MoneyReal Estate News

Actions

Could you afford your home if you were buying it today?

'The cost for us to live in this house if we tried to go do this again would be double. We wouldn't be able to afford it,' Larry Mastropieri says
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 24, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A new survey by Redfin found 38% of Americans couldn't afford to buy the home they currently live in if they were buying it today.

"I would say 80% of my check goes towards the rent," Laura Guilmain, a Palm Beach County renter, told WPTV.

WPTV first met Laura Guilmain two years ago when she was facing eviction following a rent increase she couldn't afford.

Now, she's in a new place, still renting, and hoping to buy a home one day when it's attainable.

"They want to see your debt to income ratio," Guilmain said. "You're always in the negative, if you have credit cards, you're borrowing against your credit cards to make each month's meets, you know."

Laura Guilmain a Palm Beach County renter April 24 2024.png
Laura Guilmain, a Palm Beach County renter, says more than half of her income goes to paying rent.

Guilmain's situation supports Redfin's survey.

"Not surprising at all," Larry Mastropieri, a South Florida real estate broker and owner of The Mastropieri Group, said.

Mastropieri said high interest rates are fueling the problem.

"I'm sitting in a house that I built, but I secured the debt and we're just finishing this build," Mastropieri said. "I secured the debt before the rates went up. I have a 4% rate on this."

Larry Mastropieri a South Florida real estate broker and owner of The Mastropieri Group April 2024.png
Larry Mastropieri, a South Florida real estate broker and owner of The Mastropieri Group, says unaffordable housing is due to high interest rates.

That rate was common back in 2019, making monthly payments roughly $650 less than they are now with the current 7.1% interest rate.

"The cost for us to live in this house if we tried to go do this again would be double, no question," Mastropieri said. "We wouldn't be able to afford it."

The good news for homeowners, like Mastropieri, is they'd make a good profit from the sale. However, Mastropieri said it's not always worth it.

"Maybe it's worth X and we could put X amount of dollars in the bank, but we're gonna downgrade our living for sure," he said. "So, it's just like why would we sell, especially if we have a 4% rate locked in for 30 years, a house we just built and we're happy here."