People in the East Bay, particularly in Oakland, struggling to deal with rising rents and home prices, I see you.
When I started this blog, my main goal was to show lovely images of homes and neighborhoods in the East Bay with a smattering of nuts and bolts info on the real estate market for prospective buyers and sellers. I also love showing off our sweet listings, you know, house porn.
But I must take a moment to acknowledge the very real issues that so many people, including people who are my friends and in my community, are really struggling with housing right now. I see it from afar on Facebook, I hear it from them when they tell me about their struggles to find rental housing, and often they come to see me looking for a home or exploring their buying options while facing an owner move-in eviction or huge rent increase.
It’s not always easy to be a small business person in these current times in Oakland. While we work with people from many walks of life, we are also of this place and the pain that many in our community experience here is our own. Within my Realtor community, we often lament what seems to be an unsustainably rapid rise in home prices. And I just wanted to break from the usual shiny real estate blog fare to mention the Bay Area’s housing affordability crisis and how it affects my friends.
Homes are lovely and décor is an extension of our personal style. Or course I’ll keep posting gorgeous photos and marketing lovely East Bay homes. But know that just as I work with all areas of residential real estate, I also deeply care about and work to help people secure affordable housing.
As a CAR Board member I haven’t been to any of our periodic meetings where housing affordability hasn’t been one of the major topics. Our magazine often addresses this issue, our economist warns of the negative effects of low inventory and rising prices, our website provides a search tool for local assistance programs and we raise money for housing affordability programs. I am very proud to see that the leadership and policy making arm of the Realtor community in California is taking up this issue and I’m glad to be a part of that.
To everyone out there in California, we know we have to have our emergency preparation kits but just as important, we need to be financially prepared to deal with emergencies, including and especially, our potential housing emergencies. I say this out of love. It’s not easy to save money here, it’s expensive to live here in the first place and when you add student loans and maybe kids, saving becomes super difficult. If you never have to use the money you save for housing, then it will come in handy either for other emergencies or for retirement. And know, that there are also people like me and programs out there that can help lend support as you navigate our very difficult housing landscape.
I see you and you are in my heart.