Want to Buy a House? This Is How Many Hours You Need to Work to Afford One in Your State

iStock.com/jhorrocks
iStock.com/jhorrocks

How much people need to work to afford what is perhaps the most iconic aspect of the American dream—their own house—varies drastically from city to city and state to state. Just as real estate values change with ZIP codes, so, too, do income levels. (Not to mention tax rates and the price of common goods.) To see how attainable owning a home in different cities across the U.S. really is, the cost information site HowMuch.net mapped how many hours someone earning the median income in the country’s biggest cities would need to work just to pay the average mortgage.

To crunch the numbers, the site used Census data to figure out the median hourly income for people in the 98 biggest cites in the U.S., based on the idea that everyone is working 40 hours a week. (Which isn’t very realistic, but still provides a rough estimate.) Then, HowMuch.net used data from Zillow on the median housing prices to calculate the median monthly mortgage price in each of those cities, estimating that people typically get a 30-year mortgage.

Here's the breakdown for the country's most expensive metros:

1. New York, New York: 113 hours
2. Los Angeles, California: 112 hours
3. Miami, Florida: 109 hours
4. San Francisco, California: 107 hours
5. Boston, Massachusetts: 95 hours
6. Oakland, California: 83 hours
7. Long Beach, California: 78 hours
8. San Diego, California: 77 hours
9. Santa Ana, California: 74 hours
10. San Jose, California: 74 hours

California is just as expensive as you thought it was, and that applies to more than just L.A. and Silicon Valley. Long Beach and Orange County's Santa Ana make the list, too, as does sunny San Diego. Those cities pale in comparison to Miami and Boston, though. Someone living in Santa Ana would be able to afford the median mortgage working a full 35 fewer hours than someone in Miami—basically a whole workweek. Of course, that seems much less affordable when you consider that someone in Memphis only has to work 18 hours to afford their mortgage, about a fifth of what someone in San Jose does.

Obviously, there are aspects of this data that don't entirely capture the reality on the ground. Many people work more than 40 hours a week. Interest rates can vary a lot based on credit score, when you took out your mortgage, and other factors. Many households have more than one source of income, and those incomes may not be equal, which change the figures quite a bit. Most importantly, this only reflects the cost of housing. While a mortgage payment is a huge chunk of most people's expenses, this graphic doesn't reflect the cost of other necessities like food, insurance, transportation, and all the other things we have to pay for to get by in any given month.

So, before you plan your move to Memphis, bear in mind that these are just rough estimates. That said, if you do want to move to Memphis, we wouldn't blame you.

The Most-Googled Mental Health Symptoms in Each State

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iStock.com/eclipse_images

Before visiting a doctor for a medical diagnosis, many people turn to Google to learn more about symptoms like sweaty palms, back pain, and morning sickness. But physical ailments aren't the only conditions people are self-diagnosing on the web—the map below from TermLife2Go shows the most-Googled mental health symptoms by state.

For this report, the life insurance agency compiled a list of the common mental health conditions from sources like NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), TalkSpace, and MentalHealth.gov and used Google Trends to determine which symptoms people are searching for.

TermLife2Go found that social media and internet addiction, major depressive disorder, and memory loss were the most-Googled mental health terms from the past year, with one of the three conditions topping search results in 13 states. In Alaska, where some northern residents deal with constant darkness during the winter, people are searching for seasonal affective disorder. Financial stress is the most searched-for mental health symptom in New York, which also happens to be one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.

Map of most Googled mental health symptoms in the U.S.
TermLife2Go

Whether your medical symptoms are mental or physical, it's always better to consult a professional rather than rely on the internet for help. But if you can't resist asking Google about what ails you, there is a right way to search for your symptoms—learn more here.

The Most Binge-Watched TV Show in Each State

iStock.com/franckreporter
iStock.com/franckreporter

Does geographical location influence taste when it comes to binge-watching TV shows? That was the question tackled by Geek.com, which polled 1500 people across the country recently to discover which shows rank among the most popular in each state. Here’s what they found out.

An infographic shows the most-binged television shows in each state
Geek.com

It comes as little surprise that Game of Thrones, which is available on HBO’s cable and streaming platforms, is a series that exhibits widespread appeal. The fantasy drama, which is currently airing its eighth and final season, ranks as the show most likely to be binged and the favorite of eight states. Coming in second was The Office (Netflix), with Ozark (Netflix), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime), and Grace and Frankie (Netflix) rounding out the top five.

A list of the most-binged shows in the country is pictured
Geek.com

Many of the binged shows are comedies, with 44.9 percent of respondents deeming it their preferred genre. Residents of Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah were notable exceptions, with those states leaning toward dramas.

While shows like Friends, NCIS, and Stranger Things ranked first in many states, others hold some outliers. The Hallmark family drama When Calls the Heart is favored in Utah, Nevada prefers the CW series Supernatural, and North Dakota enjoys the violent action-drama The Punisher.

While Game of Thrones is on top for now, streaming services shouldn’t underestimate the affection for network sitcoms. Of those polled, 19 percent said they would cancel Netflix if Friends left the line-up, and 14 percent would do the same if The Office disappeared.

[h/t Geek.com]

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