How do people afford houses in big-city markets?

I live in an average sized city, with about 500,000 people in the metro area, and we have an excellent housing market. You could get a VERY decent house for $130,000 and an amazing one for upwards of $400,000. So, as I have just begun my home search, I have found that these prices would never occur in the larger... show more I live in an average sized city, with about 500,000 people in the metro area, and we have an excellent housing market. You could get a VERY decent house for $130,000 and an amazing one for upwards of $400,000. So, as I have just begun my home search, I have found that these prices would never occur in the larger markets. I am looking for jobs all over the country, so I am wondering how I will ever be able to afford a live-able house if I move somewhere else. I understand that salaries for similar jobs in different cities may be higher in proportion to ones here, but is the difference in pay proportional to the difference in price of living? I am getting very worried that I will be stuck here forever!
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