Ten Reasons It's A Terrible Time To Buy An Expensive House

By Patrick   follow   Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 12:58pm PDT   ↑ Like (15)   ↓ Dislike (2)   384,644 views   237 comments   Watch (31)   Share   Quote  

  1. Because house prices in expensive areas still dangerously high compared
    to incomes and rents. Banks say a safe mortgage is a maximum of 3 times
    the buyer's annual income with a 20% downpayment. Landlords say a safe price is
    set by the rental market; annual rent should be at least 9% of the purchase
    price, or else the price is just too high. Yet in affluent areas, both
    those safety rules are still being violated. Buyers are still borrowing 6 times
    their income with tiny downpayments, and gross rents are still only 3% of
    purchase price. Renting is a cash business
    that proves what people can really pay based on their salary, not how much they
    can borrow. Salaries and rents prove that affluent neighborhoods are still in a
    huge housing bubble, and that bubble seems to be getting more dangerous by the day.
  2. On the other hand, in some poor neighborhoods, prices are now so low that gross
    rents may exceed 10% of price. Housing is a bargain for buyers there. Prices there
    could still fall yet more if unemployment rises or interest rates go up, but
    those neighborhoods have no bubble anymore.

  3. Because it's usually still much cheaper to rent than to own the same size
    and quality house, in the same school district. In rich neighborhoods, annual rents are
    typically only 3% of purchase price while mortgage rates are 4% with fees, so it costs more
    to borrow the money as it does to borrow the house
    . Renters win and
    owners lose! Worse, total owner costs including taxes, maintenance, and
    insurance come to about 8% of purchase price, which is more than twice the cost of
    renting and wipes out any income tax benefit.

    The only true sign of a bottom is a price low enough so that you could rent out
    the house and make a profit. Then you'll know it's pretty safe to buy for
    yourself because then rent could cover the mortgage and ownership expenses if
    necessary, eliminating most of your risk. The basic buying safety rule is to
    divide annual rent by the purchase price for the house:

    annual rent / purchase price = 3% means do not buy, prices are too high

    annual rent / purchase price = 6% means borderline

    annual rent / purchase price = 9% means ok to buy, prices are reasonable

    So for example, it's borderline to pay $200,000 for a house that would cost you
    $1,000 per month to rent. That's $12,000 per year in rent. If you buy it with a
    6% mortgage, that's $12,000 per year in interest instead, so it works out about
    the same. Owners can pay interest with pre-tax money, but that benefit gets
    wiped out by the eternal debts of repairs and property tax, equalizing things.
    It is foolish to pay $400,000 for that same house, because renting it would
    cost only half as much per year, and renters are completely safe from falling
    housing prices. Subtract HOA from rent before doing the calculation for condos.

    Although there is no way to be sure that rents won't fall, comparing the local
    employment rate (demand) to the current local supply of available homes for
    rent or sale (supply) should help you figure out whether a big fall in rents
    could happen. Checking these factors minimizizes your risk.

  4. Because it's a terrible time to buy when interest rates are low, like now.
    House prices rose as interest rates fell, and house prices will fall if interest rates rise
    without a strong increase in jobs, because a fixed monthly payment covers a
    smaller mortgage at a higher interest rate. Since interest rates have nowhere to
    go but up, prices have nowhere to go but down. When housing falls, you lose your
    equity, but not your debt.

    The way to win the game is to
    have cash on hand to buy outright at a low price when others cannot
    borrow very much because of high interest rates. Then you get a low price, and
    you get capital appreciation caused by future interest rate declines. To buy an
    expensive house at a time of low interest rates and high prices like now is a mistake.

    It is far better to pay a low price with a high interest rate than a
    high price with a low interest rate, even if the mortgage payment is the same
    either way.

    • A low price lets you pay it all off instead of being a debt-slave for the rest of your life.
    • As interest rates fall, real estate prices generally rise.
    • Your property taxes will be lower with a low purchase price.
    • Paying a high price now may trap you "under water", meaning you'll have a
      mortgage debt larger than the value of the house. Then you will not be able to
      refinance because then you'll have no equity, and will not be able to sell without
      a loss. Even if you get a long-term fixed rate mortgage, when rates
      inevitably go up the value of your property will go down. Paying a low
      price minimizes your damage.
    • You can refinance when you buy at a higher interest rate and rates
      fall, but current buyers will never be able to refinance for a lower interest rate
      in the future. Rates are already as low as they can go.
  5. Because buyers already borrowed too much money and cannot pay it back. They
    spent it on houses that are now worth less than the loans. This means most banks
    are still actually bankrupt. But since the banks have friends in Washington, they get
    special treatment that you do not. The Federal Reserve prints up bales of new
    money to buy worthless mortgages from irresponsible banks, slowing
    down the buyer-friendly deflation in housing prices and socializing bank losses.

    The Fed exists to protect big banks from the free market, at your expense.
    Banks get to keep any profits they make, but bank losses just get passed on to
    you as extra cost added on to the price of a house, when the Fed prints up money
    and buys their bad mortgages. If the Fed did not prevent the free market from
    working, you would be able to buy a house much more cheaply.

    As if that were not enough corruption, Congress authorized vast amounts of TARP
    bailout cash taken from taxpayers to be loaned directly to the worst-run
    banks, those that already gambled on mortgages and lost. The Fed and Congress
    are letting the banks "extend and pretend" that their mortgage loans will get
    paid back.

    And of course the banks can simply sell millions of bad loans
    to Fannie and Freddie at full price, putting taxpayers on the hook for
    the banks' gambling losses. Heads they win, tails you lose.

    It is necessary that YOU be forced deeply into debt, and therefore forced into
    slavery, for the banks to make a profit. If you pay a low price for a house and
    manage to avoid debt, the banks lose control over you. Unacceptable to them.
    It's all a filthy battle for control over your labor.

    This is why you will
    never hear the president or anyone else in power say that we need lower house
    prices
    . They always talk about "affordability" but what they always mean is
    debt-slavery.

  6. Because buyers used too much leverage. Leverage means using debt to amplify
    gain. Most people forget that debt amplifies losses as well. If a buyer puts 10%
    down and the house goes down 10%, he has lost 100% of his money on paper. If he
    has to sell due to job loss or a mortgage rate adjustment, he lost 100% in the
    real world.

    The simple fact is that the renter - if willing and able to save his money -
    can buy a house outright in half the time that a conventional buyer can
    pay off a mortgage. Interest generally accounts for more than half of the cost
    of a house. The saver/renter not only pays no interest, he also gets interest
    on his savings, even if just a little. Leveraged housing appreciation, usually
    presented as the "secret" to wealth, cannot be counted on, and can just as
    easily work against the buyer. In fact, that leverage is the danger that got
    current buyers into trouble.

    The higher-end housing market is now set up for a huge crash in prices, since there
    is no more fake paper equity from the sale of a previously overvalued property
    and because the market for securitized jumbo loans is dead. Without that fake
    equity, most people don't have the money needed for a down payment on an
    expensive house. It takes a very long time indeed to save up for a 20%
    downpayment when you're still making mortgage payments on an underwater house.

    It's worse than that. House prices do not even have to fall to cause
    big losses. The cost of selling a house is kept unfairly high because of the Realtor® lobby's
    corruption of US legislators.
    On a $300,000 house, 6% is $18,000 lost even if housing
    prices just stay flat. So a 4% decline in housing prices bankrupts all those
    with 10% equity or less.

  7. Because the housing bubble was not driven by supply and demand. There
    is huge supply because of overbuilding, and there is less demand now that the
    baby boomers are retiring and selling. Prices in the housing market, even now, are
    entirely a function of how much the banks are willing and able to lend. Most
    people will borrow as much as they possibly can, amounts that are completely
    disconnected from their salaries or from the rental value of the property. Banks
    have been willing to accomodate crazy borrowers because banker
    control of the US government
    means that banks do not yet have to acknowledge
    their losses, or can push losses onto taxpayers through government housing
    agencies like the FHA.
  8. Because there is still a massive backlog of latent foreclosures.
    Millions of owners stopped paying their mortgages, and the banks
    are still not forclosing on all of them, letting the owner live in the house for free. If a
    bank forecloses and takes possession of a house, that means the bank is
    responsible for property taxes and maintenance. Banks don't like those costs. If
    a bank then sells the foreclosure at current prices, the bank has to admit a
    loss on the loan. Banks like that cost even less. So there is a tsunami of
    foreclosures on the way that the banks are ignoring, for now. To prevent a
    justified foreclosure is also to prevent a deserving family from buying that
    house at a low price. Right now, those foreclosures will wash over the landscape,
    decimating prices, and benefitting millions of families which will be able to
    buy a house without a suicidal level of debt, and maybe without any debt at
    all!
  9. Because first-time buyers have all been ruthlessly exploited and the
    supply of new victims is very low.
    From The Herald:
    "We were all corrupted by the housing boom, to some extent.
    People talked endlessly about how their houses were earning more than they did,
    never asking where all this free money was coming from. Well the truth is that
    it was being stolen from the next generation. Houses price increases don't
    produce wealth, they merely transfer it from the young to the old - from
    the coming generation of families who have to burden themselves with colossal
    debts if they want to own, to the baby boomers who are about to retire
    and live on the cash they make when they downsize."

    House price inflation has been very unfair to new families, especially those with
    children. It is foolish for them to buy at current high prices, yet government
    leaders never talk about how lower house prices are good for American
    families, instead preferring to sacrifice the young and poor to benefit the old
    and rich
    , and to make sure bankers have plenty of debt to earn interest on.
    Your debt is their wealth. Every "affordability" program drives prices
    higher by pushing buyers deeper into debt. Increased debt is not affordability,
    it's just pushing the reckoning into the future. To really help Americans,
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the FHA should be completely eliminated. Even
    more important is eliminating the mortgage-interest deduction, which costs the
    government $400 billion per year in tax revenue. The mortgage interest
    deduction directly harms all buyers
    by keeping prices higher than they
    would otherwise be, costing buyers more in extra purchase cost than they save
    on taxes. The $8,000 buyer tax credit cost each buyer in Massachusetts an extra
    $39,000
    in purchase price. Subsidies just make the subsidized item more
    expensive. Buyers should be
    rioting in the streets, demanding an end to all mortgage subsidies. Canada and Australia
    have no mortgage-interest deduction for owner-occupied housing. It can be done.

    The government pretends to be interested in affordable housing, but now that
    housing is becoming truly affordable via falling prices, they want to stop it?
    Their actions speak louder than their words.

  10. Because boomers are retiring. There are 70 million Americans born between
    1945-1960. One-third have zero retirement savings. The oldest are 66. The
    only money they have is equity in a house, so they must sell. This will add yet
    another flood of houses to the market, driving prices down even more.
  11. Because there is a huge glut of empty new houses. Builders are being forced
    to drop prices even faster than owners, because builders must sell to keep
    their business going. They need the money now. Builders have huge excess
    inventory that they cannot sell at current prices, and more houses are
    completed each day, making the housing slump worse.

Next Page: Eight groups who lie about the housing market ┬╗




The Housing Trap


You're being set up to spend your life paying off a debt you don't need to take
on, for a house that costs far more than it should. The conspirators are all
around you, smiling to lure you in, carefully choosing their words and watching
your reactions as they push your buttons, anxiously waiting for the moment when
you sign the papers that will trap you and guarantee their payoff. Don't be
just another victim of the housing market. Use this book to defend your freedom
and defeat their schemes. You can win the game, but first you have to learn how
to play it.

115 pages, $12.50

Kindle version available

Discuss the book

#housing

« First     « Previous     Comments 198-237 of 237     Last »

ERBear   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Mon, 14 Mar 2016, 3:16pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 198

TATUPU70: I fail to follow your logic.

ERBear   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Mon, 14 Mar 2016, 3:18pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 199

Let me add another piece of input: A recent study found that Canadian percentage home ownership has surpassed the US number, DESPITE the lack of government tax write-off on mortgage interest.

tatupu70   befriend (3)   ignore (12)   Mon, 14 Mar 2016, 4:37pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 200

ERBear says

JBAT: I was talking about my first hand experience and I stand by it. I bought a house in Canada in 2011 and was looking for refinance deals in the US at the same time. I got a low rate in Canada that was unheard of in the US. That was that. No need to discuss.

ERBear says

TATUPU70: I fail to follow your logic.

Lower rates in Canada are not because of the lack of a mortgage deduction

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (5)   Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 2:38am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 201

alsubr says

[url=http:/

joyce myers says

are you looking

@Patrick, a junk/spam flag for comments would help. You have one for threads, but not comments.

Patrick   befriend (64)   ignore (4)   Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 8:33am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 202

yes, good idea. will do.

let's see how long it takes me...

Patrick   befriend (64)   ignore (4)   Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 8:51am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 203

ok, now there should be a spam link by comments for established users. only the newest users would not see it.

please do not abuse it. if you mark things as spam simply because you don't like the thought or the user, i'll remove your spam commenting privilege.

ptork   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Mon, 21 Mar 2016, 10:13am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 204

Hello. We're considering buying a home in Orange County in he $1.3-1.5MM range. Do you still think its a bad time to buy?

just any guy   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Thu, 7 Apr 2016, 6:59am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 205

(spammer) says

Interested parties should contact the company via email for more information: Lender E -mail: (redacted)

Name of creditor: Paul Anderson

Fill the application form below:

Sweet! Can I give you my social security # too?

Xanthidae   befriend (0)   ignore (6)   Thu, 7 Apr 2016, 7:03am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 206

when did orange county start accepting candy as currency?

ptork says

Hello. We're considering buying a home in Orange County in he $1.3-1.5MM range. Do you still think its a bad time to buy?

Graybox   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Thu, 7 Apr 2016, 7:44am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 207

ptork says

Hello. We're considering buying a home in Orange County in he $1.3-1.5MM range. Do you still think its a bad time to buy?

"home" If you have the means to buy a home buy.... Home/house prices are going up slow but steady with a mix of inflation and a strong
$$$. What some may not take into acct. is that the strong $$$ that is very likely to get a lot stronger is providing a discount in many things
and even though we see prices going up with such things as groceries, houses and ect. they are at a discount due to the strong $$$.

I think it will be a big mistake waiting for a market crash and lower house price over the next couple of years and when real inflation hits
on a weaker $$ what do you suppose is going to happen to your equity? Increase in your homes equity due to it will take more dollars to
buy your house not less like the environment is now. The bear forecasters simply have it wrong in that in the US the risk/off for anything
more then short term you will be on the wrong side of money flow..The world is looking for safe money and ROI and here is the only place
they will find it in the majority due to our having the largest and diverse markets in the world. My advice is don't try and beat the housing
market follow the global flow of money. If you don't you will be forfeiting the discounted prices you are seeing now.....

mikejurka   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Sat, 9 Apr 2016, 1:04am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 208

I used to read patrick.net back in 2011 and this "hard hitting" analysis scared me from buying a house. Housing prices have doubled since then.

This website has been calling the market a bubble for years. Is it really a bubble if the prices never come down?

TAX HOA Investors   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 2:31pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 209

Hello,

Should investors of HOA foreclosures be liable for tax on the "cancelled debt" COD of the mortgage since the super-priority lien foreclosure extinguishes the first deed of trust? Recently in the news - a Nevada $800,000 home was sold at auction to investors for $6,000 - this sounds like highway robbery.

Thank you.

TAX HOA Investors   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 2:33pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 210

Hello,

Could investors of HOA foreclosures be liable for tax on the "cancelled debt" COD of the mortgage since the super-priority lien foreclosure extinguishes the first deed of trust? Recently in the news, a Nevada HOA foreclosed on an $800,000 home over a $6,000 lien. Investors snagged it at auction for around $6000. Doesn't this sound like highway robbery - shouldn't investors be paying the cancellation of debt on the $800,000 mortgage?

Thank you.

DieBankOfAmericaPhukkingDie   befriend (0)   ignore (3)   Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 2:37pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 211

Only CANNIBAL ANARCHY! can cleanse America of the (HOA) parasites!

You can't collect HOA fees without a FACE!

bob2356   befriend (0)   ignore (4)   Sun, 17 Apr 2016, 6:48am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 212

TAX HOA Investors says

Hello,

Could investors of HOA foreclosures be liable for tax on the "cancelled debt" COD of the mortgage since the super-priority lien foreclosure extinguishes the first deed of trust? Recently in the news, a Nevada HOA foreclosed on an $800,000 home over a $6,000 lien. Investors snagged it at auction for around $6000. Doesn't this sound like highway robbery - shouldn't investors be paying the cancellation of debt on the $800,000 mortgage?

Thank you.

bgamall4 says

Not highway robbery. It was the banks who failed to pay the HOA fees. If the bank had done the right thing, it would have not lost the house. I wrote a satire about it on my personal blog at Talkmarkets: http://www.talkmarkets.com/contributor/gary-anderson/blog/humorsatire/nevada-supreme-court-forces-us-bank-ceo-to-bend-over-and-take-it-in-the-shorts?post=70873&uid=4798

Even though this article was not one of my 48 approved articles at Talkmarkets, it still managed to accumulate almost 1000 views.

You guys are talking about a very very narrow case. This only applies to a few thousand houses/condos in Nevada. When the Nevada legislature wrote the HOA super priority law it was poorly worded and actually inadvertently (obviously not the intent of the legislature) allowed an HOA foreclosure to extinguish any other loans. The next session of the legislature (Nevada only meets every 2 years) fixed the wording. So yes investors who bought in that narrow window can theoretically extinguish all other loans, but it still hasn't happened 2 years after the statute was rewritten. The issue is still being fought hard in the courts, the current battle is if the wording of the statute was constitutional. No one has gotten quiet title on any of these properties to date.

If the courts should happen rule in favour in the investors all the way down the line some day there is no legal basis for tax liability for the investors. The auction by the HOA extinguished the loan, the investors bought at the value of the tax auction. There is no debt forgiveness involved. A foreclosure doesn't forgive the debt, the bank can still pursue you.

danie   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Tue, 19 Apr 2016, 6:23pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 213

this website is so well put together, could you give me some pointers as to what tor recomend to my friend who is working on (spam redacted)

just_passing_through   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Mon, 25 Apr 2016, 10:17pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 214

Cortzmendal says

Cortz Mendal

Mom? Is that you?

just any guy   befriend (0)   ignore (1)   Thu, 2 Jun 2016, 5:07pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 215

Rajan says

BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS

1. Your Full names:_______

2. Contact address:_______

3. Country Of Residence:______

4. Loan Amount Required:________

5. Duration:_____

6. Gender:_____

7. Occupation:________

8. Monthly Income:_______

9. Date Of Birth:________

10.Telephone Number:__________

Email Kindly Contact Him Via: powerfinance7@gmail.com

Can I give you my SSN too? Maybe after I apply I can also let you give me a swift kick to the nuts.

Strategist   befriend (2)   ignore (3)   Thu, 2 Jun 2016, 6:08pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 216

Rajan says

You can contact him true this (redacted) because I am now a happy woman

Don't bother Rajan. Lots of dumb people on this site, just not dumb enough to fall for your scam.

Heatho95   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Fri, 24 Jun 2016, 8:54pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 217

We live in the Bay Area. Our rent is constantly going up. We are now looking to buy. We can only afford about $465k. Our mortgage will go up because of the size home we need however if we continue to rent the IRS continues to screw us in taxes every year. Talk about being trapped. We rent we pay a lot on taxes. We buy we pay more in mortgage. What do we do? I think buying now is our only hope.

Strategist   befriend (2)   ignore (3)   Fri, 24 Jun 2016, 9:05pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 218

Heatho95 says

We live in the Bay Area. Our rent is constantly going up. We are now looking to buy. We can only afford about $465k. Our mortgage will go up because of the size home we need however if we continue to rent the IRS continues to screw us in taxes every year. Talk about being trapped. We rent we pay a lot on taxes. We buy we pay more in mortgage. What do we do? I think buying now is our only hope.

You buy and prevent your monthly housing payments from going up.
Interest rates are 3%. If your home appreciates 3%+ you are getting paid to own a home.

Ironman   befriend (0)   ignore (13)   Fri, 24 Jun 2016, 9:28pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 219

Heatho95 says

We live in the Bay Area.

MOVE OUT...

Heatho95 says

We can only afford about $465k.

Which will buy you a really nice house in other parts of the country and buy you a one car garage in the Bay Area.

Heatho95 says

the IRS continues to screw us in taxes every year.

Isn't America wonderful??

Strategist says

Interest rates are 3%. If your home appreciates 3%+ you are getting paid to own a home.

and if your home depreciates 3%.....

Strategist   befriend (2)   ignore (3)   Fri, 24 Jun 2016, 9:42pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 220

Ironman says

Strategist says

Interest rates are 3%. If your home appreciates 3%+ you are getting paid to own a home.

and if your home depreciates 3%.....

Patrick   befriend (64)   ignore (4)   Sat, 25 Jun 2016, 11:29am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 221

Heatho95 says

What do we do?

use a calculator!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html

do not fall into the trap of assuming unrealistic appreciation.

Sharingmyintelligencewiththedumbasses   befriend (1)   ignore (3)   Sat, 25 Jun 2016, 11:43am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 222

Last time you posted this, million dollar homes in the bay area went on a tear to becoming 1.5 to 2 million dollar homes....

TAX HOA Investors   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Sun, 26 Jun 2016, 10:02am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 223

***NEVADA STEALS HOMES****

Please DO NOT buy in NEVADA HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION. Many states (like NEVADA) engage in THEFT/DEPRIVED DUE PROCESS by using SUPER-PRIORITY LIENS to FRAUDULENTLY FORECLOSE on homes.

f you want to defend your home from ILLEGAL FORECLOSURE in NEVADA, you must go through EXPENSIVE FORCED ARBITRATION.

If you cannot afford arbitration, you will lose your home. Not legal advice, so, please discuss first with an attorney. AVOID HOAs at all costs! Good luck.

simchaland   befriend (6)   ignore (0)   Mon, 27 Jun 2016, 6:17pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 224

Patrick,

I haven't really been on here since the crash of the last bubble. You called it, everyone here called it...

But, here we are again and it's worse this time!

Since the last time I posted I've gotten married. I have had a promotion or two and my income has increased somewhat. I still live in Oakland and I'm still renting the same apartment I rented as when I was active here. Yes, he moved in with me. We live in a small one-bedroom apartment by the Lake in Oakland. I've watched rents become completely insane since the crash and during the inflation of this bubble. At least during the last bubble, rents weren't so bad. Now rents are insane!!!

We couldn't afford to move to anything nicer in our own neighborhood. If we had to move, we wouldn't be living anywhere near where we are now. I've lived in the same building for the last 14 years. My rent is just above $1000/ mo..Yes, I know! It's insanely low by today's standards. The Rent Adjustment Ordinance has allowed me to remain where I am without breaking me financially. However, the building is 103 years old and the apartment is falling apart around us. And no, they don't want to do repairs because, yes, they would like us out of there so they could charge someone else at least $1800+/ mo even without renovating much to live there. So when we ask for repairs it takes FOREVER for them to fix something and it requires a lot of back and forth with the Property Manager.

Yes, we've been able to save some. But, he doesn't make a great income. My income is OK. Our household income is more than the median income for Oakland. And, there is no way we could afford to buy anything that wouldn't be an absolute hell hole even in the worst neighborhood in Oakland.

We would like to find a better place that isn't so old and run down. We would like to own something eventually, one day. We also don't want to live too far away from our jobs. Both of us have a 10-15 minute commute. I have never had such a short commute in my life. The time I save is invaluable to me, to us.

The thing is, I keep reading here and elsewhere that I shouldn't expect housing costs to decrease until the Baby Boomers finally start to die off. That means that we will have to wait until at least 2020-2024 to even think about moving if we want to find something that we could actually afford while saving for our retirement. We are both 46 and tomorrow is our 3rd Anniversary (and yes, we are in a same-sex marriage, we were the second couple in Alameda County to get married after the stay was lifted on June 28, 2013).

Now, as you can probably tell, I don't just move at the drop of a hat. I'm also very lucky since my husband is not wanting to move at all. He loves the neighborhood and he doesn't mind having a small place. It's just us and we aren't planning on having children for the foreseeable future. So, I have no pressure to be forced into a decision that will ensnare us in a giant mortgage. I would like to have better quality housing. That's me. He's fine with staying. However, I know my landlord. He will not fix our apartment up until after we are long gone. And he will continue delaying needed repairs as long as he can get away with it. After 14 years, I'm getting tired of the game.

Do I really have to wait until we are 50-54+ years old to be able to afford something better? Is it really worth waiting that long? You and others around here seemed to think that we would have somewhat affordable housing around here after the last crash. The thing is that it's only become more unaffordable, even for two middle-aged men with a decent household income. What happened after the crash is that rents are now extremely unaffordable and owning is beyond our reach too.

Yes, I do see that our savings is growing nicely, as well it should with our housing costs so low. And there is something to be said for that since we really do need our money to be invested wisely so that we will be able to retire at some point. However, I'm getting restless and tired of the waiting game.

Yes, I could move out of the area. But the thing is that my mother and brother moved here back in 2009 and they both live in Oakland now (from Chicago Area). I don't want to leave them here now that we all live within 1 mile of each other. My mother has a sweet deal on her apartment due to being a Property Manager there with very light duties. My brother is finally in a board and care situation that meets his needs (after too many moves to count and way too many train wrecks).

So, I am feeling kind of stuck due to the cheap rent we pay in comparison to the newer arrivals to my neighborhood who moved here to flee insanely ridiculous housing costs in San Francisco. I'm not exactly in a hurry and yet, I'm thinking we are 4-8+ years away from being able to move into any other situation close to where we live now that makes any financial sense.

I'm just feeling like rationality will never return to housing in the Bay Area. What we face here is nothing short of a housing crisis. I work with homeless individuals and those who have low income. These people are being hurt the most by the economic and financial craziness taking place all around us. Greed runs rampant here and I don't see any signs of it abating any time soon.

Do you real