Buying Your First Home in Jacksonville, FL? Here’s How Much Money You Need to Make

It’s less than Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.

Jacksonville, FL, is known for its 80,000 acres of parks, miles of beaches, and delicious cuisine. In addition to being a coastal respite, Jacksonville is also home to a fairly competitive real estate market that’s seen moderate growth in recent years. 

For many, buying a home in Jacksonville is a dream come true, but it’s also important to know how it will impact your finances. From down payments to monthly mortgage payments, there’s a lot to understand before buying your first home 

So whether you already live in Florida’s capital or are looking to relocate to the area, here’s a breakdown of the income you’ll need to purchase your first home in Jacksonville.

Check out our original report for a detailed nationwide analysis.

Exquisite waterfront retreat in Florida

How much income do you need to buy a starter home in Jacksonville?

The median sale price of a starter home in Jacksonville is $239,500. In order to afford this, first-time homebuyers in Jacksonville should make $77,040 per year, up 9.9% from 2023. Also, the median income in Jacksonville is $83,778, meaning the typical resident can afford a starter home.

As expected, starter homes in Jacksonville are more affordable than the average home (all price brackets combined; see methodology for details). In order to afford any median-priced home in the area, you’ll need to make $99,549 (as of October 2023). 

Nationwide, you need an income of $75,849 to afford a typical starter home, which costs an average of $240,000. The average U.S. household earns an estimated $84,072.

First-time homebuyers’ guide to the Jacksonville housing market

Jacksonville’s housing market has experienced steady growth following the pandemic. While not as popular of a migration destination as neighbors Miami and Tampa, the area has still seen an inflow of homebuyers from around the country. The city’s population rose by 5% from 2019 to 2021 and is nearing the 1 million mark.

This growth has lifted house prices by 29% over the last three years, from $225,000 in January 2021 to $315,000 today. 

However, condos in the area have actually dropped in price recently as they recover from a surge in popularity that priced out many buyers. Rising insurance and HOA costs resulting from extreme climate risks also pushed prices down. 

If you’re looking to move to the Florida capital, the area is home to many amenities and attractions throughout its neighborhoods, like the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Riverside Arts Market, and Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. Some popular neighborhoods in Jacksonville include Arlington, Baymeadows, and Mandarin.

What does a typical down payment look like for a starter home in Jacksonville?

Here are some common down payment amounts for a typical $239,500 starter home in Jacksonville:

Down payment percentage Down payment amount
3% down payment $7,185
3.5% down payment $8,383
5% down payment $11,975
10% down payment $23,950
15% down payment $35,925
20% down payment $47,900

Down payments can range from 0% to 100% of the total house price, depending on your budget, loan type, and long-term priorities. While experts have historically recommended budgeting for a 20% down payment, the increasing cost of homes and continued sluggish wage increases has led to a 15% down payment becoming more common. 

Some loan types allow for lower down payment amounts. For example, a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan requires just 3.5% down, while the lowest possible down payment for a conventional loan is 3%. These amounts typically depend on your credit scores, so buyers with higher credit scores may qualify for lower down payments.

House in Key West Florida

What is the typical mortgage payment for a starter home in Jacksonville?

The typical monthly mortgage payment for a starter home in Jacksonville is $1,926. This assumes you put 3.5% down and have around a 7% interest rate.

If this payment sounds too high, you could consider renting an apartment in Jacksonville. The average rent price is $1,683, possibly making it a better option while you save for a down payment on a house. You can also use an affordability calculator to see what you can afford based on your income and down payment.

What should you do next?

If you’re in the market for your first home in Jacksonville, it’s important to understand how much house you can afford. Take your annual income, credit score, the current mortgage rates, and local market trends to make a decision that works best for you.

From there, a Jacksonville agent can help you navigate the entire home buying process and provide valuable local expertise. To learn more about how to buy a home, check out Redfin’s First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide.


Redfin divides all U.S. properties into five buckets based on Redfin Estimates of homes’ market values. There are three equal-sized tiers, as well as tiers for the bottom 5% and top 5% of the market. Redfin defines “starter homes” as homes whose sale price fell into the 5th-35th percentile of the Redfin Estimate tier. 

We calculated the annual income needed to afford a starter home by assuming a buyer spends no more than 30% of their income on housing payments. Housing payments are calculated assuming the buyer made a 3.5% down payment and also take a month’s median sale price and average mortgage-interest rate into account. 

The national income data is adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index. 2024 income is estimated based on projections from the U.S. Census Bureau’s (ACS) 2022 median household income using the 12-month moving average nominal wage growth rate. The rate was compiled from the Current Population Survey and reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

We assume housing payments include the mortgage principal, interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and mortgage insurance (when applicable).

All data sourced February 2024 unless otherwise stated.

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