Six years ago my husband and I moved from Florida to California. At the time we were a two-income working family with no children, happy to spend our money on things that we enjoyed, like traveling and wine and dinners out.
For the first year we spent some time in Southern California looking at houses, comparing prices, and gasping at the sticker shot that we found from the East coast to the West.
The houses we were looking at during that time ranged in the mid three hundred thousand dollars out here in LA land compared to half that amount in Florida. Our exact words: We can’t afford this. And so we didn’t buy.
One year later, those $350,000 homes were over $600,000 and we had been completely shut out of purchasing a new home, even with two incomes.
This has been frustrating, to say the least. Since that time we have had two children. I opened a company and the first few years have been tough financially, with supplies and neccessities eating up most of my profits.
We’ve been in a condo and a home, so two different landlords have reaped the rewards of our rental status. It is really tough to kiss your hard earned money goodbye and to have nothing to show for it in the end. You know, the cabinets are old and don’t close, the floor is something that someone pasted down with, I’m guessing, a glue gun, and while the idea behind it was great, the fact that the floors have been carpeted in light tan just doesn’t work when you have children.
We have not been able to fix up anything in these homes because we aren’t staying, and who wants to sink money into something that is not theirs?
So suffice it to say we are pleasantly surprised to find that prices are dropping, even in the extremely overpriced OC.
Those of you that don’t live in this crazy real estate market may not be thrilled to find a 3/2 in need of scraped ceilings (didn’t popcorn go out in the 70s?) for the very low price of $550,000.
Oh, but we are. For once we are actually thinking that maybe by summer prices will drop a bit more and we can actually purchase a home. Our first! And our toes are tingling with the excitement.
We see the words foreclosure in the newspaper and grin over our Cheerios.
We hear short sale and want to scream.
And then, a few days ago, my bubble was burst.
A good friend of mine, a neighbor who has been scouting homes for my husband and me to check out, called to say that her husband’s friend had just been laid off. He worked in construction, and with this cooling trend in real estate he was no longer needed.
My friend’s husband also works in construction. Needless to say, they are beginning to worry.