San Jose metro tops 'most expensive homes' list

San Jose, Calif. (KGO) -- Home ownership can seem out of reach for many families in the Bay Area as prices continue to rise. In fact, a new report ranks the San Jose metro as the most expensive areas in the country to buy a home.

"It's just a different world these days, we can't just do it totally on our own anymore," said San Jose resident Yvonne Jimenez Smith, who recently bought a home with a no-interest loan from her parents and grandparents.

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So how much do you need to make? Analysts with the mortgage data provider, HSH.com, say you need to make close to $255,000 per year to afford a median-priced home of $1.25 million in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles rounded out the top four.

South Bay real estate agent Kiersten Ligeti says more millennials are now teaming up to afford homes in more desirable neighborhoods. She has also seen an uptick in multi-generations moving in under one roof.

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"We're seeing about 20 percent of our inventory selling off-market, so before it hits MLS. If a buyer is not working with an agent, they're missing a huge portion of inventory," said Ligeto, who works out of the Alain Pinel Realtors office in Los Altos.

The figures can be staggering, but local real estate agents say it's important to keep things in perspective.

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"You want to make sure you're working with somebody who knows all the first-time home buyer programs or understands all the different city programs and buyer incentives that are out there," said Gustavo Gonzalez, broker-owner of Valley View Properties and current president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors.

HSH.com analysts based their calculations on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment, and also accounted for estimated taxes and insurance costs.

"Don't get too discouraged," said Jimenez Smith. You keep your head up and think creatively you know about how you can make your dream of home ownership happen."

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