Look at what $136,000 gets you in San Antonio:

This is what runaway inflation does to us. That works out to more than $226 per square foot.

Categories: economics


Boneman · November 30, 2023 at 5:57 am

We paid about 200 per sq ft here in N. Ft. Myers. We aren’t living in a closet though. And at a glance that dollhouse didn’t seem to have a single closet in it either not to mention a washer / dryer.

But hey, that upbeat music and hyper stoked realtor is ON it.

“A Realtor is just someone that couldn’t quite make it as a used car salesman.” – Bob Newhart

Istiri · November 30, 2023 at 6:14 am

$136,000 will get you an older 3bd 1 bath house all over the midwest, you just have to live in a small town. You can get a fixer upper for about 2/3 of that. I know because I am looking to buy one, and have been looking. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Joe Blow · November 30, 2023 at 6:40 am

Honestly… In todays marketplace? That’s a screaming deal.
I get that people look at that and recoil, but that’s stuck in the old paradigm.
I moved from NY to TN 8 years ago, bought land, built a 2000 sq ft house at. $100/sq ft, builders grade everything, but we made our price-point.
This place is worth twice what I paid for it now, but that’s market forces for you.
A used single-wide trailer on a small plot of land around here goes for $120k.
These small-homes look to me to be the modern iteration of mobile homes – a solution to the current housing crises, same as mobile and modular homes have been for decades. A developer saw a need, and a price they could turn a profit at. America, Baby!
No, I wouldn’t want to live there, but…
Nice house across the street from us, comparable I’d say, renting for $3k/mo! And it’s occupied by 2 people!
Certain areas have no available units on the market, prices are insane.. if I was a single young guy or recently married no-kids, damn right I’d consider one of those! Not happy about it, I wouldn’t like it, but given the current situation, that’s a good price for your own piece of property. My parents paid $130k for their home, now you get a tiny-house for that price. Thank your politicians for protecting the value of your USD!
Another example of how the paradigm has already shifted, and some people haven’t caught on…. but I’d digress.
This is more a reflection of the decrease in dollar value than anything else. 4 walls and a roof is still 4 walls and a roof. Why does the same 4 walls and a roof cost twice as much 10 years later when the walls and the roof haven’t changed? The tool you’re measuring with is the part that changed (USD).

    Divemedic · November 30, 2023 at 7:36 am

    I’m building a house right now, far below that price point. We are getting the house at $185 per square foot, and there is a lot of custom work in it.

Toastrider · November 30, 2023 at 10:57 am

At this rate you’ll be measuring your living space in double digits. If you’re lucky.

Dirty Dingus McGee · November 30, 2023 at 11:51 am

A two story shotgun shack for “only” $136K? That you could piss across the yard and hit the neighbors house? Boy howdy, sign me up.

I bought my current house, roughly 45 miles from downtown Atlanta in a semi rural area, at a foreclosure sale 6 years ago. 1,800 sq foot, 3 bedroom, 2 full bathrooms on 2 acres for under $75K. Spent $20K on renovations and upgrades. County currently values it at $220K for tax purposes.I have seen similar property listed for sale at $250-$275K.

Do I live in a desirable area? Based on the population increase over the last 20 years (I have lived in this county for 22 years) it a pretty desirable area. The population of the county is going up roughly 2 1/2% yearly, and now is nearly double what it was 20 years ago.

Max Wiley · November 30, 2023 at 12:03 pm

Adjusted for inflation, current home prices per square foot represent only 10% increase in price over the last 25 years. Homes have gotten larger on average though, nearly a thousand square feet larger, and this is reflected in the prices.
This doesn’t tell the whole story though. The monthly payment is the arbiter of what people can afford, and the mortgage payment is made up of principle reduction, interest, and escrow for homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. This all varies somewhat by location, but the amount applied to principle is by far the smallest component, usually around 12-15% assuming it is early in the loan term. Homes are far more unaffordable primarily due to increases in costs associated with interest expense, insurance, and property taxes as well as loss of purchasing power, not due to base increases in prices per square foot.
Micro houses can offer a reduction in some of those costs enough to make them affordable on a monthly basis but the cost per square foot is obviously going to increase. The exterior walls of a structure and the roof are far more expensive to construct than interior walls, but they only get incrementally larger and more expensive as the interior space goes up. A significant portion of a contractor’s costs are associated with getting crews on site and base equipment costs, slightly increasing the size also only results in an incremental cost increase.

Istiri · November 30, 2023 at 10:05 pm

“Homes are far more unaffordable primarily due to increases in costs associated with interest expense, insurance, and property taxes as well as loss of purchasing power, not due to base increases in prices per square foot.”

I bought my place from an estate at about half of then current prevailing market, and yes, my house payment has gone up almost $200 a month since closing, almost all of it due to property tax increases.

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