Below Median Household Income

This is the seventh year of my family earning below the median household income of the city at which I work. I have pretty much given up on the hope of ever reaching the median household income, unless my wife starts to work. Despite my desires of living closer to the majority of my work colleagues and my workplace, I have never been able to catch up with the housing price. I always wonder how people around me earn so much money, or buy such expensive houses of $600K to 2 or 3 million dollars. Unfortunately, I have not found out how they do it. I guess somehow they do earn more money.

Actually, to think of myself below the median or the 50th percentile in anything really hurts my pride a little. My wife always comforts me and tells me that it is because she is not working yet, and that most of other family are dual-incomes. I guess that may be possible to a certain extent. Still, a $120K median household income is anything but high, and really high.

And sometimes, the hallway chats at my workplace are just a little bit too much for my ears. People will talk about they’ve got more than $500K house gain that exceeds the federal tax exemption amount on the primary residence sale. Or some may talk about playing $100 golf courses. Or their long vacation to Europe. Or buying their next million dollar home. The truth is that I could care less about their extravagant spendings. The only thing that I’m concerned is to buy a decent size (~1800 sq ft) condo or single family house that hopefully costs less than $650K for my family. I haven’t been able to find a home that I like, simply because my budget of $650K is usually not enough.

I guess one of the primary reasons that I cannot afford the house that I want is that my household income is below median of $120K. Or maybe I just need to bite the bullet and become another 30-year house slave.

Wealth is relative. And I’m still hunting for that elusive house for my home.

P.S. Here is my information source on the median income. I found several zip codes of median income that is about 120K or more.

  1. Saratoga, CA 95070, $138530
  2. Los Gatos, CA 95030, $117839
  3. Los Gatos, CA 95033, $119925
  4. San Jose, CA 95120, $120398
  5. Newport Beach, CA 92657, $124850
  6. Irvine, CA 92602, $123092
  7. Mission Viejo, CA 92694, $114229
  8. Santa Monica, CA 90402, $129144
  9. Yorba Linda, CA 92887, $113813

If the above links don’t work, go to, and click on any property, scroll down to neighborhood profile, and click on it. Enter the zip code for a new location.

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