Wednesday, August 06, 2003

House = $$$$$

Hubby just sent this link about the cost of housing the New York City area . Around U.S., a House Is a Home but Not a Bonanza

According to this article, prices for houses are incredibly different at the coasts from the middle of the country. With the influx of all the creative, smart people (according to the Times) to the NY, Boston, and San Francisco, the middle of the country is emptying out. Housing prices in states like Indiana are in the 100,000s, while around here you can't find anything livable for 300,000. Our recent house hunting fiasco confirmed that.

The Times made it out that it was a good thing for the area. A larger nest egg for home owners, who can borrow against equity to get more stuff. I just think that things are too out of whack.

Housing prices have tripled in the area, but wages haven't. And those who didn't get in at the right time are in big trouble. There are no starter homes anymore. People just starting off can't afford to buy anything new or are borrowed up to their eyeballs. This has a big impact on the quality of life around here.

Nobody can afford to do creative occupations. Forget being an artist or a writer these days. Do it on the weekend. You can't afford to be a teacher or a professor. People are forced into more lucrative professions -- accountants and lawyers.

Children are a luxury that have to postponed until the late thirties, if ever. With high mortgage prices, two incomes become a necessity. The worry about schools adds further pressure to housing decisions.

The cost of living has become a real issue to us and to many of our friends. Some have moved to Los Angeles or North Carolina. I have heard some stories about many artists moving further north up the Hudson Valley.

I want to live in a place where friends can stop in for a beer after work, where there are a lot of fun, energetic people milling about, where my children can play naked in a backyard sprinkler, where I can find fresh vegetables, where my husband can be home with us for dinner, where we both can find jobs, where we have room for all our books.

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