Betsy Bland

Betsy's now legally Bland

Welcome to Legally Bland!

WordPress made me do this!

Oscar Yawning EnthusiasticallyI’ve never been big on writing journals. People loved giving me new journals or diaries for my birthday when I was a kid, which certainly weren’t necessary considering each previous journal had about five pages filled with mindless entries describing what I ate. Every entry started with, “dear diary, it’s been way too long since I wrote last…”

The point is, I’ll try to keep up with my posts, but don’t be surprised if there are 4-5 months between some. And they will probably start by describing how long it’s been since I wrote the last entry. I hope you enjoy the bits and pieces that do make it up.

Why I’m fine with waiting to buy…

Median Sales Price of Houses in the DC Area 2000-today

Sure, there’s also the fact that JB and I also haven’t found anything we like in our price range…but the DC metro region’s (median) house prices more than DOUBLED from 2000-2011 and have only shown a 25% correction while median incomes in areas such as Arlington have seen a 15% increase from 2000 to 2009 and the district’s median incomes have seen less than 10%. Sure, job-stability is strong in our area, but increases in house prices still need to be in sync with people’s income and area rents.

I know plenty of people that have depended on FHA loans or other “creative” 5% down, no PMI loans to avoid needing the $150k+ for a 20% down payment and closing costs for the median priced home (not to mention what they really should have for a (gulp!) emergency fund). I find it an impossible battle when competing with others that are willing to spend 6+ times their salary with a minimum down payment on a mediocre place. Yes, they are still getting those kinds of loans. We were recently told by a mortgage broker that we would be pre-qualified for a loan of twice the amount we were looking to spend, and what we were looking to spend was already going to be $500 dollars a month more than our rent.

The upcoming changes to conforming loan limits and FHA loan limits, as well as the scariness on the foreclosure front (the list goes on) make me think this “recovery” isn’t sustainable.

…so I guess for now I’ll keep on renting, saving, and see what happens.