Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mortgage Company Owner: "I couldn't afford to buy the house I live in today."

The Sacramento Bee recently quoted two mortgage company owners, who shared their views on the housing market.

First article:

...Nearby resident Scott Otsuka said he supports the Crocker Park project because he's a strong proponent of compact housing. "It's something we've really needed for a while," Otsuka said.

"Especially in Roseville, which has become the place where everybody wants to be, but nobody can afford to live." Ranging between 1,600 and 2,300 square feet in size, the "work force housing" is designed for young professionals and first-time buyers, although developers say it's too early to set prices.

"It bothers me that I've got employees who are making good incomes but can't afford to live in Roseville," said Otsuka, who owns a mortgage company. "Truthfully, I make a good income, but I couldn't afford to buy the house I live in today."...

Meanwhile, in a second article, another mortgage company owner has a different view on the housing boom:

...Bob Bader doesn't know [Alan] Greenspan, either. But the owner of Arden Mortgage in Sacramento calls him "a godsend" for keeping interest rates low and sparking an unprecedented housing boom. "He brought down the rates and got the real estate market going," Bader said...


B. Durbin said...

On that first article, I am very much in favor of planned communities— at least in comparison to large-tract suburbia, which is generally built in such a manner that you can't walk anywherre.

A good example is the Stapleton district of Denver, built on the site of the old airport. The designers, rather than saying "things should be this way," looked into how to make desireable things happen.

You want kids walking to school rather than being driven? Make sure to plan trails to every school that don't require crossing streets.

You want to slow traffic down? Rather than impose artificially low speed limits, allow on-street parking. (That's interesting.)

You want a better sense of community? Design houses with porches— and put a mixed range of sizes in neighborhoods.

And, of course, actually bothering to put in things such as sidewalks is nice.

I applaud the thinking that's going into designing "starter" homes again, because builders make more money on McMansions (which I dislike because of their bad design, not their size.) I would not mind a starter home.

Obviously, I can't afford one. If I weren't married I'd seriously consider moving back in with my parents and paying them rent— I'd save a lot of money!

Out at the peak said...

When I saw that I could no longer afford to buy the same house that I bought in 2000, I started getting worried in 2004. By mid-2005 I really panicked. I felt the peak was there and unloaded immediately.