01 Jul 2017

Have you received a notice in the mail that someone wants to buy your home?  I get these notices 2 to 3 times each week.  My house is not on the market and I have no desire to sell now.  But it makes me wonder why would anyone be interested in my home and is there something they know that I don’t know?  I also wonder if I were to sell, where would I go that is affordable?  It is time to look at the big picture.

Affordable housing leads to sustainable communities.  Gentrification is happening all over America.  Increased property values have displaced lower-income families and small businesses.   According to a report on money.cnn.com, 11 million Americans dedicate at least half of their income toward housing cost.  A total of 21.3 million are spending 30% or more of their income to cover rent.  These are both record highs.  It is recommended by personal finance experts that we budget around 30% of monthly income to cover housing costs.

People may say our community is being short sighted.  In some cases, this may be true.  Our neighbors are so desperate for money, they are quick to sell without considering where they would move and the costs they will incur when they move.  Low income families already spend more in proportion of their income on food, energy, transportation and health needs than higher income families.  Once we move and leave our community, we discover the costs of rent and transportation are even more than they were prior to selling.

How can we break this cycle?  The battle for housing and economic development is ongoing in our community.  The one key asset many of us own is our home.  Once we sell, will we be able to purchase another or will we be forced to pay an exorbitant amount of our income to rent a home?  We need stable, affordable housing that coincides with financial education and a living wage job opportunity.

I believe to break this cycle, we must realize we are the owners of our own destiny and should not rely on anyone to take our ability to make our own choices.  Education is key.  It is crucial for us to resist our own ambivalence with a clear understanding of what is at stake.  We cannot depend on the government to look out for us.  We must now be responsible for our own successes and failures and act on our own to make the hard choices.  Resist selling your home if you can.  Learn what you can about the market and know the value of your home.  If you are forced to sell, look for ways to sell to friends or family members who can add value to the community and not detract from it.

If these things inspire you, and you want to share your ideas, please feel free to contact me thomsustainableconsulting@gmail.com.  Or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff.  You can also check out my web site:  thomsustainableconsulting.com




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