Can You Buy on $100,000 Income? Yes!

"The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $504,080 in California in the second quarter of 2007 was $101,550, based on an adjustable interest rate of 6.29 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. First-time buyers typically purchase a home equal to 85 percent of the prevailing median price. The monthly payment including taxes and insurance was $3,380 for the second quarter of 2007." (California Association of Realtors, August 29, 2007.)

With downward changes in the market in some areas, the buyer affordability levels become a little more positive. The percentage of households that can afford to buy in today's market has increased one percent from the 2nd quarter last year to 24%. The index goes up a little more for those who can find that 100% loan that matches their buying profile, or for those who have a larger down payment than 5%.

In today's search in the MLS for just 3 zip codes in downtown, Belmont Heights/Shore, Bixby Knolls/California Heights areas of Long Beach (90802, 90803, 90807), a total of 203 condos and houses over 2 bedrooms came up under the asking price $504,080. On your monthly payment, add in HOA dues which are usually $200 at least for condominiums. For single buyers looking for lower prices in the $300,000 range, this figure does not include one-bedroom condominiums.

I am meeting quite a few people paying $2500-$2800 a month in rent. These are the people balking at paying perhaps a higher mortgage + taxes + insurance payment, but they're receiving no tax deduction benefit and no home equity. Tax deductions include mortgage interest, property taxes, plus other deductions (consult your accountant), according to your current tax margin which for a lot of people is about 35%. What a renter has, in a gradually shrinking rental housing inventory, is a 30 or 60-day notice to find a new home, and no long-term benefits.

Here you have at least 203 opportunities to buy in these 3 zip codes alone--why not search out all of your opportunities while you can look without pressure? It's much easier than the other scenario of limited time and uncertain choices.

1 comment:

Zachary said...

Nice post. Looks like very thorough data. You have your finger on the pulse of your market I think.


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