hurt people on housing costs lately.

I bought 5 years ago. My condo assessments up 50%. A good chunk of that due to minimum wage hike .

Property taxes up 50%. And no they can't be deducted.

My best friend was also paying 3k a month rent.

In 5 years I've went from paying 5,500 a month on my mortgage (after value of tax deductions rent etc) where 2500 a month of that was mortgage principle to now I'm paying 11k a month with the same amount paid in principle. Though probably adding a roommate soon.

Had a lean bonus year too. NYC real estate likely to have some problems now too with end of salt deductions. But Chicago was hiking taxes etc too.

Array
    • 1
    • 1
Jan 13, 2018

Interesting article in the Economist late last year about the Prop Tax appeal racket in Chicago: https://goo.gl/aA1SP7

    • 1
Jan 4, 2018

21-23% of gross*, depending on what you classify as housing costs vs. other expenses. House in the 'burbs in the southeast.

*Because we are wildly risk-averse, my wife and I treat my salary as our income (which functions as the denominator here). We bank her salary and bank my bonus. Including those would skew the figures lower and reveal the crazed depths of our fiscal conservatism.

    • 2
Jan 7, 2018

Jesus dude you are killing it

Feb 15, 2018

Dude better live a long time or he will die rich

Jan 9, 2018

smart

Jan 4, 2018

I love having a working wife who doesn't care about having a big house.

I'm currently around 10% of gross in a major SE city

    • 2
Jan 4, 2018

bestfriends_stepbrothers

    • 5
Jan 4, 2018

Only 10% dedicated to housing leaves so much room for activities

    • 6
Jan 4, 2018

Sort of similar situation, but we have a pretty decent house in a cheaper suburb. We're ~11% but thats on a 15 year mortgage and will likely pay it off relatively soon.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Jan 17, 2018

Just curious (not criticizing-trying to learn your strategy) .......why didn't you do a 30 year, and just pay ahead? I'm a Mortgage Banker btw.

Wise Men Listen & Laugh While Fools Talk

Jan 24, 2018

Atlanta?

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jan 4, 2018

16.7% in NE City

Jan 4, 2018

15.5% - living with gf in DC. This doesn't include utilities, but those are only like 100 a month split 2 ways.

Jan 4, 2018

17% gross, 29% after taxes and 401k in a major non coastal city

Jan 4, 2018

As an analyst at 85K in NYC, your takehome will be ~4k a month (+/- a few hundred for differences in 401k, insurance, etc.). If you are paying less than 2000 a month for housing plus utilities and cable, you probably live deep in queens. Soooo ~50% net excluding bonus is very common, and some do a lot worse.

Jan 4, 2018

Just considering base salary in Noo Yawk, I'm about 22% gross. Planning to bump that up in the next few months - I'd rather pay more for housing than lavish vacations TBH

Jan 4, 2018

I'm at 20% gross before bonus/13% after bonus living in suburban NJ. I could drop that down a bit if I wanted, but I pay up so that I have a garage.

Jan 4, 2018

27.6% of gross. Gross is the general metric used.

Jan 4, 2018

26.6% of gross for a 1 BR in NYC (great neighborhood, older building). I kind of have to chuckle at the people not in SF/NYC who complain about housing costs. I would give my left nut for housing as "expensive" as Chicago/Boston/Atlanta.

Jan 4, 2018

16% of gross (without bonus) for a modern 1000 sq. ft. 1 bedroom in a SE city.

Jan 4, 2018

6.2% of gross for a 3-bed condo in the city. Love you, Chicago real estate prices.

Jan 12, 2018

Amen! We're in a pretty small 1-bedroom condo in Chicago at 3.5% of our total gross income (married). Living below your means is pretty underrated IMO...

    • 1
    • 1
Jan 4, 2018

Really should be adding in the cost of having a car when comparing tier-2 cities to places like NYC as you probably will need a car to get around in the former and not in the latter.

For example, it you spend $1500/month on rent on a $100K salary, that's 18% gross spend on housing. But taking into account having a car at say~$500/month (payment, gas, insurance, etc), then that number becomes 24%, much closer to what people pay in places like New York.

To be fair, you should also add-in the cost of getting around in NYC too (taxis, subway, etc). But even then, I would say the difference isn't quite as pronounced as it originally may seem.

    • 4
Jan 4, 2018

cars and living with ya women absolutely impact these metrics. Need to bake those in (garage, gas, insurance, sharing a bedroom) and then look at it, on a gross basis. If you want to live downtown, with walkability, alone, in a cool city, you will probably be spending 30%+ once adjusted for the factors mentioned.

"Money coming, money going, aint like you can take it with you" - Plato

    • 1
Feb 25, 2018
Commissions and fees:

cars and living with ya women absolutely impact these metrics. Need to bake those in (garage, gas, insurance, sharing a bedroom) and then look at it, on a gross basis. If you want to live downtown, with walkability, alone, in a cool city, you will probably be spending 30%+ once adjusted for the factors mentioned.

"Money coming, money going, aint like you can take it with you" - Plato

-Michael Scott

Jan 4, 2018

This is also an easy question if you pull up Zillow and look at rents wherever you are interested in. Choose somewhere you can afford, but that has the amenities you want, while making tradeoffs. Roommates, next to transportation, commute, student debt considerations, etc, and do what suites you best.

Jan 6, 2018

My problem with using gross income as the measuring stick is that it doesn't really measure actual buying power.

Jan 9, 2018

I live in a major metro in the Midwest and I'm at about 32% if i exclude Grocery, Discretionary and Student Loans (this last one is about half my housing - worth every penny though). 52% for everything (including car payment and gasoline costs). I should also note that I don't dine out as much as I used to which has saved me a ton of money. I'm a good cook (used to be an assistant chef - not accredited or anything just got really good at it) and got back in the groove of really enjoying making my own meals (I hated commercial cooking and it took me years to shake off that damage).

    • 1
Jan 9, 2018

16% of gross income in Nashville (not including utilities) rooming with a friend from college. Having a roommate that only works part-time in journalism definitely helps you live below your means.

Jan 3, 2018

I lived in Nashville during the absolute time rent-wise. I hear talk of 2-3 months free these days, meanwhile I still, in 2018, in a much bigger market, have not hit my 2015 Nashville rent.

Jan 9, 2018

I'm in a 14-month lease with 2 free months spread across 4 months. I also live in the Bellevue area but hoping to put a down payment on a house around Sylvan Park come August (depending on bonus).

Jan 10, 2018

I live in London and I'm at about 38% of after tax. This has improved massively in the last year due to promotion etc. I have stayed in the same flat since my first year working where I was at about 50% but love the flat so much I chose to stay when my roommate moved out and and girlfriend moved in. I'm happy there so plan is to stay for the forseeable future and watch that percentage continue to drop as my salary increases.

Jan 12, 2018

3.5% of our gross income.

Jan 13, 2018

20% net incl bonus 20 minutes walk to major city center and I bought the place so im not renting.

Jan 14, 2018

38% in North Dallas.

Note: I've spoken with many Class A++ Developers in the Texas market and they are rather bullish that the majority of their tenants (young professionals/millennials) will shell out up to 60% for the high-end luxury finish and amenity structure. 100+ million dollar asset manager confirmed that their best tenants are the recent graduates using their high-rise residency to network -- ie they will pay more than asking rent for the potential future benefits.

    • 1
Jan 14, 2018

27%, soon to be 22%. High end hotel/residences with bars, restaurants, valet parking, batting cages, rooftop pool and bar, etc...

Feb 27, 2018

What city? Sounds amazing.

Jan 15, 2018

I have been at around 10% of gross in LA for the last several years. Some places have been nice some have been dumps. I currently like my housing situation and hope to stay awhile.

Mar 22, 2018

What part of LA, if I may ask?

Jan 15, 2018

Pre-tax I'm probably in the 35-40% range but I own in a major west coast market.. I also have roommates which cuts the cost down to probably like 20-25% pre-tax. Those numbers also include additional payments taking down the principle. In my mids 20s ages wise.

Jan 15, 2018

30% gross, 45% net in the big apple

Jan 16, 2018

22% after taxes, after deductions

Jan 16, 2018

Staying alone in NYC:
Net - ~42%
Gross - ~26%

If I had known people prior to moving here - I would have definitely found a roommate. Oh well, living alone definitely has it's perks.

Jan 17, 2018

16% net income not including bonus. Will most likely rent forever. Don't own much stuff, so will just keep moving if rent ever tops tops 20%

Jan 17, 2018

not saying people on this forum/thread are lying (I'm assuming most people here are financially literate/savvy) BUT...being a Sr. Mortgage Banker who is ranked as one of the top producers in my area, AND working directly under the Top mortgage banker in the state....I'd say everyone reporting their DTI ratios is doing an EXCELLENT job. Most people we see closing on home loans here in SE VA...back end ratios are well above 40%. In fact, the last 5 pre-approvals I've issued, have all been over 50% back-end ratios. Not saying I recommend this type of reckless spending, just reporting the facts. I myself-- my primary residence is only 1.27% of my Gross...if I include water, electric, internet, etc...maybe 1.5%...and I live "Down Town" (if you lived here you would see why I have quotes around it) In an upscale condo/loft. This is only including my salary+ commission from doing mortgages, not my investments, rental income, etc

Wise Men Listen & Laugh While Fools Talk

Jan 17, 2018

Makes sense that most people who don't know personal finance would buy more house than they can afford. Folks tend to buy up to the amount of their loan approval.

Jan 17, 2018

you couldn't be more correct. in fact...most people I say "you're pre-approved up to 250k" ....call me back later and say.... "hey I found a home at 260k, can we still make an offer?"
very rarely am I adjusting my pre approval letters downwards....which is saddening at times--- as I always tell my clients "I can **always **approve you for more than you can afford" .

Wise Men Listen & Laugh While Fools Talk

Jan 7, 2018

Is that 1.27% monthly cost/ annual income or monthly/monthly?

Jan 18, 2018

Fluctuates between -10%/+10% of gross depending on my current project. I buy dumpy apartment buildings on the side and live in them. Tenants pay all costs.

Jan 18, 2018

I'm too embarrassed to say, but the entirety of my career has been spent in both San Francisco and Manhattan, and I have a tendency to be a bit frivolous, so..

Jan 24, 2018

If I play my cards right, I'm about to go from 39% net/26% gross to 12% net/8% gross, and that will include parking. Northern Virginia

Feb 14, 2018

22% net, 17% gross, and I live in NYC. AMA.

Jan 4, 2018

How are your withholdings so low?

Feb 14, 2018

not sure what you're referring to. the question was about what percentage of my total income I spend on housing and I answered that

Feb 14, 2018

In SoCal I'm at about 33% gross and 50-60% net after tax/401k/HSA/etc.

I pay a bit more than what I want... but i live walking distance to the beach

Feb 15, 2018

GROSS:
Rent: 10.3% (excl. bonus)
Rent + Utils (electric, water, internet): 11.76% (excl bonus)

NET:
Rent: 14.35% (excl. bonus - factoring for 401k+insurance)
Rent + Utils (electric, water, internet): 16.35%

I either live in a low cost of living city, or I make a shitload of money. I'll let you guys figure that out.......... (it's the former)

Feb 27, 2018

6.4% gross incl. bonus for me lol - fucking midwest man

Feb 23, 2018

In SoCal, renting a single family home w/ the wife not working, I'm at 32% gross right now, on just rent. Should have been about 15-20% at this point post MBA, but I took a bit of a pillow deal coming back from working abroad...

Feb 27, 2018

Own a 1BR in Chicago. Above average but not luxury unit. 24% of combined monthly salary for fiance and me. That includes HOA + gross interest and taxes + insurance + cable/internet/utilities. Doesn't include principal payments. Bonuses would knock that number down but principal inclusion would cancel out a portion of it. Fiance = economies of scale.

Feb 26, 2018

14% gross, 22% net after 401k contributions. I live in the midwest though.

Feb 26, 2018

I'm in London and it's c22% inclusive of all bills.
I share an apartment but have my own bathroom. I suppose I could get my own place, but right now I don't see the point as during the week I barely spend any time at home aside from dinner and sleeping and the apartment is nice enough to bring girls to.
Plus I'm on a very favourable contract that I'll surely step down on if I move. I'd rather just save for now.
When I first started working, the same place was c40-45% or so of my net income, but over time that has risen while as my rent really hasn't.

    • 1
Feb 26, 2018

Gross: 30.0% exactly

This is before bonus.

Includes rent and gas/electric, water and internet bills

Don't have cable. Living with my significant other in a 1 bedroom. We split the rent proportional to our salaries.

SF

Feb 28, 2018

I just shudder at SF rent.

Feb 26, 2018

19.6% gross (including all bills)

Feb 28, 2018

17% of net, 10% of gross including mortgage, bills, utilities, subscriptions etc.

Tip: buy somewhere as soon as you can. Even with a 2 bed 2 bath in central London it's sooooo much cheaper than renting!

Feb 28, 2018

25% net not including bonus in Midwest (renting, high rise with amenities)

Oct 31, 2018

4.7% of net, 4.125% Gross. My wife and I live in a crappier unit of a multifamily residence we bought. Texas. The leased units cover the mortgage and most of the tax. Now all we need is time, we got money, just no time.

Nov 1, 2018

Moved to Austin a year and a half ago from NYC. After concessions, we were initially paying $1,600 for a 900 SF one bedroom in one of the newest buildings downtown. Definitely beats the $3,000 we were writing on the UWS...

Have since bought a 3 BR 3 BA home just outside of downtown and are now paying 21% of our net monthly pay (inclusive of HOA and utilities), not including year end bonus. Have recently received a sizable promotion that skews that percentage somewhat, but definitely still favorable.

    • 1
Nov 1, 2018

Around 40% of my after tax base - Chicago luxury building

Nov 1, 2018

32% after-tax post 401k/medical etc. no rooomates. That's Based on two paychecks a month... the extra two I get a year are excluded so probably closer to 30%

Nov 1, 2018

32% after-tax post 401k/medical etc. no rooomates. That's Based on two paychecks a month... the extra two I get a year are excluded so probably closer to 30%

Edit: doesn't include bonus. Live in a 1,150sq foot 2 be apartment

Nov 1, 2018

I typically have always sought out apartments that are 30% of gross base salary. I live off my base and save my bonus. Also I thought it would be helpful to point out that would be interesting to see the stats based off YOE. As you can imagine, the further you're along in your career, the more likely the % will drop (with the understanding your expenses are also going up).

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

Nov 7, 2018

In SF with 2 roommates and I am @14% of gross base salary and 20% net.