Here's How Much You Need to Save to Buy a Typical L.A. House

A home in Eagle Rock
A home in Eagle Rock

If you want to buy a typical Los Angeles  home, be prepared for a life of monklike austerity.

Kind of ironic, isn't it? You came to L.A. for the nightlife and glamour, but in order to really lay down some roots you'll have to stay in, cancel your cable and meditate for much of your existence.

A new analysis by realtor.com looked at median home prices in America's 15 largest cities to come up with an estimate of how much you'd need to save for a minimal down payment on a median-priced home in each market.

In Los Angeles you'd need to save $67.95 each day for five years. Ouch.

For an Angeleno earning the city's median income ($28,555, about $90 or less in take-home pay per day), that's pretty much impossible, since you'd probably be spending more than half your income on rent

Realtor.com says the daily savings goal for L.A. is worth about 15 Starbucks grande caramel macchiatos. So if you're drinking that many, shame.

You could make this easier by spreading your savings goal over a span of 10 years. Then you'd only need to put $33.97 under your mattress each day to come up with a down payment — in 2026.

And, to be fair, realtor.com's estimate of a median home price in L.A. is the highest we've seen. It pegs the figure at $678,000. Its estimated 18 percent down payment is $124,074. The latest CoreLogic figure for the median in Los Angeles is $525,000 — not quite as many caramel macchiatos.

Either way, if you want to buy a home in L.A., you'd better start saving seriously and soon.

"For more and more Americans, the down payment has become the Everest-size mountain they need to climb to reach their dreams of homeownership — or perhaps freeze to death trying," realtor.com states. "In these days of rising home prices, it seems harder than ever to pull together that mammoth mound of moolah needed to get yourself into a new place. It can lead to desperation."


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