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How many hours Americans have to work to afford a home in major US cities

Los Angeles, California
P. Eoche | Getty Images

Home ownership is expensive, especially in big cities.

That said, depending on your situation, buying a home can be a smart investment. That's why it makes sense to weigh the pros and cons of ownership first.

If you're looking to settle down in a major city, you may want to consider how many hours you'd have to work to pay down a mortgage. That's what cost comparison site Howmuch.net recently determined.

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The site first looked at the median household income across 98 major cities and calculated the average hourly rate in each (based on a 40-hour work week). Next, it looked at median home prices in each city in order to calculate the typical monthly mortgage payment, assuming a 30-year loan.

Using those two numbers, Howmuch.net figured out how long you'd have to work in each city to make that mortgage payment each month.

The site mapped its results. "The red bars represent places where you have to work the most hours to keep the roof over your head," Howmuch.net reports. "In cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco, you put in more than 100 hours to make enough money just to pay for housing. That's longer than two-and-a-half weeks, meaning well over 50 percent of your take-home pay."

In Toledo, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn., by contrast, you could pay your mortgage pretty quickly with only 17 or 18 hours of work.

Click on the map to enlarge.

Chart asset: howmuch hours per week mortgage

Here are the U.S. cities where you have to work the most hours to afford a home.

11. Seattle, Wash.

Median home listing price: $679,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 72.8 per month

10. Irvine, Calif.

Median home listing price: $897,304
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 73.4 per month

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9. San Jose, Calif. 

Median home listing price: $825,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 73.5 per month

8. Santa Ana, Calif. 

Median home listing price: $509,990
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 73.6 per month

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7. San Diego, Calif.

Median home listing price: $675,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 77 per month

6. Long Beach, Calif.

Median home listing price: $545,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 77.9 per month

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5. Oakland, Calif.

Median home listing price: $599,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 82.7 per month

4. Boston, Mass.

Median home listing price: $699,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 94.7 per month

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3. San Francisco, Calif.

Median home listing price: $1,150,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 106.7 per month

2. Miami, Fla.

Median home listing price: $449,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 109.4 per month

1. Los Angeles, Calif.

Median home listing price: $748,000
Number of hours you have to work to afford a home: 112.4 per month

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