Report: Returning veterans can't afford homes
The professions for which returning servicepeople are training don't pay enough to cover a mortgage in many cities, the Center for Housing Policy says.
Returning veterans who train for new jobs still may not be able to afford housing in many U.S. cities.
And that goes for a lot of other people, too. A new study by the Center for Housing Policy looks at 74 occupations and whether the median incomes in those professions are enough to afford either a median-price home or the rent on a one- or two-bedroom apartment.
"In many housing markets, the jobs America's servicemen and women may find waiting for them after deployment do not pay enough to afford the costs of buying a home, and in some markets and for some occupations, veterans cannot afford the costs of renting a modest rental home," said Laura Williams, author of the latest edition of Paycheck to Paycheck, in a news release.
Post continues below
The report looked at five occupations for which returning veterans are being trained: carpenter, dental assistant, electrician, firefighter and truck driver.
Only one of those professions — electrician — pays enough for a worker to afford the mortgage, using nationwide statistics. Dental assistants can't afford the rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
Nationwide, the median salary in only 31% of the 74 professions studied was enough to buy a home at the national median price of $162,000, which is down from last year's median price of $165,000. A total of 54% earned enough to pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
If you're wondering how your city and your profession stack up, you can try out different scenarios using interactive graphics here.
In many large U.S. cities, only a minuscule percentage of the occupations have a high enough salary to afford a median-price home.
Here are the cities with the lowest percentage of workers in these occupations who can afford a median-price home:
- San Francisco: Median price of $549,000, 0%
- Barnstable, Mass: $275,000, 1%
- Bethesda, Md.: $305,000, 1%
- Boulder, Colo: $299,000, 1%
- Bridgeport, Conn.: $305,000, 1%
- Cambridge, Mass.: $310,000, 1%
- Honolulu: $409,000, 1%
- Los Angeles: $295,000, 1%
- Napa, Calif.: $300,000, 1%
- New York : $400,000, 1%
Other cities in which only 1% of workers can afford a median-price home are Ocean City, N.J.; Oxnard, Calif.; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Santa Ana, Calif.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Suffolk-Nassau, N.Y.
In only 89 of the 208 cities would workers in at least 50% of the professions be able to afford the mortgage on a median-price home. In 56 of the cities, fewer than least 50% could afford a two-bedroom apartment.
The cities in which the greatest percentage of professions had median incomes large enough to afford to buy a median-price home were:
- Springfield, Ohio: Median price of $66,000, 97%
- Youngstown, Ohio: $75,000, 93%
- South Bend, Ind.: $69,400, 93%
- Detroit: $78,000, 93%
- Wheeling, W.Va.: $73,000, 92%
- Saginaw, Mich.: $75,000, 92%
- Bay City, Mich.: $75,000, 92%
- Dayton, Ohio: $81,000, 89%
- Rockford, Ill.: $87,000, 88%
- Mansfield, Ohio: $80,000, 88%
The housing market, Gas prices and the rising cost of food has destroyed America.
There is an answer though, you have to really think around it ( the economy that is )
Places like Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas do have affordable housing.
Kansas is the best for housing prices, Except Topeka kansas, to much crime there, lots of gangs and deaths.
Witchita Kansas is good, lots of jobs, big city houses can go for between 40K and 150k.
There are smaller towns where you can buy a home for 20k up to 200k in Kansas.
In new mexico homes are cheap as well. From about 40k to 150k
It's amazing that our veterans fight a war, just to be _ hit on when they come home to buy a home, it shows you how much people care about our veterans. I am 53 and can't afford a home, my wife and I make $2,400.00 clear net a month, still can't buy a home. Ask me if I'll fight for this country any more..my answer is no, absolutley not. They want our men to give thier lives for them, but they won't give loans to us, so, _ uck em, _ uck em all in thier high fa lootin million dollar homes. They can all climb up my _ss and they can fight for air. Don't enlist in the service, not unless the government does something for you, men, like give you a simple home loan. Let em fight thier own wars.
I am a Vietnam vet. I was drafted and I went to college after two years of infantry. That is right, in the jungle of Vietnam. The I went to college full time and worked as a janitor at night.
I bought my first home after seven years. No one gave me any handouts. Who said it was easy.
As a 72 > 76 vet I have all the stigma attached, But with a lot of interspection I realised (finaly) that I was not the only one to be lied to --- You have the best of the best ! Train and prepair them as promised do not Dump them back on their comunity's as a burden by definition they will do as instructed so instruct (and live up to the contract) its a concept. Better citizen's, More productive tax payers able to set a more positive example (because we do influince) And we are about to have A whole new genaration of idealists with the feeling the left they field with the ball still in play. By - the - By shouldn't you have to be American to own "America" ???
And this is news how? This can be said about every vet who ever served in the military!
But he called me: "That son of a Saginaw fisherman."
And not good enough to claim his daughter's hand.
Now I'm up here in Alaska looking around for gold.
Like a crazy fool I'm a digging in this frozen ground, so cold.
But with each new day I pray I'll strike it rich and then,
I'll go back home and claim my love in Saginaw, Michigan.
I wrote my love in Saginaw, Michigan.
I said: "Honey, I'm a coming home, please wait for me.
"And you can tell your dad, I'm coming back a richer man
"I've hit the biggest strike in Klondyke history."
Her dad met me in Saginaw, Michigan.
He gave me a great big party with champagne.
Then he said: "Son, you're wise, young ambitious man.
"Will you sell your father-in-law your Klondyke claim?"
Now he's up there in Alaska digging in the cold, cold ground.
The greedy fool is a looking for the gold I never found.
It serves him right and no-one here is missing him.
Least of all the newly-weds of Saginaw, Michigan.
We're the happiest man and wife in Saginaw, Michigan.
He's ashamed to show his face in Saginaw, Michigan.
Being a vet doesn't entitle you to anything, even a house. Most skills learned in the military aren't transferable to civilian jobs. Even, after 4 yrs of college, it doesn't mean you can buy a house. You start at entry position and work you up to higher paying positions. Save your $$ for down payment and buy.
Nobody owes you anything. There are million of vets from years past that can't buy a house
The fact that we hear the phrase “protect property values” so often just confirms that the housing market is both dysfunctional and irrational. While cars depreciate in value, a properly priced home that is kept up should only increase in value at most at the rate of inflation. All the people struggling against eviction would be better served by just walking away. You need to think about saving for retirement rather than flushing any more money down the 30-yr mortgage toilet. You should have the right to live in an affordable home. Housing is a human right. The trouble is affordable homes have been unjustly zoned out. That is an unconscionable violation against your constitutional inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is where the fight lies. This is what needs to be corrected and sooner rather than later.
End exclusionary zoning and there never will be another mortgage crisis again. End exclusionary zoning and you'll be able to buy a house as easily and cheaply as you buy a car. It's really that simple. The housing market is not free so homes are not accurately priced. I went from paying $3,720/yr in lot rent to a mobile home park to paying $662/yr in property taxes once I was allowed to place my singlewide on a lot and pay property taxes like everyone else. I lived at Little Valley Estates near 8 Mile & Middlebelt (near Detroit). I was paying $310/mo in lot rent for a 26 ft by 60 ft lot. That extrapolates to $8,656/acre/month. After I lost my job at 59 in Oct 2008 I just retired (didn't even apply for unemployment). I was able to retire because I paid off my singlewide in less than 2 yrs. So I didn't flush a lot of money down the 30-yr mortgage toilet. If I had borrowed say $100K at 5% and paid it back over 30 yrs then I would have had to pay back $193K. My lifetime income was only $699K.
I lived in apartments for 20 yrs before buying my singlewide in Aug of 1991. By the time I moved my singlewide in May 2009 I had paid over $55K in lot rent over 18 yrs. I estimate that I could've saved about $45K if I just would've been allowed to place my singlewide on a lot and pay property taxes just like everyone else. But Farmington Hills, MI says your home has to be at least 24 ft wide and conform to existing housing. My singlewide was only 14 ft wide. I would've had to move 167 miles further north if I wanted to stay in Mi. Instead I moved my singlewide 300 miles south to a warmer climate about 55 miles east of Cincinnati.
We have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In order to have life you need the necessities of life such as shelter. You should be free to choose that shelter. So the president is derelict in his duty to protect and defend the constitution. But he's just another Pontius Pilate politician. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent but when the crowd yelled 'Crucify Him' then that's what the crowd got. Everyone knows exclusionary zoning is wrong. I'd like the crowd, including Occupy etc, to stop supporting exclusionary zoning. Aren't you tired of being sheared of your wealth like sheep? At least I was able to move my home. I didn't have to leave it behind for someone to tear it down.
240,000 people left Detroit between 2000 and 2010. They left but the houses didn't. It would be a lot easier to vote with your feet if your house could be moved too. Building a singlewide is much less complicated than building a car. So Detroit or Flint could easily build a quality formaldehyde-free singlewide. A 30 footer would be about 360 sq ft. Need more room? Just buy two and connect them with a hallway. When baby comes along then add a third. When baby goes to college then his/her unit could go too as housing for life. Motor homes are very easy to move. So are travel trailers and all the other things you can see at an RV and camper show.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.