The Rent is Too Damn High in Washington, DC. How the Hell are People Affording It? » VSB

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The Rent is Too Damn High in Washington, DC. How the Hell are People Affording It?

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A few years ago, the Washington Post dropped a story that still makes the rounds on the internets even today about just how much it costs to live comfortably in the District of Columbia. Their suggestion: Roughly $108,000 per year. This was their household “happiness” estimate. According to that same article, DC has the third most number of households making over $150k a year in cities with a population over 500,000. To further the “we rich, bitch” pathos, apparently Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the nation, Virginia ranks number 6 on that list, and Washington, DC, ranks 10th.

The entire point of that first paragraph was to illustrate how “rich” the DC area is to people who don’t live here. For people that do live here, most of that is old hat, old news, and it’s made ever more clear by the amount of new construction happening in our nation’s capital and the insane costs for apartments in DC. According to RentJungle.com, in April 2017, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in DC is $2,081, and the average price for a two-bedroom apartment in DC is $2,741. In summation, if you live in DC and are renting an apartment, you better literally think that you’re Big Meech or Larry Hoover, because you will be blowin’ money fast.

According to another Washington Post article, based on U.S. Census data, the average median household income in Washington, DC, in 2015 (I’m assuming this is the latest data available that’s been parsed) was $75,628. The average national median was $56,500. But that’s a household. So how does personal/individual income fare? Glad you asked. According to BizJournals, in 2012 (I know, it’s old as fuck at this point), the average per capita income in DC was $74,733 (before taxes, etc.). I think we can only assume this number has gone up. Not too shabby since the national per capita income average back then, when you didn’t want me, was around $43k.

DC, again, is rich as fuck. Though we do also have a hefty poverty rate, and people who live along the stops of Metro’s Green Line, also known as the Soul Train, have the lowest household income in the area. Clearly everybody ain’t rich, which should come as no surprise to anybody.

Let’s switch gears for a minute. I live in southeast D.C., east of the river (DC code for Black and less well off) in a neighborhood called Congress Heights. I live in the poorest of the city’s eight wards (I live in Ward 8), and all of the TWO grocery stores located east of the river (the Anacostia River if you’re asking), are located within a mile of my home. It’s a high crime, high poverty area, and doubles as the city’s most affordable housing market. For now. Since I bought my house in 2012, my value has increased as you-know-who comes looking for affordable housing.

As a point of contrast, in 2012 (this is about to get real personal), I paid $299,900, for a three story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, roughly 2k (a lot for DC) square feet, new construction townhouse in the city’s poorest area. Let that sink in. Ask anybody in DC, and they’ll tell you that’s cheap. My daughter goes to a private school in Alexandria, Virginia. On our drive in in the mornings I always take note of the houses that are for sale. I couldn’t afford any of them if I wanted to, but I like to see what housing prices look in general.

There is a house for sale along the route to her school that is going for $674,900, that has 816 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, that was built in 1956, and according to the pictures, the only upgrades to the entire house SINCE then are the kitchen, because you cannot demand that kind of money without a new kitchen. That house was more than TWICE the price of my house with less than half the space. But location, location, location. Assuming a 20 percent downpayment of $135k (who the fuck has that just sitting around), the mortgage on that house would be about $3,400/month, MORE THAN DOUBLE my mortgage.

On my way home from work everyday, I drive by Nationals Park, the home of our Major League Baseball team, the Washington Nationals, in the Navy Yards area and neighborhood. This area used to be terrible and now includes a destination in the city, Yards Park. Yards Park is surrounded, now, by SEVERAL high-end new apartment buildings, similar to those popping up all over DC. One of these new buildings is called Dock79, located literally across the street from Nationals Park.

As I watched Dock79 be built, I wondered just how much would it cost for a one- or two-bedroom apartment in such a location with such nice views. Keep in mind, this building is LITERALLY across the bridge that separates most of DC from the “east of the river” DC. I can see my daughter’s old charter school from this building and that school was in what felt like a war zone at times. It’s as close as you can get to the water without swimming in it. The most inexpensive unit is a studio with 500+ square feet going for $1,875 (more than my actual mortgage). The most expensive, at least according to the site, is about $4,100, for a 2BR/2BA with 1200+ square feet. This is more per month than the tiny house for sale in Alexandria, which doesn’t even have the best school system in the area. Bang for the buck, eh?

I checked rental costs for several other buildings in the area, especially those located adjacent to Yards Park and the costs varied but were largely similar. To live in DC, you’re paying out the ass.

Let’s do some income breakdowns because this is ultimately where the rubber meets the road. Let’s assume that we’re talking about a person who makes the DC area average per capita income, which in 2012 was about $74k. We’ll plus that up to account for inflation since then, so let’s say the average income is around $80k. I’m assuming, here, that we’re going to talk about a single person with no children since I’m guessing most people in this city with kids are moving out to the burbs leaving it to the rich people with kids where they paid $700k for a house and there is a stay at home parent, which, is insane.

Anyway, the take home pay on an $80k annual salary or $6,666 gross per month. is say, $4k NET per month (after accounting for taxes, benefits – assuming you pay them – and social security, plus some retirement). According to LendKey.com, here’s the rule of thumb on housing:

The general recommendation is to spend about 30% of your gross monthly income (before taxes) on rent. Therefore, if you’ll be making $4,000 per month, then your rent should be $4,000 x 0.3, or about $1,200. Another way to calculate this number is to divide your annual income by 40.

However, if you’re a college senior with student loans, you will want to factor your student loan payments into your calculations. The 30% rule doesn’t really account for a high debt load. Instead, consider using the 43% rule, which is borrowed from the mortgage lending world. With this rule, your monthly housing cost plus all monthly debt payments should not exceed 43% of your monthly income. If your student loan payments are very high, this might not leave much money left for rent.

So it’s recommended (by people that recommend shit) that you spend roughly $2,000 to $2,866 on housing, respectively, according to those figures. Hmmmm. We already know that the average one bedroom is over $2k, so you’re SO straight, right?! Wrong. Your net is looking at your gross like it’s stupid because who takes home their gross? After accounting for for (again) taxes, benefits – assuming you pay them – and social security, plus some retirement, your NET is (again) $4k per month. There’s a good chance that you’re going to end up paying more than half of your ACTUAL take home on housing. Now let’s assume that you have a roommate which would be helpful…on average.

If the average 2BR is almost $2,800, then you’re in much better shape. Except, $80k is the AVERAGE. Which means you have many people, especially young upstarts moving to DC in their early 20s making way less than that. It’s probably offset by lawyers coming into the city to work in lobbying jobs who are making way more than that but are also likely to not be living with anybody else because they don’t have to. And since most of those “affordable” 2BR apartments for less are probably in less than desirable locations in the city, I’d wager most people are finding ways to pay more to live in areas they’re happy with.

Of course, this also assumes that your only expense is housing. What if you have credit card debt, car loans, student loans, etc.? In a city full of so many working professionals and government employees – who get paid better than one might think, but are absolutely not raking in millions per year in salary – and non-governmental organization employees, and non-profits, how in the hell do people who make less than the average afford to live here? I mean, there’s only so many years you can reasonably live with somebody else in a roommate situation.

I look at these super expensive houses and these irrationally expensive apartments that somehow manage to get tenants and I wonder just who in the fuck lives in DC? What jobs are they taking? Are these all lawyers? OR are they already rich kids coming into DC to get some Capitol Hill experience and pad the political resume before they go back home to run for office and take over the family business? Do their parents have THAT much money?

I’ve been at my current job for well over 10 years. My salary is comfortable as hell and if I didn’t have any children or debt, I could easily afford one of those one bedroom apartments and not stress TOO much about the cost. But again, I’ve been at my job for more than a decade. My salary at this point has more than doubled and because of the nature of my job and because I had a Master’s degree when I started, my salary was significantly higher than I’d wager most folks coming to DC with a Bachelor’s degree.

Does everybody have a roommate? Is everybody rich? Is everybody rich and white? Who the fuck lives in DC right now? How is a city full of government workers and millennials trying to make a difference also full of apartments costed at a rate that would offend people who live in other places not named San Fran, LA, or NYC.

Just who the fuck lives in DC?

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Mary Burrell

    QTNA Speaking of “The Rent is too da*mn high” Jimmy McMillan why does he wear those creepy, weird black gloves?

  • Shott3r

    Does everybody have a roommate? Yes

    Is everybody rich? The ones who don’t have to have roommates
    Is everybody rich and white? See previous answer

    /live in Silicon Valley and it’s the same, but even more ridiculous. Multi-generational households are becoming the norm among non-tech bros.

  • theaythmonth

    I just moved back home (MS) from DC, where I lived for an additional 4 years after HU. I miss DC, but don’t miss paying the rent.

    When I was there, I couldn’t figure out how my friends and acquaintances landed these really great jobs at Lockheed, Deloitte, etc straight out the gate – and that these jobs actually paid WELL and had great benefits. DC has a good job market, but the competition is tough, so I was like How Sway?!?

    Now, I think it’s a matter of luck and/or the art of the SIDE HUSTLE.

    • Spicy Kas

      Luck Connections

      • theaythmonth

        Having a good network does not always guarantee a job. Even in DC. Learned that the hard way, unless I didn’t try hard enough.

        • Spicy Kas

          Network – I know a mid level VP who works at the company where I am seeking employment. She will make sure my resume gets a good look.

          Connection – my parents or a close friend of my parents know a person at the firm senior enough to create a position if need be. They golf together and occasionally vacation together

    • NotToday

      The side hustle is what kept me in NYC when I wanted to go roommate-less. I was a shared part-time nanny to a bunch of English families that paid me well and under the table. Now that I’ve been here for a while and have grown in my job I’m thinking about buying an apartment. Any suggestions for a part-time, well-paying, keep my clothes on, side gig that pays well?

      • MissRosé

        I started to type then you insisted on keeping your clothes on. I’ll just take notes too.

        • NotToday

          lol, you noticed how I said well-paying twice but added keep my clothes on!

          • MsCee

            Lol, morals are overrated.

            • MissRosé

              SAY THAT WORD! Sometimes I look at these bills like if only I could. I was in Amsterdam for work last month and legit walked by the red light district with ideas! Like I really could just rent a room for the night and pay off some of these bills. No one ever has to know!

              • MsCee

                Lissen, my standards are at an all time low thanks to Navient.

          • MsSula

            With some of those old fuddies, you won’t need to remove your clothes. Lol.

      • MsSula

        My great friend side hustled as a nanny in San Francisco when she was moved there for an executive trainee program. Guess what? She enjoyed nanny-ing so much, that it has now become a nanny entrepreneur. She has written a book, sells a sleeping method to parents etc… She is making all kinds of dough. Sometimes, it takes side-hustling to discover your destiny.

        • NotToday

          good for her, seriously.

  • SAS

    Or… you can move to Ward 9 aka District Heights/Capitol Heights, be within walking distance to a metro, and pay a portion of what you’d paid in DC Proper.

    • Giantstepp

      Or SE Maryland (Oxon Hill -Suitland).

  • Sigma_Since 93

    “Does everybody have a roommate?”
    Let’s look at a few of our tv shows over the years.
    In Living Single, everyone was roommated up. In Friends, they were roommated up. In Chex in the City, Big Bird had a rent controlled apartment and the one woman lived in Brooklyn. In Will and Grace, they had roommates.
    How else you gonna live fabulous in the big city????

    • J.E. Pierson

      Big Bird? lol. People always said she looks like a horse.

    • Zil Nabu

      Miranda didn’t move to Brooklyn until season 6. She bought an upper east side co-op in season 2.

      • MsSula

        Miranda was making great dough though.

        • Zil Nabu

          Yeah she was.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            But even she had to make moves so she wasn’t high enough on the horse to be shielded from housing costs.

            • MsSula

              Yup, she had to make NYC adjustments.

            • Zil Nabu

              She moved to Brooklyn because Steve wanted to be there and for more space, not because she couldn’t afford Manhattan.

              • Jennifer

                Steve wanted a yard for the kid.

                • Zil Nabu

                  Brady!

                • MsSula

                  and to be close to his “Ma”.

                  (I love SATC. Sorry not sorry. Lol)

              • Sigma_Since 93

                She couldn’t afford Manhattan with more space and a yard…..

                • Zil Nabu

                  That was not the storyline. There aren’t yards in Manhattan.

                  • Sigma_Since 93

                    Exactly. Those places that have a sliver of green space are a grip

                    • Zil Nabu

                      Focus on the show, not real life. Miranda never lamented being able to afford to live where she wanted in Manhattan.

    • GeeKayGee

      I mad you called her Big Bird. lololol

      I’ve always thought SJP was attractive.

      But anyways, remember Carrie had NO money. She had all the nice things, but that’s it. Remember she had to ask her friends and that cretin, Mr. Big, for money to buy her apartment. Btw, that episode really cemented my dislike for Carrie. lol

      • Zil Nabu

        She didn’t start getting money until she wrote her book and writing for Vogue. One of the first things we learned about Carrie is that her credit cards stayed maxed.

        • GeeKayGee

          Yep! And Vogue was a side hustle done out of necessity to pay for the apartment.

          I never understood how anyone liked Carrie. She was the worst in so many ways.
          Let me chill before I go on my “Carrie was a terrible person and friend” rant. lol

          • Spicy Kas

            But she was. Gave horses a bad name the work over.

          • MsSula

            She was the most indecisive person in the whole universe. And I can’t stand people who can’t make up their minds.

            But we all have a little bit of Carrie in us, which is why I think she drove me so crazy.

    • Jennifer

      Carrie from STC is still the most unrealistic character in all of history. You got a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan and all of those clothes and shoes writing one column a month?! *scoff*

      • MsSula

        It was a rent controlled apartment going for 500 USD per month.

        And she maxed her credit cards OUT.

        • Zil Nabu

          It was $750/ month

          • MsSula

            I stand corrected. Lol.

            I see there are many of us SATC fans in these here streets. Lol.

            • Zil Nabu

              Girl that show was the foundation of my 20s, but I didn’t really get it until I was in my 30s. It was like watching with new eyes.

              • MsSula

                SAME.

      • she

        I think them shoes drove me crazy…mostly out of envy but still it was so unrealistic!

      • D-Nice

        I thought her column in the “NY Star” was weekly. Regardless, I agree, she would have not made enough money for the lifestyle.

  • Kamala Jones

    Generational wealth and the wealth transferals that many non-Black Americans receive during their lifetimes are real. These are things the vast majority of Black Americans do not have. Oh, and many of us work with and make similar or more money than many non-Blacks but while some of us have income our non-Black coworkers are getting six figure monetary inheritances, property, free cars, etc. Most non-Blacks don’t tell us about the money they received from their families.

    • Spicy Kas

      Yup

    • GeeKayGee
    • MoBell

      Wish I could like this more than once. On point! There was absolutely no generational wealth past down to me because my family had none. I’m one generation removed from the projects in an urban environment, as with most black people I know in my area. We are not and never have been on the same playing field as whites.

      • Even when we have a little bit of money, few know what to do with it. And even if we learn about investing, there’s always a scammer waiting to take that little from us.

        Then there’s trying to pass money knowledge on to the next generation. I tried, but recently found out it was a waste of time. She didn’t want to hear the message. I’m an old. I don’t know what’s what. Now she got collections coming after her for those shoes she just HAD to have even though she didn’t have no job.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      We have no wealth to transfer because we’ve been locked out of income, and denied chances to buy capital – systemically.

      Making money online might be the last card to play.

      • kingpinenut

        We have no wealth because of systemic injustice. The real bill would bankrupt the usa

        • Sheryl

          Yes, they (white) have more money off the backs of so much cheap and free colored labor. We can’t deny the 400 year head start that they have and the fact that we have to damn near burn down the building down to get a promotion.

      • Zil Nabu

        Life insurance is one of the biggest methods of wealth transfer. However, because of historical graft a lot black people don’t trust it. Also much generational wealth is lost due to lack of esrate planning.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          And that goes to education and lawyer fees.

        • Spicy Kas

          We talking term or annuity? If annuity, we can break out the brass knuckles now.

          • Zil Nabu

            I say both, depending on your income level.

            • Spicy Kas

              Variable annuity life insurance is a huge rip off. Separate insurance from your investments and you will get a much better bang for your dollar.

              • Zil Nabu

                It works well as a retirement hedge fund. For people who can’t fund a Roth or do a backdoor contribution whole life insurance is the best tax advantaged investment vehicle. Also it’s money not in the market that you can draw from if stocks fall. Hedge against realizing market losses.

                • Spicy Kas

                  Fees are high, offerings are shittty. You could go low cost index fund and be better off even with out the tax advantage.

                  • Zil Nabu

                    Fees are in the first 2-3 years. After that you’re just building cash value that when mature in retirement you can just take. It’s a long game and not the only game in town. However, a whole lot of people with a while lot of money are in it for a reason.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      I have yet to read an unbiased source that recommends it. I’m open to being schooled though.

                    • Zil Nabu

                      I think all sources have some form of bias so I keep that in mind. I’ve read the whole buy term and invest the rest, but then I also look at what people with money do. I did it to diversify my investments outside of the market. I have the IRA and 401K for tax advantaged savings. Now if another 2008 hits when it’s time for me to retire, I’d much rather take out tax free cash value then realize 40% losses in the market. And if you die your family gets the death benefit and the cash value. Now I’d say that whole isn’t for most people. I’d only recommend it for people with higher incomes and I wouldn’t recommend starting it after 45 because pricing explodes.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      Explain to me (no snark) why taking money out of a variable annuity insurance plan shields you from the market dropping?

                    • Zil Nabu

                      Just to be sure when you say variable annuity insurance plan you mean whole or permanent life insurance, correct?

                    • Spicy Kas

                      Let’s agree to disagree (translation I don’t feel like refreshing my memory on this to have a worthwhile? debate. Unrelated, here’s an article I thought you would enjoy:
                      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-11/highest-paid-women-in-america-reap-rewards-of-technology-boom

        • AzucarNegra

          A lot of wealth is unrealised because of a lack of estate planning, especially in a bid to keep the family together.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “Most non-Blacks don’t tell us about the money they received from their families.”
      Like that small $1M business loan???

      • she

        Just a little loose change from the couch

        • miss t-lee

          Pocket change for real!

      • MsCee

        Or the down payment on a house after marriage along with enough for the first year of loan payments?

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        • J.dot.I.

          I’m planning to give my kids the down payment. with more of us learning these strategies for generational wealth, more of us (who are able) need to implement them in our families.

          • MsCee

            Most definitely…and my daughter will be an authorized signer on all my cards as soon as she is of age.

          • Deron Brazile

            A bunch of likes for yal complaining. No likes for someone tryna do better. Says alot

        • darth vader

          And don’t forget the insurance money, graduating college debt free and getting that cushy six figure first job via Dads business connections .

      • Hugh Akston

        This guy I met was your typical lib Bernie bros came from VT he bragged regularly how he became a millionaire

        A friend of his worked at the bank and he called him one day they sat down and he got a nice loan with a tiny internet to go buy and flip houses

        • Aurora Silvermane

          So are these assholes hiring? If not, they should shut the fuck up.

      • miss t-lee

        Listennnn.

      • CoilyCue

        Like life insurance payouts after the death of parents/grandparents.

    • I work at a bank and I see it everyday. College freshmen with 10k in the bank.

      • Zil Nabu

        And 850 credit scores. They wear the fuck out of being an authorized user and paying not one dang bill.

        • Spicy Kas

          So I got my credit scores a few weeks back and one of them was less than 800. Fucking bs.

          • Hugh Akston

            I only have student loan and mortgage still not close to that lol though it was above that when I was looking for a house smh

            • Zil Nabu

              Mine hovers around 800. That good credit is everything. Got me locked at 3.5% on a 30 year mortgage.

              • Hugh Akston

                Lucky you

                Your tax and insurance probably higher than your mortgage lol

                • Zil Nabu

                  Nah. My insurance is only $400/ year and my property taxes are about $5200. Most of what I pay is principal and interest. My monthly assessments aren’t bad either. I still pay a grip though.

              • D-Nice

                I built mine up, just takes time and persistence. Out of college it was 600-625, now it’s 820-30. When I leased my boring Toyota Camry last summer after working out really good terms for the lease, the (white) finance person told me that the terms were, of course, dependent on my credit, sort of implying that he expected my score wouldn’t qualify me for the deal I had worked out. I was happy to prove him wrong.

                • Zil Nabu

                  Mine was crap coming out of college. When I started my new job my first goal was to pay off all consumer debt. After that I just had to wait for negative items to fall off my report.
                  I once had a mortgage agent say to me, “It turns out you actually have great credit,” like it was some surprise chance occurrence that I had nothing to do with.

            • Spicy Kas

              I’m 50. Pay my bills on time, credit card paid in full every month. I was not happy.

          • My credit languishes at 775 because….get this….I won’t take out more credit. They like those ladies at Canal Street trying to sell knockoff sunglasses and handbags. No, b!tch! I do not want an auto loan. I live in NYC azzholes. No car needed.

            • Spicy Kas

              It’s a c o n spiracy I tell you.

        • MsCee

          Speak this word on today. Meanwhile, I’m trying to help my mother get her credit together, It’s gonna take a miracle.

        • MsSula

          I did this for my younger sister when she moved to the US with me. I was hip to game then. I was like you will have a stellar credit because I couldn’t.

          She had dang near 850 when she started working.

          • MissRosé

            !!!! My little ones are listening. I made these mistakes so you don’t have to damn it! You will make it!

        • Aye! I was on that. My almost 19 year old has a 720 right now! We’re gonna make that good credit happen if NOTHING else!

          My parents — really my dad– only preached “save your money!”. Okay, that’s good…but he still believes credit is bad or more likely, that credit=debt. But it doesn’t have to. And good credit opens a lot of doors.

      • GeeKayGee

        This is true.

        I went to a predominately white high school. It was mostly middle to upper mid class white kids. I remember kids getting a Saab and brand new Ford mustangs as their first car at the age of 16. I remember a lot of my peers talking about their grandparents giving them money for trips and whatnot. Even better? A lot of these also got scholarships to go to college.

        • The house never loses.

          • Question

            Again. Please.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        They play the game differently. When my h.s. friends were born, the grandparents each put money into a fund for his “future”. The financial contribution was able to compound nicely and provide a nice safety net while affording the grandparents the ability to skirt taxes.
        For some of us, our parents and grandparents are living check to check, tied up with bills, etc. to even put this into practice.

        • MissRosé

          “For some of us, our parents and grandparents are living check to check, tied up with bills, etc. to even put this into practice.”
          I still kinda sorta resent my dad for this. He retired before he had a plan, now we’re all just making our way and it didn’t have to be like this.

          • MsCee

            My parents are my example of what not to do (finance wise). I’ve been pretty successful just by avoiding all the things I saw them do.

            • MissRosé

              That’s the direction me and my siblings are going. My kids will have it so good, I can’t wait to tell them all the stories.

          • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

            I felt the same before my father passed. When I finally had some money between him and rest of my family I must have given away six figures, but at the same time, I try to think about how if he didn’t have to make sure I was doing what I needed to do to stay alive and get educated, he might have been able to do more. I dunno…it’s a quandary for many of us.

        • MsCee

          They do play the game differently. I’m not going to lie though. I have adapted that same lifestyle. My daughter and I live minimally. Could I get an amazing car and condo? Yes, but instead I have a modest car and affordable apartment. I get super lit thinking about our future and her inheritance though.

          • MsSula

            Shiidd! I am driving a 13 year old car… and loving it. Lol.

            • MsCee

              Girl, I had a 2000 Honda Accord that my grandma gave me when I finished high school until about 2 years ago RIP Hondesha.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                I just bought my son a car for graduation. Paid $2K and kept it moving. He won’t be flossin on my dime! Lol.
                The best riding car is one that’s paid off!

                • AzucarNegra

                  I am praying everyday that nothing major happens to my car. It has to go for the next how long if possible.

                • Zil Nabu

                  Say that again.

                • MsCee

                  Lmfao, I love it!

                • KeciB

                  My son is graduating this year. I’m looking for him a car and I’m not willing to pay more than 3K.

                  • Sigma_Since 93

                    Same here. Dude will be using said car to commute to college come August. I can’t see paying an additional $8K to live 25 minutes away.

                    • KeciB

                      Same here. Mine will be attending school less than 15 minutes away from home. No need to pay room and board.

                • orchid921

                  Paid mine off in 2014 and I’m gonna ride this Focus ’til the wheels fall off! The passenger side window’s hanging by a thread and I don’t care!

              • MsSula

                Not Hondesha!!! Lolll.

                • MsCee

                  Put some respeck on her name. Old girl held me down through many late night creeps and high speed chases. Lol

                  • MissRosé

                    Now let’s get into those stories…Did the high speed chases happen on the way to or from the late night creeps?

                    • MsSula

                      QTNA!!!

                    • MsCee

                      Depends on how you look at it. Lol. Pulling up at my bf’s house only to see another bih car there(who knew me). She jumped in and pulled off. I “allegedly” pursued her for about 20 minutes at which point she exited the vehicle and I “allegedly” beat her up. Allegedly.

                    • MissRosé

                      Allegedly.

                  • miss t-lee

                    YASS.

              • Quitedeliteful

                Now this is what I’m talking about!!! Grandma got her money’s worth!! Ride it until the wheels fall off!!!

            • Zil Nabu

              Silver Betty turns 13 this year!

              • Sigma_Since 93

                All my whips are 10+ years old with my son’s car being the only one that has more than 100K on the odometer. I’m driving those whips till the wheels fall off and I’ll try to get my Fred Flinstone on to squeeze a little more life out of them still!

            • miss t-lee

              girl…my baby is 11. Trying to squeeze another year out of her at least.

              • Gibbous

                I have a 2005 Subaru Forester, paid in full. Trying to get to 250,000 miles. Currently purring along at 190,000 something

                • miss t-lee

                  Nice!

          • Spicy Kas

            Very cool

          • Hugh Akston

            My boy bought a Cadillac last year for 22k and he asked to help him budget and by the end of the calculation he was only taking $1 home

            He’s also taking care of a kid…I told him to give up the car…but he wouldn’t…he likes the comfort

            Bought a car around the same time for 2k cash with 85k miles all because the owner thought the body was horrible…I maintain it nicely and get tune up regularly and that’s it…I don’t get buying a depreciated asset for so much money

            • MsCee

              Listen, I coupon for household items lol. No way am I paying top dollar for something that’s gonna eventually stop working.

        • MsSula

          This is how my parents were able to pay for our college tuition abroad. Opening funds for each of us while we were babies and let it grow until it was time to go to school.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          We would do the same if we had income after paying for the necessities.

          Making better choices is maybe 10% of the equation.

          The money is generally not there for us as an aggregate.

          That trillion dollar spending thing is a marketing myth to convince businesses to advertise to black communities.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            IMO, It depends on three things:
            Setup
            Situation
            Sacrifice

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              Coordination.

              Mosque, church, whatever – put in, buy neighborhood property. Train your criminal congregation in construction…

              I got ideas and no capital.

              • AzucarNegra

                You scare me at times.

                • Brooklyn_Bruin

                  Baldwin said something about college educated men swinging hammers. Like even when we invest in our education, we are still held back.

                  My life ain’t over by any means, but a white guy with my smarts would be comfortably in the 1%.

                  I know this because I’ve met dumber white guys making 10x

                  • Mary Burrell

                    Mediocre 2520 dudes stay winning, so not fair. But then again look at Honolulu Slim and Herman Cain and Ben Carson they achieved and are successful. No matter how disappointed I am in some successful black men like the ones I mentioned especially Clarence Thomas who is a Supreme Court Justice, these men overcame the odds of living a life of poverty.

                    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

                      Great Points.

                  • I know a guy that should be in jail for embezzlement. Instead he’s running a startup in Seattle. SMDH 2520s…

              • I got plenty of ideas and a husband who won’t let go of the purse strings. He’II splurge on a fancy dinner in a heartbeat, but start talking about buying a cheap little house in Philly for rental income? Nope. Easier to get into a dead nun’s knickers.

        • she

          And taking care of grandma, mama, nieces and nephews, doesn’t allow savings either so then we can’t financially plan for our own futures.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Who else has sent scholarship and student loan money home?

            • miss t-lee

              I regularly send one of my cousins, who is like my nephew- money to help him out. He’s in his 2nd year at PV, and we definitely want him to finish.

              • she

                I actually enjoying investing in my nieces and nephews, I want to see them prosper.

                • miss t-lee

                  I do too.
                  I’m sending him all the money I would’ve sent my late nephew had he still been with us.
                  I want him to win.

                  • she

                    Aww love, but I feel it! My nieces and nephews are my babies (they dang near teenagers now) but still I want them to know they got someone to lean on…I don’t want them to ever have the same feeling I had of doing it all alone.

                  • J.dot.I.

                    I feel good being able to look out for family, too. However, I also recognize that unless It helps them position themselves to be self sufficient+, then it’s a bad look for all of us. Who can have my back if everything goes to $hit? I mean, “when the money goes, will the honey stay?” Lol. Only sowing in fertile ground. I don’t care if I have $20M, I’m not trying to throw any of it away. So no, I will not GIVE you $300,000 to open a store if you haven’t demonstrated the skills needed to run it or keep it open, or held a job for more than 6months, etc. I’m sure I’ll be more lenient than the bank but I’mma need some receipts before investing. Ijs

                    But I’ll do anything for the kids. I luh da kids.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Oh definitely. Gotta be smart about it.

            • she

              Rent, utilities, school and band lesson money… I told my nephew he better be Charlie Parker the next time I come to Atlanta

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                I’m talking about sending my loan money home to the parents.

                • she

                  Oh wow I’m trying to think back to my college days and I guess I did from time to time but it sounds like you had to take a sharper cut than I ever did,

                • Spicy Kas

                  Wait, what?

                  • Brooklyn_Bruin

                    Family stay draining my pockets. And it’s fairly common folks moving from the lower middle class to the middle of the middle class.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      That would make it hard to get/stay middle class.

                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      It’s the unrelenting twin pressure of capitalism and racism.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      I was luckier.

            • siante

              yup, I’ve bailed family out many a time w/ my financial aid check. I finally got smart enough to stay silent when those funds came through.

            • PhlyyPhree

              My sis is finishing up at Morgan. I have a portion of my check directly deposited into her account every pay period. I plan to keep it up for at least a year once she graduates because I know how life comes at you fast once you get that degree.
              Let’s just say, with what I’ve deposited, I could have a new car down payment AND the first two years of payments.

            • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

              *raises hand*

          • This. In addition to money NOT flowing downward to the next generation; we often have to send money back upstream to help out parents and grandparents.

          • J.dot.I.

            I expressed this to someone recently. Being the first in the family to earn in the top 5% means the rest of the family looks to you for support. Hard to build when spread so thin. Told my sibs, if you show me how you will be able to fish, I might invest. No handouts. Love you doh.

        • My Dad and Mami did that for our kids… trusts that they couldn’t touch. Nor us.. I started my baby’s savings account when she was 3.. never touched a dime

      • MsCee

        I worked at a bank when I was 16 (first job ever) and that REALLY opened my eyes to how wealth is aquired and managed by each race. I love my people but, I know first hand that we are second to none when it comes to blowing money and not building a DAYUM thing. I also think working there is the reason I have great credit and manage money the way I do.

        • MsSula

          Then again they don’t have to worry about being dead at 14 at the hands of a cop.

          *I will see myself out*.

        • ?Lauren?

          I started my career in credit union industry and boy did that save me. The only reason my credit is jacked up right now is entrepreneurship. It really boils down to ignorance and self-esteem when it comes to us.

      • Spicy Kas

        But the truth of the matter is $10k isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. The fact that so many POC would struggle to quickly get their hands on $10k let’s how much of an uphill battle we have to fight to build our wealth to a level where can have an impact on the political side of this country.

        • I’m talking 10k in Detroit. You could get a house for that.

          • Spicy Kas

            Is that still possible? How much would repairs run?

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        I didn’t have 10K in the bank until I was in my late twenties working, with a six-figure income.

    • Jennifer

      I still remember looking at an apartment the last time I moved. The young woman being helped before me told the leasing agent, “…and, oh, I have a trust fund.” The walked the h3!! out of there.

      • KeciB

        I remember meeting this Korean girl when I first moved to Chicago, she was shocked to find out that not everyone has a trust fund.

    • #facts Heck, I even see how my mom got set up, and it’s huge. Of course, money can mess up families, and that’s all I’ll say publicly.

    • she

      A lot of my peers from my PWI are moving back home with their parents too….so on top of the fact that they are making six figures, they are saving by not spending their income on rent and bills.

      • Valerie

        Yup, I know a few people moving back home with their parents but have well paying jobs.

        • she

          And they complain about it too and I’m like do you know if I had the option to save the money I spend on rent and bills,” I would be like mama which window you want me to wash?”

          • Valerie

            I would do anything I can to help my parents.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        That’s also an African, Caribbean, and foreign practice. If white folks is doing that, something went wrong.

        • AzucarNegra

          And incremental housing for persons who have decided to own their own homes.

        • she

          My guess they living in the pool house

        • Ms.Moon

          I am West Indian and I will not be spending my money on rent. I have a perfectly good house with my parents and I will be spending my money on improving our home (we have solar now). We will also be building on our property back home and when my parents retire they will be going back there and we will be building units to rent. (Rent is too damn high in Trinidad too).

    • miss t-lee

      So much truth.

    • Dawn W.

      This is it. Many young white people receive gifts of cash, cars etc. from family or inherit money. That’s often how they purchase homes.

    • raul

      Even then it’s incredibly concentrated. Only about 10% of folks recieve any monetary inheritance and of that 10% only about 10% recieve more then $10k.

    • D-Nice

      You’re absolutely right, and if they do, it’s usually mot as much. Of course, there ARE some black people who receive transferred wealth, but, it’s just not happening as consistently as with some other groups. It’s a huge issue. The income disparity between blacks and whites is one thing, but the wealth (property, business interests, stocks, bonds, investments, etc.) disparity between black and white households is truly depressing.

    • Aurora Silvermane

      Tell me again how the results of the Civil War are not still relevant today…

  • Alessandro De Medici
    • Zil Nabu

      We actually aren’t near a bubble at all. If we were talking education, then def. But housing has a ways to go.

      • Alessandro De Medici

        Being in a bubble vs. being close to a bubble bursting are two different things though.

        • Spicy Kas

          Agreed, but we aren’t in a bubble.

          • Alessandro De Medici
            • Spicy Kas

              Did not read but my thoughts:
              – Economy is recovering slowly but steadily
              – population growth is outstripping new construction
              – people are against the required density to fix the problem
              – as it relates to for sale housing, mortgages are still not easy to get
              – as it relates to DC, neither party will ever shrink the govt.

              • That density thing is the key one. And it wouldn’t take that much density. Done right, it could actually prop up mass transit systems with a guaranteed user base. However, the darkies, the darkies!

                • Spicy Kas

                  Bit it’s not just the darkies. People don’t want their view blocked, they don’t want to worry about their friends finding a place to park, or their kid having to wait to get on a swing. The list goes on and on.

                  • It’s pennywise and pound foolish. In order to get easy parking, people are now driving long distances into work. How does that make sense?

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                ” population growth is outstripping new construction”

                This is a problem I don’t think people address properly.

                • Spicy Kas

                  You want to decrease prices either decrease demand or increase supply.

      • Spicy Kas

        A long ways

        • Hugh Akston

          Weren’t folks saying the same thing in 06-07?

          • Spicy Kas

            I wasn’t. I was trying to convince my dad to unload his 3 duplexes. Only managed to get him to sell one.

            • Hugh Akston

              You may not have but there were a lot of folks saying “buy buy you can never lose buying a house”

              • Spicy Kas

                2005 and wasn’t my first time seeing real estate drop in value. When the aerospace industry in Cali went under I saw a lot of people lose a lot of money. The one duplex that my dad sold, he sold to the tenant that couldn’t always afford to pay the rent. More times than I can count, they literally signed over their entire paycheck to my dad. Somehow they managed to buy the place from us for $360k! Any doubts I had whether we were in bubble ended. Granted, I didn’t expect values to drop nearly as much as they did and almost take the economy down.

          • Alessandro De Medici

            I mean lots of people have different definitions for what is or isn’t a bubble. I usually presume that if prices are out of wack, a bubble is going on.

          • My parents purchased in 2006. I tried everything to get them not to. I had been looking but the President of the mortgage company I worked for pulled me aside one day and told me, “don’t you dare buy a house right now.” And I ain’t crazy! I listened to him and boy am I glad I did!

            • Spicy Kas

              My wife bought in Florida in 2005. We weren’t seriously dating at the time so I didn’t try to convince her not to though I did point out the affordable housing projects I financed had higher quality construction.

        • I’m super curious about this as well. I am not in the market yet. But I do look regularly. Minneapolis housing prices have surpassed the prices of the ’06 bubble. Housing stock is ridiculously, unbelievably low. Homes are being listed and purchased within 2-3 days! And we’re not talking cream of the crop (area or aesthetics). My coworker sold her average-in size, location and appearance (e.g. no updates since like, the 90s)-within a week for a whole lot of money.

          People keep saying we’re not in a bubble but something is happening that feels out of whack.

          • Spicy Kas

            A friend of mine is flipping homes in Minneapolis. Finding it harder and harder to make a decent return. I don’t know the market so I can’t offer decent advice. However, I will tell you how I approached buying my house. First, I didn’t think of it as an investment. Second I looked at what what my mortgage would be and if for some reason prices dropped dramatically, would still be ok paying the mortgage. Looking at it this way eliminates the worries about bubbles etc. It turns into a question of what is this house worth to me, not what does the market think it’s worth.

            • Yeah I’m on my way to an empty nest so I’m not looking for an investment and not worried about the fluctuations once I’m *in* a house. But buying at the height of the market when you’re not also selling (to recoup some of that inflated cost)…ehhhhh. IDK!

              • Spicy Kas

                Na house that you buy to live in is an expense not an investment.

    • IDontKnowAnyMore

      I want to be able to afford a house, so I need a bubble or near bubble or a little bubble or something to happen.

  • AlwaysPi7
  • kingpinenut

    Nj stay stankin

    • ThatJerseyGirl

      Bruh. Where in Jersey are you?

      • kingpinenut

        Just passing thru….

        • ThatJerseyGirl

          But which part? Be specific with your slander!

    • J.E. Pierson

      NJ is too expensive. After looking at what my family members pay in property tax, no way am I buying a house here.

  • AlwaysPi7

    I live in SE,
    Washingtonian,
    no roommate,
    own lil condo……. before that my mom had a house on the now coveted Capt Hill it quadrupled in value, she retired, sold it.

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