Once-affordable cities too pricey for low- and moderate-income families
Housing prices are far outstripping salary increases for low- and moderate-income jobs, putting the American dream of owning a home beyond the reach of teachers, firefighters and other community workers in many cities, said a study being released Tuesday.Being a professional writer is kind of like being a teacher--it doesn't pay like being a doctor or lawyer. So I, too, feel the pain of watching the home-ownership dream looking more like a fantasy.
Where is all this money coming from? That is all I want to know. Prices can only rise if there are people out there who can afford to pay them--or banks foolish enough to give money to people who really can't afford the payments to which they're committing.
I don't want much--a decent house, with a garage for both our cars and enough space inside for both of us, that's close enough to the places we work that we can actually spend time in it rather than driving to and from it. Oh, and a neighborhood that's safe and doesn't look like it recently survived a war or natural disaster (portions of Streamwood, I'm looking at you). Do I have to move to a small town and take a job delivering mail to make this goal manageable? Because right now, getting those things at a price that we can afford is going to mean moving to Huntley, or beyond. (Minnesotans, imagine moving to Monticello. Or Chisago City. Never heard of them? Exactly.)
And how will those of you who plan to have kids manage it?
I hope these worries and fears all look silly when I'm looking back on them from my mid-thirties. But something will have to change for that to happen.