I'm not sure I could buy my current house right now.

I definitely can't buy back my first house, because it was razed to make a space for a brewery to park a food truck. But I remember the time very well. My wife and I both had modest jobs, and discovered we could afford a small 1000sf home in Westbrook. We had a huge mortgage payment... $912 a month. Man, those were the days...

Read More: Maine Homes for Sale Are More Expensive, and Only Half the Size 

With the current market being what it is, I'm not sure we could afford our current house. We moved prior to the pandemic when all hell broke loose in the real estate market. Based on what I've seen, a house similar to mine would now cost something like $350,000+. Our mortgage payment would also probably be $500 a month higher, due to current interest rates. It's kinda scary.

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Even four years ago, a couple could buy a house, making only about $65k.

Pile of Twenty Dollar Bills
Ingram Publishing

When we got our first house, I'd say we were on the low side of that figure. We might have made that between the two of us. But we were young and lived a simple lifestyle, with no kids. Even then, I often wondered how a small family could make it on what we were pulling in.


We just had a mortgage and a couple small car payments. We didn't have diapers to buy, or kids to get through school. But these days, if you think you can own a home on something in the neighborhood of $65k, you'd be soooo wrong. But you could do it, even just four years ago.

Miniature house model with illuminated light in the hand

How much does a Maine family need to make it happen now?

A new study, reported by WGME, indicates that a family would have to make almost double what they did in 2020, to afford a home. The average annual household income to afford a home in Maine right now, is $102,000. That's quite a jump. And while jobs are paying significantly more than a few years ago, the home prices have followed suit.

Read More: Palmyra Maine's Werewolf Issue Might Just be a Wildly Evil House

But Maine isn't alone at all. It would appear that over 20 other states around the country are in the same boat. You expect that in "expensive" states like New York or California, or even Connecticut. But Maine is right there in the upper category. Will it ever come back down? Doubt it. Once those big numbers take over, it's hard to make them go away. With the nationwide average price going over $400K, it's here to stay.

Maine still stays at the top of a lot of these lists...

LOOK: This is where homes are selling the fastest right now

Stacker compiled a list of the metros where houses are selling the fastest, according to data from Redfin.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

LOOK: The 25 least expensive states to live in

Here are the top 25 states with the lowest cost of living in 2022, using data Stacker culled from the Council for Community and Economic Research.

Gallery Credit: Aubrey Jane McClaine

LOOK: Here's where people in every state are moving to most

Stacker analyzed the Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey data to determine the three most popular destinations for people moving out of each state.

Gallery Credit: Amanda Silvestri

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