Overpriced? No kidding

Overpriced? No kidding

Of all the places to live in the United States, I have to live in the most expensive county in the whole country, according to Forbes magazine. The article is in The Salem News.

Local real estate agents and others are dubious about the data that led Forbes magazine to rank Essex County as the most overpriced place to live in the country.
The magazine, which went on sale yesterday, scored Essex County at No. 1, saying it has the highest cost of living, lowest salaries, least job growth and least affordable housing.

These combined factors placed Essex County as the “most overpriced place to live,” despite its median home price of $373,750, according to the article. In comparison, San Francisco ranked No. 2 and has a median home price of $720,400; San Jose, Calif., is the third most overpriced at $746,800; and Honolulu comes in at No. 4 with $625,000.

Of course, the local chamber of commerce and real estate agents disagree, because if they didn’t they would lose business. But the listing makes sense. Real estate costs are out of this world. It’s unlikely Melanie and I will be able to buy a whole in the area, but there are lots of poor people, especially in Salem, living in overpriced tenements. Property and other local taxes are crippling, income taxes (which affect the whole state, admittedly) are ridiculous as well.

Despite the so-called anti-snobbery laws requiring so-called “affordable” housing, the reality is that this only benefits the poor, so while the rich—including the DINKs (Dual-Income No Kids) who commute into Boston every day—can afford the overpriced houses and condos and the poor can move into the 40B housing, the middle class, including young families, are forced out.

Of course, the liberals interviewed for the story want Nanny Government to get more involved by passing more laws and regulations, missing the point that this is what is a partial cause for the problem in the first place. What they should do is reduce taxes and regulation, giving the middle class more income and reducing the burden of property ownership.

Thus, Massachusetts as a whole is a sinking ship, with more and more middle class families moving out and away, leaving a giant hole in the economy. A collapse can’t be too far away.

[Thanks to Hub Politics for the link.]

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  • Hey, I’m looking at a 3 bedroom, 2 story 1 1/2 bath, dinning, living room, kitch, porch, front and back yard, and finished basement for $55,000!! Actually, there’s one down the street going for $28,000!!

    I’m jus’ sayin…

  • JenB: And you live where? grin Steubenville is not exactly the clean air capital nor is it an eceonomic miracle. I know because I lived there for four years and suffered the physical effects and saw the economic reality.  wink

  • Why do you stay, Domenico?

    For $200,000 you can move next door. The place has 50 feet of gorgeous lakefront. Granted it is a modest 2 bedroom house but it’s in very good shape. The Akron-Canton airport is 15 minutes away.

    You can borrow my pontoon boat and use my hot tub.

    Tuition at the very orthodox parish’s school is $2200 per year and if you want to walk through the woods you can walk to mass twice a day. The Romanians, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Melkites, and Maronites are all close by.

    Your real estate tax will be $3000 per year. The Ohio income tax is steeply graduated, so you won’t pay much.

    Maybe you don’t like herons, swans, muskrats, ducks, geese and fishing from your front yard?

    The same house off the lake would be less than 80K. You can drop my my place any time you like.


  • Ohio is not exactly next-door to Massachusetts. Plus where I live depends entirely on where I get a job at this point. It’s difficult to buy any house without a job.

  • Oh, I want to move to Nashville! I can’t wait for the chance.

    Now that the tunnels are out of commission, I can’t leave this place soon enough.

  • The first sentence of this post shouldn’t have been:  Of all the places to live in the United States, I have to live in…

    it should be:

    … I choose to live in…

    We all have the option to leave.  I almost did 2 years ago.

  • Christopher,

    Most years the lakes freeze over. Do you like to ice skate?

    Summer is a little more humid than I like.

    Ohio is border-line red/blue with a fair amount of low-grade Rockefeller Republican corruption. Most people have little interest in politics. The government is much less intrusive in our daily lives than is the case in the NE.

    The area I live in is a hidden jewel because of its beauty, convenience, low-cost and proximity to an airport.

  • Liam,

    I am afraid you may have your head in the clouds.  People always want more free stuff from their government, the trick is at some point giving away free services becomes imprudent. What MA lacks is an awareness and acceptance of the fact that Government can’t solve all your problems. 

    Very few working people have the time to get involved in the intricacies of governing and for this reason we have representatives who do it for us.  Sadly in this state my experience has been that town committees are populated mostly by wealthy town elites, who most of the time have one concern: padding their pockets and those of their friends.  In my town the Town Committee chairwoman responded to a request by the people for a moratorium on new developments by saying “if you live in paradise its not fair not to let other people live here too.”  Go figure, she is a real estate agent.  So while the rest of us suffer from insufficient infrastructure and environmentally unsound building practices (deforestation: we are only 10 feet above sea level), not to mention the disaster our town would be in the event of a head on hurricane, she is raking in the $$.  The roof isn’t falling in on the way over-budget harbor tunnels because of responsiveness to the people.

  • Liam: Excise taxes. Nothing is so symbolic of this state’s well-deserved moniker of Taxachusetts as excise taxes. We’ll just have to disagree on how fair the texaes are, especially when we’re comparing them to those of other super-liberal states.

    Joe: We don’t all have the luxury of uprooting ourselves at will and moving elsewhere. Things like familial bonds and a rootedness in our homes count for something. Of course, employment is an issue as well and if I find a job that tkes me out of the state (or can’t find one at all, he says cryptically) we’re out of here.

  • Liam’s impression of NH and MA roads is different from mine; I’m usually impressed with the instant improvement when I cross from pothole-ridden MA to well-built NH roads.  I’ve never bent a rim hitting a pothole in NH. 

    Down here, shoddy state construction is absolutely routine: concrete sidewalks at state buildings start to crumble in under five years after installation, the U. Mass Boston garage was in danger of collapse a few years back, and of course we know about the Big Dig.  If there were enough justice in the world, poor Mrs. Delvalle would become the face that tears this whole corrupt establishment down.

    In contrast, NH 101 remains as solid as when it was rebuilt back in the old century.

  • Hey-they’re cleanin’ up the … uh…well, they send us updates in the mail on water qualiaty and …ok, the air is getting better…Hey-you can see Scott Hahn anytime you like…(JKJK)

    I’m tryin’ I’m tryin’!!!

  • I actually enjoyed Jeanne’s post.  An off base rant, not too disimilar from one of my own.

    Interestingly enough, I did a http://www.realtor.com search in Naples, Fl, soon to be home to Ave Maria U. and found that this may actually be a town for rich folk only.

    Not too different from Essex County.

    Face it.  Essex county is really driven by such high income towns as Boxford, Hamilton, Wenham, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, etc.. These are where the DOTCOM instant millionaires, who had lots of stock options which made them millionaires on paper only, built, drove up values, and then crashed.  Values have NEVER come down.

    My home has appreciated $260M in the five years I’ve lived in it.

    I’ve always considered selling, buying a county in Arkansas with my equity, and not working for five years!

    Whose with me?

  • As a MA resident but native Cheesehead who could leave here due to working as a civilian for a global organization (the USAF) but doesn’t due to many personal reasons of the heart, I often complain about the high cost of housing, the liberal corrupt politics, and the persecution which is coming down the pike due to those “loving, tolerant” homosexuals.  However, for some reason, I guess God wants me here although like Jonah, I may be tempted and grumble about being here rather than in one of the cheaper, saner red states.  So, for the time being, my wife and I will rent our 1 BR apartment, save money for a minimal down payment on a condo, start a family, and try to make a go of it here in this banana republic.

    If all the good Catholics left here, who would be left to try to save our wayward, Kennedy-voting, cultural Catholic brethren?  Just asking the question…