Or maybe much of the local economy is fueled from home
equity. Don't need to work, just sell one's house and downsize a
bit. There's so much money in a house compared to what jobs pay
that one can
retire early and remain a consumer.
That must be how all the malls survive with little basic
industry. It's the "slow burn" of home equity money.
There's something wrong with this
picture from the standpoint of sustainable economics and basic fairness.
Looking out over part of town from Samish Hill area. Bellingham Bay and San Juan Islands are visible from many neighborhoods.
Victorian homes reside in parts of Bellingham, this one is a bed and breakfast on Garden St.
very high in places like the San Francisco Bay area. People who
houses, back in the 1970s when one could still do this for around
$50,000, have been selling for over 1 million. Then they have
been moving to towns
Often they're post
war boomers who never dreamed they'd become millionaires. Some
are even old hippies, so to speak. Now teachers, or what ever who
sometimes retire early. Hippies turned yuppies.
It's been an
unprecidented bubble that has grown for nearly two decades. Now
it's starting to burst, but Bellingham home prices have remained kind
of high and stable compared to the rest of the post 2008 economy.
Why is that the
I think many
Bellingham homeowners don't even owe a mortgage.
nation, homebuyers defaulted on mortgages as housing values soared
so high that people suddenly realized the jobs don't pay enough to
afford house payments.
In Bellingham, it
seems like many home owners either bought early, when houses were still
affordable and just rode the bubble up. Quite a few are retired
and don't seem to owe that much, unless they got in over their heads
with home equity loans.
People who work in
Bellingham are often renters. - (work in Bellingham? does anyone do
Affording the monthly payments on a home worth $325,000 (aprox. median price, I think in city) is not likely on $10 per hour; especially if one is a recent homebuyer.
Not even the bottom of the real estate market is affordable with condos starting at over $100,000.
Rent isn't cheap
either, but there are some good niches out there. Also the city
and other non profit agencies are trying to provide affordable
construction boom has helped the rental situation also. From the
1990s to 2008, people flocked to Bellingham. Lots of new
construction of condos, apartments and houses provides some elbow
room. I even read (in a recent Bellingham Herald) that nearly
half the condos in Bellingham are occupied by renters, rather than
looking for someone to pay the bills.
The building boom
has cooled off a bit since 2008 world crash, but prices remain fairly
lofty in local area. Too many people just want to live here, for
Hope I can continue
to afford my rent, if a rebound happens.
Comment from a reader
Thanks for your insight on the continuous growth of Bellingham, albeit good and bad.
Please don't forget though that a lot of people are now working out of their homes and "tele-commuting" to work as myself. I still work (contract) for the company in California that I worked for when I lived there, however, I work via the Internet these days. I know quite a few people in Bellingham who do the same thing. This has allowed many people to move where they want to and not have to worry about the commute hassles anymore. And we are contributing to the business and economy of Bellingham even though we don't really work for companies here.
Also, please remember a lot of people made a
lot of money
in the stock market in the dot.com heyday of the mid to late 90s. I
this gave many people the ability be become upwardly mobile and many of
them are set for life (unles their money is still invested in the stock
market which is struggling to recover after this God-awful session with
George Bush at the helm).
Thanks again for your great articles...Loren
| Some of my
blog entries on housing bubble economics
If hope for homeowners, do it in a way that helps renters also
How many TV's does one have to sell to pay the mortgage these days? No wonder the landfills are full
Can we blame Community Reinvestment Act for an unsustainable situation?
Why the bubble and now the burst in a nutshell. Simplistic, but it's worth a thought
Average folks that benefited from the bubble
"Drive till you qualify" drives energy consumption
Do you want the house to own you?
Has cost of land rendered Habitat For Humanity modle obsolete?
Mixed use zoning, a solution
Mobile homes need more respect
Living in a van can be tolerable with technology
All my blog label on housing