The cost of buying a house gets a lot of attention these days. After all, home prices have been rising for years now and there’s plenty of reporting on the lack of available for-sale inventory. So it’d be easy to get the impression that homeownership is now out of reach for most Americans. But, according to one recent study that looked at affordability based on household income and education level, mortgage payments are actually still affordable in the majority of cities. In fact, the typical mortgage payment is within reach for households where at least one person has a high school diploma in 36 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. But though that seems to buck the conventional wisdom about affordability conditions these days, it doesn’t take into account the challenge of coming up with a suitable down payment. And, since nearly 50 percent of first-time home buyers use savings to cover the upfront costs of buying a home, that can be a struggle for many buyers – especially those doings so for the first time. Still, the fact that the typical mortgage payment remains within reach in the majority of markets is encouraging news for anyone thinking of buying a home in the near future. More here.