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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Move Forward and Move Out, If You Really Want The American Dream?

They say that a component of what is considered the American Dream is home ownership and those of us in the city properties who aspire to buy a home and want to own a stake in this community feel like we are being somewhat punished for wanting it. The way the development plans are unfolding, those who qualify for Section 8 or prefer rental housing are offered an opportunity to move into the new developments first. The rest of us who aligned with the city’s idea of facilitating property ownership among the community’s residents will have to wait for an undisclosed amount of time for our opportunity to move.

If the new properties are ready this summer, they will be literally 25 feet from my front door. I wonder how I am going to feel, seeing a beautiful living space with gardens and all this great architecture that only accommodates Section 8 and rental housing, and does not provide a viable option for people like me who want to own a place in our next move. The architects who are designing the new buildings are very talented and the new properties are going to look spectacular. It’s going to make my current apartment look, for lack of a better term, shitty. And it’s going to be right there in front of me to salivate over every time I come in or out of my apartment.

I may be inclined to move into the new rentals. I’ll think, hell, if I am renting, I might as well rent something nice! But then something is going to nag at me, hey, why I am moving into a rental? I should be looking at buying a piece of property. Just for kicks, we may see if we can get pre-approved for a mortgage and if by chance we do, we will be faced with the difficult decision of whether we should move into a nice house anywhere in the city now, or should we continue living in a crappy apartment for that undisclosed amount of time and wait for the privilege of being one of Allied Drive's first home owners. I am thinking that the only reason I would wait for Allied Drive would be if there was a complete lack of mortgage brokers who are willing to work with first time home owners with challenges. I don’t know ...

The State Journal recently interviewed a landlord out here who expressed that the city should consider building homes immediately because there is already a ton of low income housing out here. They say that Allied Drive is over 65% vacant – I remember one of the architects early on explained to us that if they cut off the top floors of all the buildings on Allied, there will still be vacancies out here. Currently, everything out here is rental and low income. Our Alder was quoted in response as agreeing in the concept of home-ownership, however stating that the community really wants rentals to drive the first phase of the project. Who? The community? What about those of us who live in the buildings that you bought? I guess we are all the red-headed step-children who have to wait until everyone else is appeased before our needs are met. God, this feels like a really unfulfilling relationship that I have with the city. I fantasize about a mortgage broker in shining armor riding up here on a white horse to sweep me away.

The ideal would be if the city would start building the owner-based properties right away with the rentals, and the options would be lined up for us when the new properties are unveiled. This all reminds me of when we first moved into our apartment and we had no furniture whatsoever. I had some friends back in Chicago who offered me some really nice furniture, I just had to rent a truck and get some help to move it. There were a lot of challenges in doing that due to finances and mobility restrictions I had to abide to. Just to get some basic furniture, I went St. Vincent DePaul and got pretty much everything that I immediately needed. My intention was still to get the really nice furniture and donate my interim furniture back to St Vincent’s.

Three years later, I am still sitting on my St Vincent’s couch and the furniture in Chicago is still sitting in storage. I’ve had opportunities to get the new furniture, but for one reason or another, I never did. I guess because I didn’t really need it and I was comfortable with what I had.

It’s one of the tragedies of missed opportunities ... The city is making us move, that is inevitable for all of us here. However, if they really want to guide us into home ownership on Allied, they should relish the opportunity of lining up the timelines to make it convenient for us to do so. Have both options ready at the same time so that no one has to wait for an undisclosed amount of time to move into a house. If the city makes the home ownership option difficult for those of us living in their properties, my suspicion is that someone else in Madison will make it easy. We’ll all be dispersed throughout other areas of the city, and in the interest of building stability in the Allied community, it will be a missed opportunity.

2 comments:

Cats And Kittens said...

This is really nice and great post. Thanks for sharing this post.

Anonymous said...

Without financial education and literacy it would be difficult to increase the income of an individual. Even in our timesharebusiness our boss always make a way to educate his employees about finances.

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