Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I live in the Texas Hill Country, near San Antonio and Austin. It is a beautiful part of the state, and, unfortunately, people in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin know it and are coming this way. Habitat for Humanity recently built some homes for some needy people. The homes cost $40,000 to build. They were recently appraised (only a year after construction) for $125,000. The house I live in is a 1930s frame home with no insulation, no a/c, two bedrooms and one bath. The lot is large, but is also a seasonal creek. When it rains more than an inch, we have water standing in the back yard. It has been appraised at $95,000. We paid $55,000 for it about six years ago.

Last week, in USA Today, I read a couple of stories that were seeming unrelated, but eventually tied together. The majority of homeowners in this country pay 50% or more of their income for housing. And, rush hours across the country are expanding. Some people leave the house before sunrise to beat the traffic, and return after dark. Why? They can't afford to live in the town where they work.

Today, MSNBC.com published a story about the lack of affordable housing across the country. One man in San Francisco pays $1200 a month for a ramshackle apartment, which leaves him with $30 a month to pay his utilities and buy food.

With the outrageous land prices and outlandish property tax rates being levied, this country is looking at serious crisis. Soon, only brain surgeons and drug dealers will be able to afford to own property.



Blogger Unknown said...

I think people are tired of paying these prices for glorified apartments.

Here in SD there was a mad rush to convert apartments to "condo's". They fixed them up and tried selling them for three quarters of a million, people bought, now people don't want to pay that much, so they are going for 350,000, and people are losing money, BIG SURPRISE.

1:32 PM  

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