How Much Money You Need to Earn in Each State to Rent a House, Mapped

iStock
iStock

In many places across the U.S., the rent is simply too damn high. Average housing prices are rising twice as fast as wages are, and as a result, more and more people are renting. And that's not cheap either—as of 2015, 38 percent of American households were "rent-burdened," meaning spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

What does this mean for you? This map from the cost information site How Much, spotted by Thrillist, can tell you. It details what kind of monthly income you need to make in order to rent the average home in each state without spending more than 30 percent of your salary.

The map may confirm what you already suspected: Places like California, New York, Massachusetts, D.C., and Hawaii are very expensive to live in. You might be surprised to learn just how expensive, though. While a renter in Iowa only needs to earn $3500 or so a month to comfortably pay for housing, someone living in Washington, D.C. needs to make almost $8500 a month, or almost $102,000 a year.

How Much

Here's what you need to make each month to live in the top 10 most expensive states in the U.S.:

1. Washington D.C.: $8487
2. California: $8313
3. Hawaii: $7806
4. New York: $7223
5. Massachusetts: $7193
6. New Jersey: $6717
7. Colorado: $6197
8. Washington: $5993
9. Maryland: $5863
10. Connecticut: $5590

And here are the 10 cheapest:

1. West Virginia: $2960
2. Oklahoma: $3117
3. Arkansas: $3157
4. Alabama: $3313
5. Missouri: $3367
6 Kansas: $3437
7. Iowa: $3473
8. Mississippi: $3493
9. Kentucky: $3570
10. Ohio: $3613

But before you pack up and move to West Virginia or Mississippi, be aware that those states also have some of the lowest median wages in the U.S., meaning that in reality, housing isn't all that affordable there, either.

There are, to be sure, some weaknesses with this particular data. The map doesn't take into account what kind of home you'd be renting—it just looks at the median price for a rental in each state—nor does it distinguish between locations within states. (The rent in Syracuse, New York is a lot different than the rent in Manhattan, just like the rent in San Francisco is a lot different than the rent in Fresno, California.) But it's still a useful snapshot of our current housing situation.

Take a look at the rest of the data over on HowMuch.net.

[h/t Thrillist]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The Most Popular Songs Named After Each Country

Burst, Pexels // Public Domain
Burst, Pexels // Public Domain

Geography is a popular source of inspiration for many songwriters. When a musician sings about their home country, it can be a way to express patriotism—or criticism. Crooning about a foreign place, on the other hand, is a way to transport listeners to a different part of the world. Inserting place names into lyrics is so common, nearly every country on Earth has a song named after it. Budget Direct compiled the most popular of these songs in the map below.

To make the graphic, the insurance website searched every country name on Spotify and picked the songs with the highest play counts. The most-played track on the map is "China" by Anuel AA with 631,980,232 streams. Though the lyrics don't actually mention the country, the artist claims China's influence can be heard in the song's rhythm.

"Born in The U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen is the most popular song named after the United States, which is funny considering the song's not-so-patriotic message. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita, "Russian Roulette" by Rihanna, and "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles are a few of the other hit songs that make the map. Some entries, like the national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are deeper cuts.

You can check out the full map of popular songs named after countries below. And if you'd like to continue your musical tour of the world, Budget Direct put together a Spotify playlist of the tracks here.

Budget Direct//CC BY-SA 4.0