Adam McCann, Financial Writer | WalletHub | Buying a home represents an important milestone for most consumers. But for those who dive in to the deep end of real estate without a financial safety net, the decision could lead to buyer’s remorse in the long run.
Mortgage rates hit an all-time low recently due to the negative effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy. However, while the 15-year fixed-rate average and five-year adjustable rate average have continued to drop, the 30-year fixed-rate average has begun to rise again. In the wake of overall lower rates, many homeowners have looked to refinance, and many other Americans are wondering if now is a good time to buy.
As with any major financial decision, it’s wise to improve one’s credit score before applying for a mortgage in order to qualify for the best possible rates. Using a Mortgage Calculator can also help to determine an affordable monthly payment and realistic payoff timeline, whether borrowing for the first time or refinancing an existing loan. Without a good grasp of how to pay off mortgage debt, consumers might find that debt unsustainable.
In this report, WalletHub determined which cities are home to the most overleveraged mortgage debtors by comparing the median mortgage balances against the median income and median home value in more than 2,500 cities. Read on for our findings, expert homebuying advice and a full description of our methodology.
How did cities in Eastern North Carolina do? Here’s the drill-down:
Cities with the Highest Mortgage Debts
WalletHub Home Overleverage Score**
Median Mortgage Debt
Median House Value
Mortgage Debt-to-Income Ratio
Mortgage Debt-to-House Value Ratio
Most Overleveraged Cities
Least Overleveraged Cities
Dublin, OH/ Powell, OH
Bell Gardens, CA
Ewa Beach, HI
Chagrin Falls, OH
Blacklick Estates, OH
McKees Rocks, PA
St. Albans, WV
Santa Maria, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Chevy Chase, MD
Beverly Hills, CA
West Mifflin, PA
Imperial Beach, CA
Upper Marlboro, MD
Bloomfield Hills, MI
West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, has the lowest mortgagedebt-to-income ratio, 140 percent, which is 7.4 times lower than in Bell Gardens, California, the city with the highest at 1,041 percent.
Bronxville, New York, has the lowest mortgagedebt-to-house value ratio, 19 percent, which is 9.6 times lower than in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, the city with the highest at 182 percent.
East St. Louis, Illinois, has the lowest medianmortgage debt, $42,809, which is 18.7 times lower than in Beverly Hills, California, the city with the highest at $802,098.
Scarsdale, New York, has the highest median income, $211,139, which is 9.6 times higher than in Bastrop, Louisiana, the city with the lowest at $22,021.
North Carolina, with 297 cases as of the morning of March 24, 2020, ranking it 19th among states with the most COVID-19 cases, ranked 40th in a comparison of states taking aggressive action against the virus.
According to the World Health Organization, the primary way that coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads is through close interaction with other people. If people come into contact with droplets exhaled or coughed out by infected people, they are at risk of getting the virus. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans use “social distancing.” This includes canceling large events and staying at least two meters away from others when possible, among other measures to limit close contact.
Many states have taken the CDC’s advice and have legally enforced social distancing, to the point of banning even small gatherings, closing all non-essential businesses, shutting down schools and even ordering residents to shelter in place in some cases. Other states have focused on laws ensuring greater funding for combating the pandemic or guaranteeing that treatment is covered by insurance. Some states have even taken hygiene into their own hands – for example, New York is manufacturing its own hand sanitizer to deal with shortages.
In order to determine the states that are most and least aggressive in their efforts to limit exposure to coronavirus, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 46 unique metrics. Our data set ranges from tested cases of COVID-19 per capita and state legislation on the pandemic to the uninsured population and share of the workforce in affected industries. Read on for the ranking and a complete description of our methodology.
Alongside this report, WalletHub also released a Coronavirus and Money Survey that examined how the virus has affected Americans’ daily life and spending habits.