For decades, the largest component of the "American Dream" has been home ownership.

For those who were lucky enough to grow up in a house that was owned by your family, you know how great it was to live in a place that felt permanent.  A place where you could really make memories. And a place where, for the most part, you had the ability to modify or change as you saw fit.

On top of that, there is the wealth aspect.  Instead of helping someone else build equity, you are building your own equity.

These days, though, given the rate of inflation and the cost of housing going through the roof, it may seem like the goal of home ownership is completely out of reach.  But is it?

How much does it cost to buy a home in the United States?

According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, the nationwide median household income for homebuyers jumped significantly in the last year.

In 2022, that rate was $88,000.  In 2023, it jumped to $107,000!  That's a 22% bump.

The down payment percentages jumped as well.  The average first-time homebuyer laid down 8% of the final price of the house.  The average repeat buyer dropped about 19%.

Zac Gudakov via
Zac Gudakov via

How much do you need to make to buy a home in Maine?

The NAR report does not break down individual states, but we can guest the amount needed in Maine.

24/7 Wall Street reports that the average home cost in Maine is $318,000.  Let's assume you find one of the cheaper side of that.  A $300,000 home in Maine is going to hit you with a monthly mortgage payment of about $2,000.  This number was determined using the calculator and includes mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc.

Rocket Mortgage says that no more than 28% of your income should go to housing.  That includes mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.

So, for a $300,000 home that has a $2,000 per month mortgage, you are going to need a household income of at least $86,000.

Sadly, this is not attainable for many people.  24/7 Wall Street lists the average household income for Maine as just over $58,000.

Clearly, we are not realtors, so do your own research and work with a great realtor to find the house of your dreams.

Tell us about your home ownership experience.  Share your story by messaging us inside our radio station app.

LOOK: Best counties to raise a family in Maine

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in Maine.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From WSHK-WSAK 102.1 & 105.3 The Shark