Affordable or not?
It's been couched as a "bad news, good news" sort of deal: The drop in home prices has devastated some who already own homes, but it makes homeownership affordable to more people who don't yet have a foot in the door.
Now comes the Center for Housing Policy, which is warning everyone not to call the affordable-housing problem solved just yet.
If you've got a 10 percent down payment, you'd need to make about $70,000 to get the median-priced home in the Baltimore metro area without spending more than 28 percent of your income on the mortgage, property taxes and insurance. We're talking about a $235,000 place.
Though $70,000 happens to be the median household income in the metro area, there's a lot of two-income couples accounting for that figure. Trying to buy on one salary can be tricky, especially if you're a police officer ($52,000) or a licensed practical nurse ($41,000) or in any of the many professions that pay less.
The center's newest Paycheck to Paycheck report ranks metro areas by price (we're tied for 29th most expensive out of 208), by change in income needed to buy (we're middle of the pack) and by rental costs (we're 27th most expensive out of 210).
Today's story has more, including the experience of a woman looking for a $200,000 home and finding mostly foreclosures. And check out this map of the most and least expensive places.
What's your experience? Is the housing market affordable to you and the people you know?