This morning I sat down to read the paper (something I still like to do each morning) and I came upon this article, Millennials consider leaving Washington as the city becomes more costly. If you don't feel like reading the article, the jist of it is that as they start a family, it is becoming too expensive for millenials to get the space they need in D.C.
Is this really a new problem?
In 1987, as I was looking for my first home, I was dismayed to learn that I could not get the space I needed, at a price I could afford in Arlington, VA (just over the river from DC). Like every other prospective home owner, I had to make a choice...more space further out or less space close in. This is NOT a new issue.
The thing about cities is that there is limited housing and, usually, great demand. As anyone who knows anything about economics knows, when the demand increases and the supply remains (relatively) the same, the prices go up. We have a relatively strong job market and local economy, so there will consistent demand for housing. Many recent college grads are flocking to the DC Metro area and driving up the prices.
Everyday, buyers and renters come to the conclusion that some sort of sacrifice must be made to accomodate their budget and/or life style. Very rarely does a buyer or renter get everything on their wish list. Yes, it happens, but to a very few, very lucky buyers/renters.
Here in the DC metro area, there are teachers and fire fighters who commute from the far west edges of Virginia, and even West Virginia, because they can't afford the space they need in the community they serve. It is a hard decision to move further out. I get it.
I am sympathetic to the plight of the folks in this article. I remember how disappointed I was to find that the vision I had for my life was going to need to shift to the suburbs. Frankly, nearly 30 years later, I can't imagine my life taking place anywhere else. That said, life is full of limitations and, as a result, we need to adjust our expectations.
Sometimes when we remove false limitatons and open ourselves up to possibility, we can find the house where we are meant to live in a community that suits us. I hope that they find a place where they can be happy raising their family...but they might have to leave the city to do it!
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