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Old 10-01-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: In Denial
688 posts, read 1,087,791 times
Reputation: 554

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I also posted this as a response in the "Gaithersburg Development Thread" but thought there may be more interest and responses here.

We are a mature professional couple and we spend 27% of our income on housing ( in a very modest 1 bedroom apt). We feel this is excessive and it certainly causes us to scrimp in a lot other areas.

I can't imagine trying to house an entire family.

I am wondering what is being done to address the housing-cost burden in Gaithersburg and the DC 'burb area in general.

A moderate housing-cost burden is recognized as 30.0 to 49.9 percent of income spent on housing costs and severe housing-cost burden is 50% or more of income spent on housing costs.

Commonly accepted guidelines for housing affordability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% income and when the monthly carrying costs of a home exceed 30–35% of household income, then the housing is considered unaffordable for that household.

Again, as a couple at peak or near-peak earning years, spending 27% of our income on housing is NOT a cheery thought and doesn't encourage us to stay in the area, no matter how attractive or walkable or safe or whatever, if we don't have much left to spend after paying rent ~ we must move on down the road.

I know there are some generous programs in MD to subsidize housing but I think the income limit is around 40K.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, MD
3,237 posts, read 3,393,951 times
Reputation: 3010
That's just a fact of life in the DC area for those between the poverty where you could get a chance at Section 8 and the middle class people (who would be considered rich in most metro areas). Nothing you could really do except move farther out from DC or leave the area entirely.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,835 posts, read 65,519,670 times
Reputation: 34898
Quote:
Originally Posted by marska View Post
Commonly accepted guidelines for housing affordability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% income...
...as a couple at peak or near-peak earning years, spending 27% of our income on housing is NOT a cheery thought and doesn't encourage us to stay in the area...
Some unstated aspects in all this...
1) In comparison to their work and social peers... what have the couple in the peak or near-peak earning years been doing w/r/t home purchasing for the prior twenty or so years?

iow... lots of moderate income dual earners after 20+ years in place are now enjoying a relatively modest old mortgage payment that will also soon end.

2) In comparison to their work and social peers... is the specific number referred to in the artful phrasing "peak or near-peak earning" itself the source of the inadequacy?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:44 PM
 
275 posts, read 358,075 times
Reputation: 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by marska View Post
I also posted this as a response in the "Gaithersburg Development Thread" but thought there may be more interest and responses here.

We are a mature professional couple and we spend 27% of our income on housing ( in a very modest 1 bedroom apt). We feel this is excessive and it certainly causes us to scrimp in a lot other areas.

I can't imagine trying to house an entire family.

I am wondering what is being done to address the housing-cost burden in Gaithersburg and the DC 'burb area in general.

A moderate housing-cost burden is recognized as 30.0 to 49.9 percent of income spent on housing costs and severe housing-cost burden is 50% or more of income spent on housing costs.

Commonly accepted guidelines for housing affordability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% income and when the monthly carrying costs of a home exceed 30–35% of household income, then the housing is considered unaffordable for that household.

Again, as a couple at peak or near-peak earning years, spending 27% of our income on housing is NOT a cheery thought and doesn't encourage us to stay in the area, no matter how attractive or walkable or safe or whatever, if we don't have much left to spend after paying rent ~ we must move on down the road.

I know there are some generous programs in MD to subsidize housing but I think the income limit is around 40K.

Retrain for higher-earning career that would give you more income.

Move to another city or metro area.

Reduce expenses--no cable, cell phone.

Share one car between the two of you.

Eat meatless meals more often.

Pack your own lunch if you don't now.

Share a house with another family. That is being done, BTW, in many high-cost areas. Not fun, but it does help people save money.

Those are a few I can think of. JMHO, but I don't think anyone should expect the government to subsidize their housing for them. One of you needs to be in a higher paying career OR move to another area where housing is more affordable. Easier said than done perhaps, I realize.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:27 PM
 
925 posts, read 1,062,500 times
Reputation: 1778
Quote:
Originally Posted by marska View Post
I also posted this as a response in the "Gaithersburg Development Thread" but thought there may be more interest and responses here.

We are a mature professional couple and we spend 27% of our income on housing ( in a very modest 1 bedroom apt). We feel this is excessive and it certainly causes us to scrimp in a lot other areas.

I can't imagine trying to house an entire family.

I am wondering what is being done to address the housing-cost burden in Gaithersburg and the DC 'burb area in general.

A moderate housing-cost burden is recognized as 30.0 to 49.9 percent of income spent on housing costs and severe housing-cost burden is 50% or more of income spent on housing costs.

Commonly accepted guidelines for housing affordability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% income and when the monthly carrying costs of a home exceed 30–35% of household income, then the housing is considered unaffordable for that household.

Again, as a couple at peak or near-peak earning years, spending 27% of our income on housing is NOT a cheery thought and doesn't encourage us to stay in the area, no matter how attractive or walkable or safe or whatever, if we don't have much left to spend after paying rent ~ we must move on down the road.

I know there are some generous programs in MD to subsidize housing but I think the income limit is around 40K.

Many people share your pain. But this is life. Maryland is an expensive state. If you cannot afford that location move to a location you can afford. You have many choices. Some have moved to Pennsylvania and make the daily long commute in to DC. Rent out a room; get a part time job; downsize; cut the cable or expensive cell phone plans. Many, many choices.

Taxpayers are fed up with the 'programs'. I can't imagine who would want to subsidize housing for near middle class incomes.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,181 posts, read 5,222,525 times
Reputation: 1271
What is Maryland doing about the high cost of housing? Nothing and they like it that way. High housing costs tend to drive out the undesireables.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:43 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,794 posts, read 44,303,984 times
Reputation: 44940
What should the state do? One of the problems MD has is that program after program has been instituted with no out year funding (Thornton Plan for one) so the state now has a structural deficit each year in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It does have subsidized mortgages through CDA along with various federal programs such as the Farmer's Home Administration.

Some Counties, Montgomery for one with Calvert playing with it, require moderate income housing be included in projects with a trade off of greater density. That works to varying degrees.

Construction and environmental standards in MD are fairly high, especially where I am due to the proximity to the Bay, so those add additional costs to prospective homeowners.

We're already looking at a massive increase in the gas tax and other vehicle fees to reload a fund that has been raided over the years for non-transportation projects, Project Open Space money has been re-directed to the General Fund as a matter of course. State Aid for Police and Highways to the various towns and Counties has been cut by 95% over the last three years, leaving those jurisdictions to finance projects that, in many cases, the State of MD encouraged or even required. Those plans were based on state participation in funding.

The Flush Tax was supposed to be used as grants for jurisdictions to upgrade sewer treatment plants to the new State and Federal standards for nitrogen removal (MD standards are more stringent). Those grants are now loans and the costs to upgrade have spiraled upward to twice the original estimates.

So again, what should the State do? I vote for nothing.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:56 PM
 
Location: In Denial
688 posts, read 1,087,791 times
Reputation: 554
Wow. Feel kinda like I got flamed by on this thread by a few of you.
Not suggesting that the gov't should do anything.
Just a bit of agonizing over the situation.

North Beach...I never asked what the state should do, but you provided good information/points regarding the construction and environmental standards in MD as well as the The Flush Tax. I appreciate MD's concerns about environmental protection.

MrRational, you said ( quite unkindly I might add), " Some unstated aspects in all this...1) In comparison to their work and social peers... what have the couple in the peak or near-peak earning years been doing w/r/t home purchasing for the prior twenty or so years?
iow... lots of moderate income dual earners after 20+ years in place are now enjoying a relatively modest old mortgage payment that will also soon end.
Not so unusual...like many, we bought, sold, moved, bought , sold, moved
2) In comparison to their work and social peers... is the specific number referred to in the artful phrasing "peak or near-peak earning" itself the source of the inadequacy? "
ya know what, that comes across very mean-spirited. period.

Red...I wasnt suggesting that housing be subsidized for middle income earners. And I wasnt asking for ideas on how to cut back on expenses.

NativeTexasGal...ditto
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,782 posts, read 2,752,720 times
Reputation: 2898
How about the more rural areas of MD? Like many in PA and Jersey, folks often move out of the more cosmopolitan areas to counties that are more rural.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
195 posts, read 414,446 times
Reputation: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurv View Post
How about the more rural areas of MD? Like many in PA and Jersey, folks often move out of the more cosmopolitan areas to counties that are more rural.
Just be sure to balance out the extra costs of the commute vs. the savings on housing. Transportation costs can add up quickly.

Housing costs throughout the DMV shot up a lot over the past decade or so; while they're down from the peak, it's still an expensive place to live.
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