Affordable Housing Struggle

By: Shane Symolon Email
By: Shane Symolon Email

Housing prices are going up but many Valley salaries are staying the same. That's making it hard for young, first-time buyers to move into a home.

Ben Halterman helps new home buyers get the loan they need to buy a house, but for a buyer 20 to 30 years old, it’s not getting easier.

"I think what your finding out there right now is there are a lot of the higher priced homes out there. There's probably a saturation of the 300 and up price range, and the house that is maybe 100 to 200,000 is a little harder to find these days," says Halterman.

It’s getting harder to get a loan because of the national problem with sub-prime mortgages.

"These lenders are backing off tremendously on what they'll go for on a loans value. So it’s making you kind of find other ways to find financing, other than the conventional route," says Halterman.

Augusta County Supervisor Wendell Coleman says he wants to keep the younger generation in the area.

"Our young people are being educated here and then leaving the area," says Coleman.

But housing costs keep going up.

"It's something we continue to struggle with in terms of affordable housing, because everything is skyrocketing. Just in terms of land, you take a new development over here, they're getting $90,000 per quarter acre," says Coleman.

He thinks part of the solution is to bring in better paying jobs so people can afford housing and live out their lives in the county.

"Providing the best possible education we can, that we are maintaining a strong and diverse economy that people, when they graduate and they go to college, they can come back here to work," says Coleman.

Real estate agents say not to give up. If you're trying to buy a home, they say you should first try to improve your credit. Be flexible on where exactly you'll live in the county. And, you should keep hunting for lower cost houses.


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