How Much You Need to Make to Afford a Home in Each State

Millennials are increasingly opting to pay rent over mortgages as housing prices creep up across the country. But the American dream of owning a home is more realistic in some places than it is in others. According to this data visualization from the cost information site How Much, where you choose to live can save you tens of thousands of dollars on housing payments a year.

How Much calculated the salary you need to afford the average home in each state by running data from Zillow into a mortgage calculator. They assumed that homeowners would pay interest of 4 to 5 percent depending on the state, make a down payment of 10 percent, and spend 30 percent of their annual income on their mortgage. Based on these numbers, they found West Virginia to be the most affordable state to live in: There you only need to make $38,320 to own the average $149,500 home. Behind it is Ohio with a salary requirement of $38,400 and Michigan with a salary of $40,800. All the states where the minimum salary to own a home falls below $50,000 are located in the South, North-Atlantic, and Midwestern U.S.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii occupies the top slot. To afford an average house there, which goes for $610,000, you need to bring home an annual income of at least $153,520. Washington D.C., where you need to make $138,440 or more, is the second most expensive location for homeowners, followed by California with a minimum salary of $120,120.

If the map above doesn't make you feel any more optimistic about owning a home, check out this map from 2017 of the earnings needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment in each state.

Here's How Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Part of the Country

Andy Woodruff
Andy Woodruff

Daylight saving time was created to benefit Americans, but not every part of the country is affected equally. Within the Eastern time zone, for instance, the sun rises a whole 40 minutes earlier in New York City than it does in Detroit. To illustrate how daylight saving time impacts sunrise and sunset times around the county, cartographer Andy Woodruff published a series of helpful maps on his website.

Below, the map on the left depicts how many days of reasonable sunrise time—defined as 7 a.m. or earlier—each part of the country is getting. The regions in the yellow sections have the most days with early sunrises and the darker parts have the fewest. On the right, the second map shows how many sunsets past 5 p.m. we’re getting each year, which appear to be a lot more abundant

Next, he visualized what these sunrise and sunset times would look like if daylight saving were abolished completely, something many people have been pushing for years. While our sunset times remain pretty much the same, the mornings start to look a lot sunnier for people all over the country, especially in places like West Texas.

And for those of you who were curious, here’s what America would look like if daylight saving time were in effect year-round. While mornings would look miserable pretty much everywhere, there’d at least be plenty of sunshine to enjoy once we got off work.

You can tinker with an interactive version of the daylight saving map on Woodruff’s blog.

All images courtesy of Andy Woodruff.

This article originally ran in 2015.

Here's How Much Money You Need to Retire Early in Each State

iStock.com/katso80
iStock.com/katso80

If you're complacent with your career, your goals might be limited to grabbing the last office doughnut. But if you have an eye on retirement, you might be wondering how much it's going to take to walk away from the desk forever.

Cost information website How Much has compiled estimates of the savings residents of each state might need in order to retire early at the ages of 35, 45, and 55. The site used figures from GoBankingRates that looked at the cost of living in the various regions and then estimated annual expenses based on age with an average 4 percent withdrawal rate annually.

If you wanted to retire at age 35 in Ohio, for example, having $1.61 million in your savings account would be ideal. In California, you’d need $2.37 million.

An infographic shows how much money is needed to retire at age 35 in each state
howmuch

An infographic shows how much money is needed to retire by age 45 in each state
howmuch

An infographic shows how much money is needed to retire by age 55 in each state
howmuch

The site cautions that this is an oversimplification of what should be some highly individualized financial planning. Everyone has different needs, and the numbers don't account for inflation or for adjusting the 4 percent annual withdrawal. In short, this is nothing you should pass along to your accountant. What these charts can do, however, is spark motivation to make your own plans for having a comfortable retirement. If you want to spend it in Hawaii, it might be best to start saving now.

[h/t Thrillist]

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