Affording a home is not that simple. Source: Visual Capitalist

Many people believe that owning your own home is the very definition of the American dream. Having your own home can be a huge foundation towards a comfortable lifestyle and a secured retirement in the future. But affording a home in this market is not that simple. It entirely depends on where you live and your level of income. In that case, it’s very difficult to have one golden rule of determining how many hours people need to work to own a home. So, we used data from the Census Bureau to determine the average hourly rate in some of the major cities in the US. We then compared that data with the median house price in those urban areas.

We found that in the following cities, you will need to work more to pay for your 30-year mortgage.

  1. New York City - If you live in the city of New York, you will need to put in at least 113 hours per month to pay off your mortgage.
  2. Los Angeles, CA - For people who want to own a home in LA, at least 112 hours a month will be needed if you want to keep up with the mortgage.
  3. Miami, FL - In Miami, an average person has to put in 109 hours a month to cater to mortgage payments.
  4. San Francisco, CA - Property prices in San Francisco are relatively high compared to other cities but the median income is high too. To pay off your mortgage here, 107 hours a month will be enough to take care of business.
  5. Boston, MA - Boston is the first city to rank under 100 hours. People in this city only need 95 hours a month to own a home.
  6. Oakland, CA - In Oakland, 83 hours each month is the bare minimum to pay off your mortgage.
  7. Long Beach, CA - Another city in the state of California falls into the top ten. In Long Beach, working for 78 hours a month should indeed do the trick.
  8. San Diego, CA - 77 hours each month in San Diego is the bare minimum to get your home with a 30-year mortgage.
  9. Santa Ana, CA - In Santa Ana, average workers putting in 74 hours a month will be able to get a home in the city.
  10. San Jose, CA - San Jose wraps up the top ten list. In this city, 74 hours per month are good enough to own a decent home.
The coastal areas are the most expensive places to live in. Source: Aymerich Golf

The list above actually suggests that some of the most expensive places to live in are located along the coastal areas. But if you’re really looking for a bargain, it’s recommended to look for a home in the hinterlands. For instance, old manufacturing cities like Memphis and Toledo have cheaper properties. You will only need 17 and 18 hours per month respectively to pay off a 30-year mortgage. The standard of living in the Midwest has generally been more affordable though compared to most parts of the US.