Why I Probably Won't Own A House Soon

I had a plan to buy a house. I make good money as a single income household (it’s just me and my two dogs) and I can afford a decent house that provides for me all I could need. I don’t need a lot of space for the house itself. I would be happy with a two car garage as I have my car and my motorcycle, and extra space would be nice. I’d love to have a decent sized back yard for the dogs.

But as news of inflation, the housing markets, and all that keeps coming, it’s looking like buying my own space like this is diminishing.

Right now, I rent a house. The size of the house is just about perfect for me. The layout is not great and the back yard is a little smaller than I’d like. There’s some major problems with the house and I wouldn’t buy it without a steep discount, but it’s fine.

While I do make good money, even my income has not kept up with inflation. And, funny enough, at least in the area I live, inflation hasn’t kept up with the rate of housing cost and values. In fact, the price increase of houses where I currently live have more than doubled the rate of inflation. And in the last couple of years, rents have really accelerated.

This is becoming a bit of a common theme. Based on what I’ve been learning about inflation, housing, income, etc, the calculation for inflation is likely very wrong. If we were solely to go off of inflation rate against minimum wage, which I suspect various governments do, the current national minimum wage is in line where it should be (somewhere between $7 and $9), not the $15 people are demanding, let alone the $25 many people suspect it should be. Inflation uses, in large part, the GDP, but also includes income, and because such a large part of the population is at or near minimum wage, the income value gets skewed. One thing the calculation doesn’t seem to include, though, is housing.

Now, I’m not an economist, and I’m grossly simplifying this. I’m probably also getting some things wrong. But what I do see is income seems to, for the most part, follow currently used inflation values just fine and there’s arguments that demanding more is just being greedy. But with housing cost going up so sharply, people really can’t afford it nearly as easily as they once did.

As of now, I can probably afford to buy a house just fine. But I’m, really, among the lucky. My income not following the low estimates of inflation doesn’t hurt me that much, but it hurts the vast majority of people who can’t keep up with the cost of living anymore.

Part of why I probably won’t be able to buy a house is the fact that I’m attempting to do it responsibly. I want to make sure that once I do buy the house, that I can fix any problems that it has, that I can furnish it, live in it, and be well in it. But the more time I spend preparing, the more housing inflation occurs, and I end up constantly chasing this problem. I’ve been wanting to buy a house for a few years, now, but that goalpost keeps moving.

So, for now, I’m stuck being a renter. I don’t think I could even be approved for a mortgage for the house I’m in right now. And it’s a modest house.