Monday, April 30, 2007

WashingtonPost real estate

It's rare I read the Washington Post, and say, "hey, those numbers are completely wrong." I did today, though. I was reading the Business section and saw an article by Elizabeth Razzi on "Teacher's Montgomery Trade-Off". It's trying to tackle an interesting social issue, whether teachers can afford to live in the community they teach in.
Our imaginary teachers make a joint income of $136,500. A member of the board of Greater Capital Area Realtors, Anita Centofanti, recomends a house for $530,000, with a 30k downpayment. This leaves them with a monthly housing payment of about $3,100, plus property taxes and insurance, probably putting them at $3,700.

I'm not sure about the after tax income on their salaries, but it looks like they're spending close to 50% of their after tax income on housing. Using the calculator at the Smart Money worksheet the max they could borrow at a 28% housing ratio is $404,000. The Post tends to run a variety of articles by Michelle Singletary on living within your means, so it's odd to see this sort of recommendation pop up

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