What pops into your head when you hear the phrase affordable housing? Low-income households? Low-cost housing structures? Complicated homebuyer programs?
Unfortunately, the mental images these words conjure harm the real estate market. It’s ironic because affordable housing professionals and programs have helped many families get on a path toward homeownership and wealth creation that benefits entire communities.
But what if we flip those words and say housing affordability? Every homebuyer is looking for a home that’s affordable to them. That’s precisely the job of lenders — ensuring the home loan is affordable to the particular buyer. It makes homeownership sustainable.
My point here is that we should all care about housing affordability. Real estate professionals can be their buyers’ advocate by helping them find resources that make their purchase affordable to them.
Let’s rethink affordability. Instead of the traditional measures of sales price and interest rates, what about the entry cost? The down payment is still the biggest hurdle, and the challenge is growing.
I know. Who identifies themselves as potential beneficiaries of assistance? Our lexicon about affordable housing has made it difficult to have open discussions with buyers about their options.