Here’s How Many Hours You Need To Work To Cover A Mortgage

Median wage earners in pursuit of the American Dream should probably do what they can to avert the coasts — unless, of course, they do not care much about having time for family, friends or really anything besides a punishing work schedule.

That’s because, just to manage the median mortgage in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami, a head of a household earning the area’s median cover needs to work over 100 hours. Wages are obviously higher in places like this, but maybe not enough higher to make up for the cost of purchasing a home.

Cost-estimating website HowMuch.net crunched Census Bureau and Zillow estimates to show how many hours average Americans need to work to pay their mortgage in 98 of the largest cities in the nation.

HowMuch.net used a 40-hour week as the norm to compute an average hourly rate in a bid to level the playing field between salaried and hourly workers. And for the housing expenses, it used a 30-year loan to find out the figure.

Here are the top 10 cities and the hours necessary to pay for a home:

  1. Los Angeles: 112 hours
  2. Miami: 109 hours
  3. San Francisco: 107 hours
  4. Boston: 95 hours
  5. Oakland: 83 hours
  6. Long Beach, Calif.: 78 hours
  7. San Diego: 77 hours
  8. Santa Ana, Calif.: 74 hours
  9. San Jose, Calif: 74 hours
  10. Irvine, Calif.: 73 hours

Clearly, California is out of whack, as you might expect, but HowMuch.net’s Raul Amoros pointed out that it’s not so bad just about anywhere else.

“The Best places are normally old manufacturing cities like Toledo and Memphis (17 and 18 hours, respectively),” he said. “That’s right — you don’t need to work beyond lunch on Wednesday to make enough money to make a mortgage payment in [such locations]. That’s an incredible standard of living.”


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