Real estate poll results: Affordability
I asked you recently if the slump has made homes more affordable for you. It's a different question than "do you think prices are good" -- many of you have strong opinions about that -- but I figured it was equally worthwhile. Here are your answers on the poll, as of right now:
Thirty-eight percent said, "I still can't afford any homes around here."
Thirty percent said you can afford nicer homes now than before.
Twenty-one percent said the value of your own home is down as well as the price of homes you might buy.
And eleven percent said, "I can afford to buy a home now -- I couldn't afford anything before."
I'm wondering about you folks who opted for the first answer. Can you truly not afford to buy anything in the metro area, either because the prices are too high or because of debt/mortgage issues? Or can you not afford the price of any home you'd be willing to buy?
The end result is the same, of course -- you're not going to buy a home you're not willing to buy. But I'm curious whether you're being aggravated by rundown homes for sale in your price range or if you're finding nothing whatsoever listed for the price you could afford.
While we're on the subject of affordability: Maya Brennan, one of the authors of the recent Paycheck to Paycheck report, ran an analysis to see if accountants, bookkeeping clerks, customer service representatives, general managers, receptionists and stock movers could afford to buy in Scranton, Penn.
If all those positions in that place sound oddly familiar, then you probably watch The Office. She wondered if the characters could live where they work.
Answer: Yes, for most of them. The median-priced home in Scranton was $85,000 last year.