If you are someone who has always dreamt of the day you finally get to buy your first home, new data suggests you probably want to stay as far away from the coast.
HowMuch.net crunched the numbers and determined how many hours the average household needs to work each month to be able to buy a home in 97 American cities and with that information, the website decided to create a visualization of the hours on a US map. For the most part, the results simply confirmed what most of us have long suspected: living on either coast costs a shitload of money.
To create the visualization, researchers looked at the US census data on median household income and housing pricing information from real estate site Zillow to estimate how many hours a month the average household needs to work in order to afford a home in nearly 100 of the biggest cities in America. The resulting information confirmed that living on the West or East coast greatly increases the cost of owning a home. Each of the five cities that required the most hours of work — New York (113 hours), Los Angele (112 hours), San Francisco (107 hours), Miami (109 hours), and Boston (95 hours) — are located on the coasts, while noncoastal cities such as Memphis, Wichita, and Fort Wayne were significantly lower on the list (18, 25, and 26 hours respectively).
But just because you may have to pump the brakes a bit to live out your American Dream by purchasing your first home, doesn’t mean people should be altogether dismissing the coasts. They may be expensive but they also offer better education, higher quality healthcare and childcare, fewer teen pregnancies, and may even be safer than their noncoastal counterparts. And with the continuing rise of dual-income households in America, even buying a house in Miami or Seattle might not be as far away as you think.