In reference to the front-page article that appeared Oct. 23, “Priced out of the American Dream,” this is not a new phenomenon.
It’s been an ongoing issue in San Luis Obispo County for over 20 years. First-time buyers do not buy median-priced homes. They buy entry-level homes. If the buyer accepts that they will have to commute, and will not have their dream home as their first purchase, then homeownership can become a reality. Equity and incomes then grow over the years and a move-up purchase can be considered in the future.
Currently on the market, you can find a condo or a fixer-upper in North County in the low $300,000s. Interest rates are still at historic lows. With 5 percent down, the owner will be paying only slightly more than rent when factoring in the income tax savings. Inventory is low so the buying process is competitive. A potential buyer needs to prequalify for a mortgage and have an aggressive realtor who watches the market daily and is prepared to submit an offer on their behalf expediently. Due to a combination of factors too lengthy to detail here, the lack of affordable housing on the Central Coast is a permanent condition. First-time homeownership is challenging and requires tenacity, but it is possible.
Sally Coons, Paso Robles