A Dream Deferred?

I’m not sure if the American Dream is dead, but it is certainly on life support in Southern California. Most people outside of California know that LA and San Francisco are expensive places to live. However, it wasn’t until I moved here that I realized just how expensive, particularly when it comes to housing. I imagined that I’d be ready to purchase a home within three years of my move. That is until I realized that it would cost me at least $450,000 to not live in the hood. Now, for you folks in Watts, South Central and Compton, I’m not hating. It’s just that I don’t want to live where I don’t feel safe walking down the street.

Now, that $450,000 home is not like a real home. If you are in Chicago, Atlanta or Detroit, that kind of money gets a really good home. But in California it basically buys a starter home (2 bedrooms 1 ½ bath, 1400 square feet). That’s not a lot of house.

Just to put this in perspective. Look at the homes in different areas:

Atlanta $449,000

Details: http://realtor.com/Prop/1047601649
· 3 total bedroom(s)
· 2.5 total bath(s)
· 2 total full bath(s)
· 1 total half bath(s)
· Two story



Chicago: $409,000

Details: http://realtor.com/Prop/1049507714
· 5 total bedroom(s)
· 3.5 total bath(s)
· 3 total full bath(s)
· 1 total half bath(s)
· 10 total rooms
· Two story


Los Angeles: $435,000

Details:
· 3 total bedroom(s)
· 2 total bath(s)
· Style: Traditional
· Living room
· 2 covered parking space(s)


As you can see, there is a big disparity in what $400,000 could buy. That is always the case but the difference is dramatic to say the least. I don’t know what it is going to take to get the housing market in check. In an article in the LA Times, someone noted that only 15% of Californians could afford to purchase a home here. I don’t fall in that 15%. I may end up being a renter. Maybe the cost will move back a couple of hundred miles and I can be the first to get a beachfront property in Las Vegas.

 

9 Responses to A Dream Deferred?

  1. kansasscott Says:
    James,
    you didn't tell me that I'd even get an education reading your blog! I like it. You'll have to give me some pointers on how I can improve my blog. God bless
    Scott
  2. jaimie Says:
    What a difference a state makes! The average house in California lacks style and substance, and those that do will cost you at least $650,000 (and that's on the low end). It can't stay like this forever. Eventually it will stop.
  3. Cynthia Says:
    Chicago is going up, but you still can get a decent house for your money.
  4. Mealone Says:
    This is a great post. So true, but I don't know if I am willing to sacrifice everything for a nice house. Such as:

    No worries on random KKK gatherings
    Can not drink the water in ATL.
    NO BEACHES/Ports in Chicago or ATL.
    Seafood is more expensive.
  5. Cynthia Says:
    Chicago is located right off Lake Michigan so we have beaches, but it is cold as heck here most of the year. In fact, since we have such a short summer, many people do as much as they can within the time frame of summer and the lakefront is highly used. I don't like ATL for the same reason you mentioned, it is land locked and it is the south...
  6. James Manning Says:
    Each place has its ups and downs. Atl has a nice vibe to it and you can afford to buy a home. But it is a long way to the beach.

    Chicago has the lakefront but you can never get in the water - and the water is very cold. It is a beautiful city... one of the best actually.

    LA has the wheather. Man, you cannot beat the weather. The beaches are great, but a home, forget about it.
  7. Cynthia Says:
    We've noticed that the water has warmed over the years, but it is closed because of E. coli contamination often. So, if a person really likes to enter into the water, you are right, Chi Town is not the place for them. ATL is too hot for me in addition to the fact that it is land locked. I'm really contemplating where I want to move next after I get through with my Ph.D.
  8. mealone Says:
    I think the only reason why I would go to Chicago is for Oprah (no offense Cynthia). Yes I am a true fan. Anyway, is it still segregated like people say?

    Back to the ATL, all of the people in NY who could not cut it have moved to ATL. It has become the mecca for the dregs of the earth.
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