Monday, June 26, 2006

Housing cost are a big problem currently across the nation, perhaps in most of the industrialized world. I live in a state that is notorious for its low wages; this hasn't been a great problem until the last 5 to 10 years when housing costs have increased at a rate which is higher than wages. Essentially they don't match anymore and the disparity is to the point where many low to middle income families cannot afford a home.

Just by way of example my parents purchased a new home in a nice part of town in 1990 for around $115,000, at the time they thought the price was extremely high and were a bit concerned but they were doing fairly well and lived a comfortable middle income life. Just last year they were able to sell the home for well over $250,000. That is greater than 115% increase in just 15 years and it was really in the last 5 to 10 years when prices sky rocketed. This home they purchased was by no means a started home as it had an unfinished basement a guest bedroom with it's own bath a large kitchen/dining area, a living room and family room along with an office. Upstairs there was a rather large master bedroom with a large walk in closet and master bathroom, 3 fairly large kid bedrooms and a bathroom for the kids. In total bedrooms with 3 baths. Without any official empirical data, I've found that a 'starter' home today is at least $180,000 to $200,000. This price is rather high and my parents would not have chosen to buy a home at this price back in 1990 yet they made a significant amount of money combined. While today houses, just to start are this much, and yet wages haven't gone up a lot.

It is a very depressing world for me because I have two daughters and want to provide all I can for them and give them the stability of a home but I am forced into settling on small two bedroom apartments because it's all I can afford.

My Brother-in-Law is in real estate and he indicates that they main force driving prices up are all the immigrating families from California. They are able to sell their small homes in California for over $500,000 with a lot of equity and come here and purchase rather large homes for less than they could in Cali. This is rather problematic for locals who cannot match this and it makes it nigh impossible for young couples to buy a home. Something has to be done so that all can live the American dream, currently I cannot, I do not make enough to be able to buy a home and there is no indication that this will change within the next 5 years until I make a good amount more than I currently do, however then I will be up against housing prices that are even greater so my income probably still won't match.

If you bought a home 8 to 15 years ago well done, if not you're fairly screwed. I wish government would step in and help out those of us who are trying to make it work but cannot due to housing cost being too great. We waste too much money on other public welfare programs and keep helping out those individuals who do not work, well I pay my taxes and I think there should be incentive given to those of us who do work, but we keep picking up the tab for the indolent at the cost of the good honest workers who sincerely try to make ends meet.


Blogger Formendacil said...

Amusing to read some non-Downs comments from you. Oh the controversy you'd get over there...

Meanwhile... it is a coincidence that we two 'Downers have the same Blogger scheme?


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