A new WalletHub report looked at median mortgage balances compared to median income and median home values in different American cities.

Even as the 30-year rates rose slightly earlier in the month, mortgage rates are still at historic lows — and, in the face of pandemic uncertainty, many are wondering whether now is a good time to buy a home.

A new WalletHub report published Wednesday looked at median mortgage balances compared to median income and median home values in different American cities to see which have the most and least sustainable situations for its residents. Even as home values rise, debt needs to be proportional with one’s income to remain worthwhile for the owner.

“Mortgage rates hit an all-time low recently due to the negative effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy,” reads the report. “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.”

Here are the cities with the worst and best mortgage outlooks in the U.S.:

WORST:

Willis, Texas

A small city in Eastern Texas, Willis was deemed by WalletHub to have the least sustainable mortgage situation in the country. While housing prices are comparatively low, they are growing much faster than household incomes and it’s one of the few places in the country where the median homeowner owes more than the median home is worth.

Median Mortgage Debt: $143,676

Median Home Value: $82,300

Median Income: $31,250

Bell Gardens, California

Like many places in California, housing values are rising so fast that people with average salaries are unable to keep up. Located just outside of Los Angeles, the city of Bell Gardens has the highest debt-to-income ratio in the country — an astonishing 1,041 percent.

Median Mortgage Debt: $276,750

Median Home Value: $407,900

Median Income: $26,576

Ewa Miazga | EyeEm | Getty Images

Ewa Beach, Hawaii

The picturesque town just outside of Honolulu is a tourist hotspot and, as a result, has home values that are wildly disproportionate with the median income ($38,678). Both locals and vacation home owners who can’t pay out of pocket often end up taking on astronomical levels of debt to own a slice of paradise.

Median Mortgage Debt: $375,211

Median Home Value: $512,400

Median Income: $38,678

Dumfries, Virginia

Just 30 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., the small town of Dumfries has a mortgage-to-debt ratio of 672 percent — in no small part because home values are consistent with its proximity to the nation’s capital while incomes, unfortunately, are not.

Median Mortgage Debt: $264,911

Median Home Value: $211,300

Median Income: $39,428

Joseph Sohm | Shutterstock.com

Blacklick Estates, Ohio

Located in central Ohio, Blacklick Estates is a tight-knit community with only about 9,000 residents. The median home in the area is worth just $90,400, but, due to low income levels and job prospects, the debt-to-income ratio sits at a high 376 percent.

Median Mortgage Debt: $151,189

Median Home Value: $90,400

Median Income: $40,237

BEST:

Dublin-Powell, Ohio

The two neighboring suburbs of Columbus have everything a first-time home buyer needs – job prospects and home values that are poised to grow fast in the coming years. The two cities have some of the highest home values on this list but the debt buyers take on ends up being justified when it comes to overall debt-to-home-value ratio.

Dublin:

Median Mortgage Debt: $201,930

Median Home Value: $373,400

Median Income: $94,613

Powell:

Median Mortgage Debt: $206,146

Median Home Value: $369,500

Median Income: $102,128

turtix | Shutterstock.com

Cheektowaga, New York

A large suburb of Buffalo, Cheektowaga has fairly low levels of mortgage debt, in no small part due to having home values that are much more affordable than in the rest of the country. Debt-to-income ratio is at 163 percent while debt-to-home-value ratio is at 63 percent.

Median Mortgage Debt: $70,970

Median Home Value: $112,900

Median Income: $43,586

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

A suburb of Cleveland, Chagrin Falls is another Ohio city shown to have a particularly optimistic mortgage outlook. Incomes are high and the housing market is booming — as a result, homebuyers who take on the relatively high home prices are able to benefit by growth later on.

Median Mortgage Debt: $185,295

Median Home Value: $358,500

Median Income: $82,985

Downtown Boston

Qusai Akoud | Unsplash

Hingham, Massachusetts

Part of the greater Boston area, the colonial city of Hingham is home to a high number of tech and medical professionals. Home values are very high (an $891,000 median) but, since so are incomes, the overall mortgage outlook for homeowners looks bright.

Median Mortgage Debt: $361,632

Median Home Value: $891,000

Median Income: $127,750

Plymouth, Michigan

By now you’re sensing a trend. The best mortgage outlooks take place in towns that have strong infrastructure and are just outside of a major city. Plymouth is about a two hour’s drive from Chicago and has incomes that fall in line with the city’s booming housing market.

Median Mortgage Debt: $227,543)

Median Home Value: $343,500

Median Income: $51,837

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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