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Home Ownership Tough for Working Class

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 8 comments.


As the overall rate of home ownership in the United States is increasing, the rate of home ownership by those in the working class is decreasing, according to the Center for Housing Policy. Here’s the research publication [pdf] and a report on CNN Money.

So what is this “working class?” For this report, the working class family is defined as one having income between $10,700 (minimum wage, full time) and up to 120% of their area’s median income. In the town where I work, 120% of the median income would be $32,295.60 (using 2000 figures, not adjusted for inflation) and in the town in which I live, 120% of the 2000 census-defined median income is $86,516.40.

Is that working class? Wikipedia sheds more light on what we call the “working class” in this country. It’s a nebulous term open to interpretation.

More about the class system at Consumerism Commentary:

* Affluent Shop at Discount Stores
* Working Class Millionaires

Published or updated March 22, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Madame X

That doesn’t make sense, to base it on the median income in your neighborhood. Someone making 120% of the median income in Greenwich, CT, say, is not working class. Poorer than a lot of their neighbors, perhaps, but not workign class.

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avatar Lauren

I was going to say exactly what Madame X did. I am in southwestern CT, and while we make significantly more than the national median, we would be “working class” by that definition.

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avatar Bruce Kroeze

I bought my first house in 1992, when I was making $4.50 and my wife was making about $8. As a result, I’ve never really understood lower income folks think it is impossible. It was a bad house in a bad neighborhood, true, but it was only half a block away from where I’d been renting. Obviously my standards weren’t that high.

I think it is more a belief and a cultural thing than a real financial fact that you must be well off to buy a house, at least in many cities.

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avatar erik

I think it is ridiculous that our household income is $50,000 a year, and there is not one single house on the market that doesn’t look like a train hit it, that we can legitimately afford. I refuse to get a loan-shark type of mortgage to trick myself into thinking that I can afford a $200,000 house. Do you guys think the market will ever get more affordable or that these prices will level off a little, but stick around because everyone is used to them? I.E. gas prices.

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