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This Is What Kind of Home Minimum Wage Buys You In American Cities

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Fast food workers in hundreds of cities across America are striking today to demand a wage increase to $15 per hour, more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. Estately compared these two wages to determine what kind of homes each afforded in ten of the most populous cities in America.

For single-income families, a wage of $7.25 (not factoring in taxes or allowing for vacation days) would earn $15,080 per year, and qualify for a 30-year mortgage for a home priced at $52,437.  For single-income families, a wage of $15.00 (not factoring in taxes or allowing for vacation days) would earn $31,200 per year and qualify for a 30-year mortgage for a home priced at $108,490. Here’s how the two wages compare…

ATLANTA, GA

$7.25 per hour affords this $50,000 Atlanta house (3BR/1.5BA).

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$15 per hour affords this $104,900 Atlanta bungalow (5BR/3BA).

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CHICAGO, IL

$7.25 per hour affords this $50,000 Chicago house (5BR/1.1BA).

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$15 per hour affords this $100,000 Chicago house (4BR/2BA).

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HOUSTON, TX

$7.25 per hour affords this $50,000 Houston house (2BR/1BA)

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$15 per hour affords this $103,000 Houston house (3BR/2BA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA

$7.25 does not afford you any house, condo or townhouse currently for sale within the city limits. It does afford you this $49,000 34-foot 2006 Four Winds Hurricane RV that comes with an outside shower.

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$15 per hour affords the single cheapest home on the market. It’s a $109,000 studio condo in Winnetka.  All others homes for sale in Los Angeles are too expensive.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA

$7.25 per hour affords this $50,000 Philadelphia townhouse (3BR/1BA)

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$15 per hour affords this $104,500 Philadelphia townhouse (3BR/1BA).

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PHOENIX, AZ

$7.25 per hour affords this $50,000 Phoenix house (3BR/1.5BA)

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$15 per hour affords this $102,000 Phoenix house (3BR/1.5BA)

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SAN ANTONIO, TX

$7.25 per hour affords this $50,000 San Antonio house (4BR/2BA).

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$15 per hour affords this $100,000 San Antonio house (3BR/1.5BA)

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SAN DIEGO, CA

$7.25 per hour affords no home in San Diego. Zero.

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$15 per hour affords this $99,000 San Diego ground floor studio condo, provided the additional $185 per month HOA fees aren’t over budget.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $10.55, and that wage won’t even buy you the $80,000 parking spot that’s currently on the market.

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$15 per hour affords no home of any sort in San Francisco. However, if four fast food workers making $15 per hour were to pool their salaries they could purchase this $399,000 San Francisco house (3BR/2BA).

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WASHINGTON, DC

The capital’s current minimum wage is $8.25, which is enough to buy the city’s cheapest condo, a $55,000 unit in this building (1BR/1BA).

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$15 per hour affords this $105,000 Washington, DC townhouse (3BR/2BA).

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To view how much the cheapest homes on the market are in your city, Click HERE to look them up on the Estately Real Estate Search Site and sort by least expensive. 

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  • Teresa Rothaar

    Why is Detroit not on this list? Houses can be had there for a grand or less. $50k would buy you a MANSION.

  • jo leone

    Minimum wage jobs should not be permanent. Just a stepping stone to a higher paying job. These photo comparisons really shows the difference and a BIG incentive to improve oneself.

  • Anonymous

    Improving yourself so you can remain unemployed? The good paying jobs of yesteryear are gone, friend. I started out in my early 20′s making $38k a year. I’ve been ‘improving’ myself for the past 20 years and guess what? My job description is still only worth $38k in this economy. Apparently I was laid off for making too much. Nobody cares about the 20 years of experience, added skill set, advanced learning courses, etc. I agree that minimum wage shouldn’t be a lifelong goal for those who are ambitious, however, in a job market over saturated with degreed people having to survive on wages that are lower than ever (relative to inflation) it’s a shame you don’t see why the income to cost-of-living ratio needs to improve. Also, not everyone has the ability, time, intelligence, etc. to ‘step up’ and there’s nothing wrong with that. We need service workers and it benefits everyone if they have a quality of life and ability to own their own homes, too. They do the crappy stuff most don’t want to, and honestly, I’d rather deal with someone who knows what they’re doing and is happy to do it than some arrogant “I’m too good for this, so I don’t care about it” temporary employee who gives crappy service. Get some perspective.