A week or so ago I wrote a post about the house down the street from us. Dubbed a ‘starter home’, the house is perfect for the couple just starting out. Clean and tidy, the home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, is located in a great family friendly neighborhood just three miles from the beach, and has an incredibly oversized yard according to So Cal standards, where oftentimes the lot size is half that of the home itself. The problem with this starter home? The $659,000 price tag.
When I wrote about the home last, I told you how discouraged I was that we could not afford to purchase it because of its high price tag. This home is the lowest around; most sell in the $700,000s. We called about it and were told it was in escrow, so imagine my surprise this morning when my husband phoned on his way to take my oldest daughter to their daddy and daughter Sunday outing and said, “There’s an open house down the street today. Go see what they say.”
I got the baby ready and headed down. The realtor greeted me, and smiled, and said oh yes, he remembers me (probably because I call about once a month to see how the house is doing and if they’ve lowered the price, oh, say, three hundred thousand or so). When I told him I heard the house had been in escrow he nodded and said, “Twice.” The reason it is still up for sale? Neither of the potential buyers, who were each looking at purchasing this as their first home, could qualify for a sub prime loan.
Does this make sense? The only starter home, the cheapest one around, the one that most people starting out should be able to afford, cannot even be purchased by those seeking a starter house? What is wrong with this crazy real estate picture? Where are the people who are just starting out supposed to live?
I read in the paper that housing sales and prices are dropping, but when your starter home is more than half a million dollars, does it really matter? Probably not. I’ll let you know how it goes, readers. I was told repeatedly today while I spoke with the realtor that the buyers would take less than the asking price, but when I jokingly asked, “You mean like half?” I got more than a small laugh and a roll of the eyes.
Have a great Wednesday, mommies! Today we are off to my daughter’s ballet class; I will save that funny story for another day.