Thursday, May 31, 2007

Can you afford that house you own? Affordable housing in Humboldt County. (Shhh! Nobody wants to talk about this.)

If you own a median sized house in Humboldt County with 3 bedrooms and two baths, your house is worth $330,000. If you you were to buy that house today, you would probably need at least $5,000 in the bank to help with costs and a household income of $80,000. Your monthly payments would be right at $2,000. Or 60% of your income! General information available through Humboldt Association of Realtors

Now we have heard many people talk about affordable housing and the need in Humboldt County. Here is a simple definition as set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Affordable Housing - CPD - HUD The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

OK then. Assuming the median household income in Humboldt County is just under $40,000 a year, that leaves that person with just under $1,000 a month after taxes to qualify for a HUD defined type house. So these affordable houses should be going for around $165,000.

Sure hope they build many of these. It would seem to reason that people would be lined up for miles in Humboldt County for this deal. The going rate for a 3 bedroom rental is currently $1040 per month in Humboldt County!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most of us that have purchased our houses before the prices went up could not afford them now. The increase in house tax alone could make it unaffordable. Remember that your house tax would start at 1% of the purchase price and go up 2% each year. Also the insurance would be higher, but then if your insurance has not gone up you might want to reevaluate if you are underinsured since building costs have gone up. In recent years, Eureka has voted additional school bonds and that shows up on tax bill. College of Redwoods also had their bond voted in and will keep increasing. Some have fire district assessments on tax bill. Sometimes it isn't just the price of the home - it is everything else that goes with it that can stop people from being able to buy. Talked with someone today that said her kids should be buying a house, but instead bought a SUV and now a new truck and can't afford the house now.

EkoVox said...

I'm thinking those Soviet style apartments are looking good right about now. Or at least that's what some factions of the county are trying to sell to us. More infill. Build up, not out. Sorry, that little strip of communal apartments on South G Street in Arcata doesn't appeal to me as ideal living. Nor do the monster homes dotting our residential landscape. Perhaps Ernie Pierson had the right idea after all. Small and affordable and lots of 'em.

Carson Park Ranger said...

So the obscene price tag isn't the only thing keeping you out of a 4500 sq ft home in Cutten?

The average American family lived in a 1200 sq ft home in 1960.
Modern American suburbanites must like to vacuum a lot.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how small (or big)the house is when the lot itself costs $125,000 to $150,000.

Anonymous said...

The prices will go down. What you point out Richard is the disconnect between the prices and wages available here. My prediction based on the market is between 25-35% drop within 3 years. Hold on to your hats.

What might prop it up is retirees coming here, but honestly I don't think there is a vast number of people who want to live here anymore.

Anonymous said...

"What might prop it up is retirees coming here, but honestly I don't think there is a vast number of people who want to live here anymo"

You are kidding right?

Greg said...

The median price in LA is $550,000. Millions of people can sell the family home, retire to Humboldt, pay cash for a house and still have a couple of hundred grand in the bank. I can't think of any local pricing factors that can overcome this simple fact. We live in a 3 bd/1ba (great location, though) and if we ever move it may well be to a condo.

Maybe the city of Eureka should zone the Balloon Tract property for the maximum amount of affordable condominimiums and apartments. That would help the "affordable housing crisis" AND dictate a high level of toxic cleanup (due to the residential use). Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

9:19 PM is correct - with lots running high, where does affordability come in. Building costs are up so figure out what a lot plus 1200 sq foot house would cost. That is not affordable.

Pierson had the right idea years ago, but those same Pierson houses now sell for lots more. Have one as a rental and could sell for more than $350,000. Have had tenants ask if I want to sell - when they figure out the price - can't afford to buy.

Hard to know where the prices will go here as Humboldt has not had this bit a price increase. Prices in San Diego have dropped about 20%. L.A. sales are lagging. SF Chronicle keeps saying prices are up but sales have slowed. Few weeks ago, a real estate tab said our prices are still going up 2 to 3% a year, but somehow that didn't explain all the continued price reductions and lots of houses for sale.

Anonymous said...

California April 2007 Home Sales

May 16, 2007

A total of 34,949 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That's down 12.2 percent from 39,811 for March, and down 28.5 percent from 48,894 for April 2006. Last month's sales made for the slowest April since 1995 when 27,625 homes were sold. April sales from 1988 to 2007 range from the 27,625 in 1995 to 66,938 in 2005. The average is 46,141. On a year-over-year basis, sales have declined the last 19 months.

The median price paid for a home last month was $484,000, unchanged from March's record high. That was up 3.4 percent from $468,000 for April a year ago.

samoasoftball said...

See, I told ya. Everyone is interested in this subject, just not many want to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

You would probaly own a house by now dork if you could have pulled yourself out of the swank digs of Samoa 30 years ago. Your Co Workers

samoasoftball said...

11:16 if you were really a co-worker, you would know I own a house in Henderson Center. My wife and I possess the title.

Anonymous said...

Greg - you really are an idiot. If they tried to rezone the entire balloon tract for residential use then it would not be developed at all because no one could afford that type of clean up. And if it were done, the property would not be "affordable" at all but extremely expensive.

Nick Bravo said...

Private or corporate ownership of the balloon tract is the most economic answer. The way I see it is the Tract should be divided into sections and sold to the highest bidders for development.

Privatization and capitalism are the answers to this problem.

Anonymous said...

Just tie Mr. Bravo in the Balloon Track and he can suck up everything toxic.

Anonymous said...

Not only could I NOT afford my house today, (I bought it 6 years ago) I would just only be able to afford what the taxes and insurance would be (at today's rate almost 1/3 of my salary would be taxes and insurance.)