Affordable Homes Shamordable!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Criado Realty 0548772

What is an "Affordable Home" anyway? It can be defined by the average price of a home in your community, it could be defined from the buyer's income history, or it could be defined by the cost of ownership.  

My company, Metcon Spaces, has been in talks with one of our esteemed colleages here in the rain, to be one of the builders for their altruistic endeavor of Monte Dei Globe  by our one and only BrianEngland.

Metcon Spaces is a modular container home builder and are in the running to be a builder for MDG.  He and his parter Tess have raised some important questions during their visit. Are homeless people just people in need of housing? Are they in need of counseling? Are they in need of health treatment?  But it goes beyond that.

I was reading the Summer 2023 REALTOR magazine article this week, Bold Action Needed  on the discepency between buyers being able to buy and builders being able to build, with respest to supply chain dynamics. In short, first time home buyers, in particuar being on the lower end, are priced out. The price of materials is one thing, but the larger issue is land and regulations. 

As a builder I can attest to these issues first hand. Its a political issue really. Developers need land to build but the price of land is increasing. In San Antonio, we are sprawling out now as far as 40 minutes away from downtown. When you factor in traffic, it seems to be an hour to an hour and a half to get to and from work. Compared to LAX, that's nothing, but this isn't LAX. It's supposed to be cheap to live in Texas. We are a tertiary market so should be even cheaper than DAL, HOU, or AUS. But we are catching up at an average price of $397,319 as of last week. When the average wage here is $25/hour, you can't afford $4,000/mo PITI. If they work 40 hours a week, for 50 weeks a year, with no time off, that's $4,166/mo pre-tax. It's impossible! 

Cities have programs, incentives, for developers but they are dwindling. The "have nots" cry about the developers getting tax payer dollars to build new homes. Politicians, aka city counsel, then backs down. To make matters worse, the people who live in economically challenged areas vote out the rights of builders to increase density. Okay folks, so if land is increasing in price, and density cannot be increased, and materials and services are going up in price, how then shall builders/ developers provide "affordable housing?" Builders are just business people who are investing and without profit they won't do it. No matter how you slice it, it isn't going to happen. Hence, homelessness. 

Homeless doesn't mean you are on drugs, are off your rocker, or jobless. It means that you cannot afford to buy a home or rent a home. 

The article also addresses the financing issues, and that the system is geared towards long time home ownership and people who have not been challenged by divorce, illness, or disasters.  There is no credit or merit given towards utility bills, on time rent, or lease payments on vehicles.  These factors too are being considered for change. 

Let's just take a few minutes to think about how our ways of thinking negatively impacts those who could be home owners but cannot, due to that thinking. What can we do to make things better? Talk is cheap. What action steps can we take?

I'm excited to hear how you can be a positive, constructive citizen. 

Posted by
Cathy Criado President & Founder
Published Author
Your Real Estate Consultant!
999 E Basse Rd. #180-425, ​San Antonio, TX  78209​
​Direct:  (210) 560-1891
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Comments (8)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Cathy - affordability remains a hot topic in real estate.  Hopefully, discussions lead to solutions that are put into action.  It sounds as if those wheels are in motion.  

Jul 26, 2023 05:26 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Cathy I will bite my tongue in my market Affordability is a huge question mark.... you tell me $1million for an 800 sq ft home next to Los Angeles International Airport is that affordable? well it is one of the less expensive homes in Los Angeles, Endre

Jul 26, 2023 10:45 PM
Cathy Criado

Clearly its a sore spot for you Endre. Compassionat and smart. Have a good day!

Jul 27, 2023 06:56 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

p.s.: fixing the :Not enough housing problem is so easy in Los Angeles if politicians really wanted to fix it... it takes 2-3 years to get approvals to build a new home in Los Angeles.... on the other hand in Texas a hundred days... problem solved when more homes can be built quickly affordability becomes a reality....but what do I know, Endre

Jul 26, 2023 10:47 PM
Cathy Criado

haha true. Austin has some real issues. We don't build there as a result. 

Jul 27, 2023 06:56 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I love what Metcon Spaces is able to do and keeping housing affordable is certainly a challenge these days.  Market value certainly isn't affordable anymore.

Jul 27, 2023 05:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Cathy... clearly affordable in Charlotte means something different than in New York City. No doubt that lack of affordable housing in many parts of the nation is a huge problem these days and one that no one seems to have a good solution for.

Jul 27, 2023 05:59 AM
Cathy Criado

One of the solutions is for our city council to look at the big picture when making decisions. I get that people who own land have rights and may not want density; that isn't what they signed up for. But at the same time, those who have been disadvantaged or are just starting out should not be penalized. When they restrict density for political reasons it harms everyone. Liteally everyone. When people become homeless, it effects everyone, yet those same people who don't want density, or don't want multif-family, or don't want "secion 8", they end up with homelessness.  I truly hope some people reading this will take action.  Thanks for reading and commenting. 

Jul 27, 2023 06:55 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Cathy,

Excellent topic because what is an affordable home. Each state and city it is something different and usually calculated by the average price of a home in a particular community. Keeping housing affordable today is a real challenge with the cost of of goods and service and the supply. Thank you for introducing us to  Metcon Spaces. I've not heard of them before.

Jul 27, 2023 06:49 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services


It is all political rhetoric. They do not want to fix any problem - they want to create more.

How to fix that?  Vote them OUT and vote true leaders in.  Finding true leaders who truly want to serve the people is the challenge. 

So much corruption in politics.  And, this issue, is political!

Jul 27, 2023 08:02 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Cathy, went to dinner with a couple of friends last night, and we were talking about the amount of homelessness.   Our new Denver mayor just took office, and this is his #1 item to hopefully fix.  Just in Denver proper, they estimate 9,000 without homes.   AWFUL.

Jul 27, 2023 08:07 AM