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Old 04-13-2008, 02:38 AM
 
239 posts, read 596,772 times
Reputation: 73

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Hi everyone, I am somewhat new to these forums and I wanted to get people's opinions/experiences about the Chesapeake area and what it takes to live here. My wife and I are in our late twenties and looking to buy our first real home, start a family, etc., etc. We have been looking for awhile and it is still shocking what it takes to get a decent house in a decent neighborhood. From what I have heard, the Grassfield, Great Bridge, and Hickory school zones are the best, but it seems like the average house in those areas is $365K+, even for the older 60s style ranch homes that would need updating. And it seems that a good deal of those neighborhoods are in the 600-800K range, with some neighborhoods like Edinburgh in the 1 million plus range. Even the neighborhoods in Greenbrier, Oscar Smith, etc. seem very high.

After looking at some of these prices I really have no idea how people make it around here. I read somewhere the average household income in this area is like 50-60K. How do people, especially young couples who are just starting out with families and don't have lots of equity in their current house, afford these prices in addition to all of the everyday expenses and the costs of raising a family. I thought we were doing well, but now I feel like we would need to sell kidneys to be able to afford in this area (with both housing and the higher cost of living), let alone have a family (kids are expensive I am sure).

Am I alone in feeling this way, or are there other young families out there that are in the same boat. I am not trying to be negative, am just curious to see how others are making it and what their stories are. Are there 20 or 30 somethings that can afford these 500K houses and if so can you offer financial advice ? It is frustrating to want to have a decent future but to think that those things are so far out of reach.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions from others. Thanks everyone .
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:43 AM
 
132 posts, read 627,252 times
Reputation: 92
Although the median household income in 2005 was 60k for Chesapeake, the Great Bridge area would be much higher. In the forementioned areas you have a lot of dual income families at 100k plus, and many professionals. Those that may be below the averages have bought and lived in the area for some time, before the "boom" that sent home values double and triple in most cases. I worked in Great Bridge for several years in the late 90's, and a decent ranch in the area was 125-150k then. Now its hard to touch for less than 300k. The same is true in just about every neighborhood in HR with good schools. Gotta love HR!
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
486 posts, read 1,840,268 times
Reputation: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakesim View Post
Hi everyone, I am somewhat new to these forums and I wanted to get people's opinions/experiences about the Chesapeake area and what it takes to live here. My wife and I are in our late twenties and looking to buy our first real home, start a family, etc., etc. We have been looking for awhile and it is still shocking what it takes to get a decent house in a decent neighborhood. From what I have heard, the Grassfield, Great Bridge, and Hickory school zones are the best, but it seems like the average house in those areas is $365K+, even for the older 60s style ranch homes that would need updating. And it seems that a good deal of those neighborhoods are in the 600-800K range, with some neighborhoods like Edinburgh in the 1 million plus range. Even the neighborhoods in Greenbrier, Oscar Smith, etc. seem very high.

After looking at some of these prices I really have no idea how people make it around here. I read somewhere the average household income in this area is like 50-60K. How do people, especially young couples who are just starting out with families and don't have lots of equity in their current house, afford these prices in addition to all of the everyday expenses and the costs of raising a family. I thought we were doing well, but now I feel like we would need to sell kidneys to be able to afford in this area (with both housing and the higher cost of living), let alone have a family (kids are expensive I am sure).

Am I alone in feeling this way, or are there other young families out there that are in the same boat. I am not trying to be negative, am just curious to see how others are making it and what their stories are. Are there 20 or 30 somethings that can afford these 500K houses and if so can you offer financial advice ? It is frustrating to want to have a decent future but to think that those things are so far out of reach.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions from others. Thanks everyone .
I think if you saw the incomes of the people living in the areas you mentioned, it would be a lot more than the average in the area (around $66,000 household, I think). Have you looked at FHA and VA financing?
We made a lot of money flipping houses, back before everyone did that and it was still possible to make money that way. We kept a couple as rentals, and still get income from that. We only pay cash for our vehicles, which I assume is impossible for the average joe. We do not carry any credit card debt.
We are always looking for an opportunity to make extra money. Both the husband and I are in sales, so it is very important that we network and keep a stellar reputation. We work very hard and take a lot of crap with a smile. You have to be motivated and determined. Use every opportunity you get.
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Va Beach
3,506 posts, read 12,715,637 times
Reputation: 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakesim View Post
Am I alone in feeling this way, or are there other young families out there that are in the same boat. I am not trying to be negative, am just curious to see how others are making it and what their stories are. Are there 20 or 30 somethings that can afford these 500K houses and if so can you offer financial advice ? It is frustrating to want to have a decent future but to think that those things are so far out of reach.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions from others. Thanks everyone .
It's a buyers market right now. But word to the wise, a neighborhood is what you make it. You're in your twenties, there are many townhomes running anywhere from 90 - 150,000. It all depends what you are looking for.
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:38 AM
 
449 posts, read 1,758,408 times
Reputation: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakesim View Post
Hi everyone, I am somewhat new to these forums and I wanted to get people's opinions/experiences about the Chesapeake area and what it takes to live here. My wife and I are in our late twenties and looking to buy our first real home, start a family, etc., etc. We have been looking for awhile and it is still shocking what it takes to get a decent house in a decent neighborhood. From what I have heard, the Grassfield, Great Bridge, and Hickory school zones are the best, but it seems like the average house in those areas is $365K+, even for the older 60s style ranch homes that would need updating. And it seems that a good deal of those neighborhoods are in the 600-800K range, with some neighborhoods like Edinburgh in the 1 million plus range. Even the neighborhoods in Greenbrier, Oscar Smith, etc. seem very high.

After looking at some of these prices I really have no idea how people make it around here. I read somewhere the average household income in this area is like 50-60K. How do people, especially young couples who are just starting out with families and don't have lots of equity in their current house, afford these prices in addition to all of the everyday expenses and the costs of raising a family. I thought we were doing well, but now I feel like we would need to sell kidneys to be able to afford in this area (with both housing and the higher cost of living), let alone have a family (kids are expensive I am sure).

Am I alone in feeling this way, or are there other young families out there that are in the same boat. I am not trying to be negative, am just curious to see how others are making it and what their stories are. Are there 20 or 30 somethings that can afford these 500K houses and if so can you offer financial advice ? It is frustrating to want to have a decent future but to think that those things are so far out of reach.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions from others. Thanks everyone .
Yes that's pretty much Hampton Roads for you. The jobs do not match up with the house values and cost of living here. Unless you have a "degree" job, there really isn't no "affording" houses in those price ranges.

Of course, there are plenty of neighborhoods that have houses in the -$300k range, but many up here do not consider them safe neighborhoods because of the diversity.

Maybe look into townhouses, those are perfect for young couples who want to start a family.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,428 posts, read 47,173,719 times
Reputation: 10511
It's not just Hampton Roads. The same problem exists everywhere in America. I'm answering you here because I lived in Great Bridge for many years and miss it. Like some one already said. You have many who bought before the boom. They are also struggling too. Many are equity rich and cash poor. As you already know salaries are low every where but a tad lower in Hampton Roads because of the military spouses willing to take the low paying jobs.

Raises are a thing of the past. Unless you work for the government or have a union job then you will never likely see a raise ever again. Some of the good employers toss their best people a token quarter an hour per year at best. Benefits given by employers are disappearing. Most people are one hospital stay from bankruptcy. Ask any car salesman or apartment leasor who check dozens people's credit a day. Some 80% of people have a medical debt on their record.

It is illegal to deny credit based on a medical debt but we all know creditors do. To skirt around the law they simply ask that you pay it off before they lend you money for a home or car. Do you have any idea how much the average medical debt that most people carry? They also will never buy a home in any near future.

In the last 10 years homes have doubled or tripled. Salaries have increased about 5% depending on which statistics you read. What does that tell you? I feel for younger people today. The American Dream has pretty much vanished. And it is only getting worse. This deep recession we are in now could last another 8-10 years. It is not just waiting for people to start buying again. You have all these people who walked away from their homes and now have bankruptcies and foreclosures on their credit. These people will never be able to buy a home for another 10 more years because of their credit.

Having a college degree does little. It used to almost guarantee a good job after college. There are many degreed skilled people working in department stores for $8/hr because there is jobs for them.

Im just ranting on now. I remember better times. Keep on plugging. You also may have to relocate to where your skill is more needed. I did but hope to come back to Great Bridge some day.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:26 AM
 
260 posts, read 1,132,903 times
Reputation: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakesim View Post
Hi everyone, I am somewhat new to these forums and I wanted to get people's opinions/experiences about the Chesapeake area and what it takes to live here. My wife and I are in our late twenties and looking to buy our first real home, start a family, etc., etc. We have been looking for awhile and it is still shocking what it takes to get a decent house in a decent neighborhood. From what I have heard, the Grassfield, Great Bridge, and Hickory school zones are the best, but it seems like the average house in those areas is $365K+, even for the older 60s style ranch homes that would need updating. And it seems that a good deal of those neighborhoods are in the 600-800K range, with some neighborhoods like Edinburgh in the 1 million plus range. Even the neighborhoods in Greenbrier, Oscar Smith, etc. seem very high.

After looking at some of these prices I really have no idea how people make it around here. I read somewhere the average household income in this area is like 50-60K. How do people, especially young couples who are just starting out with families and don't have lots of equity in their current house, afford these prices in addition to all of the everyday expenses and the costs of raising a family. I thought we were doing well, but now I feel like we would need to sell kidneys to be able to afford in this area (with both housing and the higher cost of living), let alone have a family (kids are expensive I am sure).

Am I alone in feeling this way, or are there other young families out there that are in the same boat. I am not trying to be negative, am just curious to see how others are making it and what their stories are. Are there 20 or 30 somethings that can afford these 500K houses and if so can you offer financial advice ? It is frustrating to want to have a decent future but to think that those things are so far out of reach.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions from others. Thanks everyone .


We are a family of 4 who are making it on 1 income. We were lucky that we bought before the big real estate boom hit!

We have a nice home in a good area. However,,, we cut back and live very
moderatly. We don't eat out,, go out a lot like most others do.

When single I had a condo that I loved in Kempsville. I believe there now
selling for about 150k. So there are condos/townhomes out there that
are nice and still affordable.

Good luck
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Miramar Beach, FL
2,040 posts, read 3,650,113 times
Reputation: 933
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakesim View Post
Hi everyone, I am somewhat new to these forums and I wanted to get people's opinions/experiences about the Chesapeake area and what it takes to live here. My wife and I are in our late twenties and looking to buy our first real home, start a family, etc., etc. We have been looking for awhile and it is still shocking what it takes to get a decent house in a decent neighborhood. From what I have heard, the Grassfield, Great Bridge, and Hickory school zones are the best, but it seems like the average house in those areas is $365K+, even for the older 60s style ranch homes that would need updating. And it seems that a good deal of those neighborhoods are in the 600-800K range, with some neighborhoods like Edinburgh in the 1 million plus range. Even the neighborhoods in Greenbrier, Oscar Smith, etc. seem very high.

After looking at some of these prices I really have no idea how people make it around here. I read somewhere the average household income in this area is like 50-60K. How do people, especially young couples who are just starting out with families and don't have lots of equity in their current house, afford these prices in addition to all of the everyday expenses and the costs of raising a family. I thought we were doing well, but now I feel like we would need to sell kidneys to be able to afford in this area (with both housing and the higher cost of living), let alone have a family (kids are expensive I am sure).

Am I alone in feeling this way, or are there other young families out there that are in the same boat. I am not trying to be negative, am just curious to see how others are making it and what their stories are. Are there 20 or 30 somethings that can afford these 500K houses and if so can you offer financial advice ? It is frustrating to want to have a decent future but to think that those things are so far out of reach.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions from others. Thanks everyone .
The cost of living in HR is one of the main reasons my Fiance and I relocated from the area. We both made a decent living between the both of us but still felt as if we could not really have the kind of life that we both desired. We are late 20's as well and want to eventually have a family and unless we were pulling in more money a year, we realized that the quality of life that we were searching for was not accessable for us in HR. Good luck and hope that you are able to find a nice place in HR that is in your price range that meets your needs!
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:52 AM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 31,900,037 times
Reputation: 19755
I don't know how people make it. I am a newly single parent with two children. Teenagers at that.

I don't know how we were making it as husband and wife with two children, but somehow, I try and make ends meet.

I know that if I ever want to buy a home, it will not be alone, and it will not be here.

I am not knocking the area, I love it. I just cannot afford it.

I am looking foward to planting my roots somewhere in the country someday. I am already rural small town. But I need to leave here.

Who knows what will happen, what is in my future. I don't make even half of the mentioned incomes here....
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:57 AM
 
12 posts, read 42,685 times
Reputation: 26
Default You are right

We just moved here, any home in a decent school district safe area is over 250000. Which puts your mortage around 1600 or more. My husband makes 84,000 a year and which conservatively puts us in the 275,000 range. 3x your annual income. We decided to rent. For what they want there are no updates. We walked in to 3/2 baths with the 3rd bedroom being a LOFT. WHo the heck as a bedroom as a loft. at that price it was 1800 a month. thats with taxes and home insurance included. NOw add utilites thats 2000 dollars a month and with taxes always going up. FORGET IT. I have NO idea how these people afford 400,000 dollar homes. I asked the realtor what the heck is going on. They do interest only loans which is a dumb idea. If you go to HousingTracker: Median Home Prices & Housing Inventory Data we are more expensive than MIAMI florida. check out norfolks median. they use to have VAbeach listed and it was higher than miami also. I currently rent a home and did research. she paid 415,000 for this house and it is now assessed 60000 dollars lower than what she paid for it and.. Its UNLEVEL, i can roll a pen down my living room floor. I have NO idea why she bought this place. Also I went to look at a Thoroughgood home and it was 394,000 for sale and last year it sold for 460,000. The house is empty. I assume it foreclosed. This place makes NO sense at all. I have moved all over the US and this is the first time I am shocked at what they want for homes, they are not even updated. This place is overpriced.
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