I rarely write about our housing market here in Orange
County. I mean, if you are living in the middle of the country do you really
care how crazy it is? But today I’m feeling a bit frustrated and an article in
the paper aggravated me more, so rather than ruin my perfectly beautiful sunny
Southern California day I thought I’d get my vent out on paper. I always feel
better after doing so!
We moved to the LA area five
years ago, before the real estate exploded. We checked out a few
houses priced in the $300,000s because that was the cost of a starter home at that time. Coming from Florida,
where we could have purchased the same house for half that price, we balked
and waited, and then the prices really took off, so that a year later the same
house was twice as much. Now we are stuck, because as you know starting a
business is not profitable at first and I don’t want to go back to working full time
because of my two daughters.
Recently a house on our street went up for sale. This house
is sixty years old and needs work; the woman living there before was a single
mother and she had lived there for the entirety of the home’s life, even
after her husband passed and up until the time she went to assisted living.
When the kids fixed it up to sell, they didn’t do a lot cosmetically, so the
kitchen is mismatched and dated, there is carpet in the dining room (which you
know you can’t have with young children), mold on the exterior roof, and additional
cosmetic issues hat need to be resolved.
The price? $659,000. And that’s considered a steal in
our neck of the woods.
Of course, we are shut out of purchasing a home because of
this. We don’t want to be house poor; we want to own a house and still have
money to travel, buy clothes, and eat, because, as you know, eating is good.
So today’s real estate news is this: inventory is up 15%,
sales are down 30%, and foreclosure are up 645%. Looking good for us, right?
(Not that I want to wish ill will on anyone, but overall, the real estate
market appears to be crashing down on our heads).
Not necessarily, though: It
seems that the median OC home price was $646,000 and if that prices hold it
will be a record! How is this happening? Who knows. What I do know is we are
still shut out of the housing market, and if real estate is crashing in Orange
County, California, it sure isn’t making much a difference to us. It would have to crash in half for it to matter in our home, and that probably isn’t going to happen ever again, or at least in the foreseeable future.
So we will continue
to lease a home and wait and see. In the meantime, I’ll forget about real
estate and go play in the sunshine with my three year old, who is
standing here begging me for a popsicle. I think I’ll have one too.