BRINGING KOOTENAI HOME
Concerns from our community
You really touched a topic close to mine and my husband’s heart recently asking about home prices. I’m a teacher and he’s a railroad maintenance worker and we really don’t know when or if we’ll ever be able to own a couple of acres of North Idaho property like we’ve always dreamed of. We bought a starter house five years ago with the plan of building equity, which we did more than anticipated, but we would be house broke if we moved anywhere that fits our vision. And it’s not like we have hundred-acre ranch with a mansion wants. Just a couple of acres and a decent house. We’re tight in our 1200 sq ft home in Post Falls right now with the addition of our daughter and our two dogs. We’re incredibly grateful we live in an awesome community and we do currently have a nice house and backyard, but it’s so deflating. I can’t even grasp how much homes are going for right now. We even went as far north as Spirit Lake and couldn’t find anything that we could afford that fit what we were hoping for.
–Kandace, Post Falls ID
My husband and I entered the market as first-time homebuyers last year only to realize the majority of houses were above our price range. More buyers were coming into the market with cash offers above the asking price and the offers we submitted couldn’t compete. We realized we needed to look outside the area if we wanted to be able to purchase a home. We are currently renting from a local woman who has kept her rents at what is affordable versus the current market price, a very rare find these days. We were born and raised in the Coeur d Alene area and wanted to raise our kids here but with the current market, it’s no longer an option for us. I understand the appeal of Coeur d Alene so I can’t blame others for moving here but I wish there were more options for first-time buyers.
–Sarah, Coeur d’Alene ID
Our concerns are these: while we feel confident that we can continue to enjoy the lifestyle we have within our income confines, many can’t. If we were seeking a home on our income, we could not afford to buy here. Our grown children can visit, but they can’t afford to buy a home in their hometown unless they are quite wealthy (which they aren’t). Our service industries cannot survive without workers, but the wages don’t give them any buying or renting power. We want to attract companies to bring more jobs here, but when they move their current employees here (rather than hire locally) they face a similar situation (little housing inventory/high prices).
Lastly, when the time comes for us to downsize, there is little inventory of lower-end small homes available. Our retirement is in the value of our home, but if it costs our entire sale of home to purchase the smaller home, we can’t retire, just have to keep working till we die – or move in with our kids.
–Kandi, Rathdrum ID
I have an ex-mother-in-law (lived here for over 60 years) who was kicked out of her residence of 10 years a few months ago because the owners of the house got too good of an offer to turn down. Now she is living in a hotel and has zero ability to get into a rental or buy a house. She is on waiting list after waiting list with NO solution in sight.
My daughter and her husband (fifth generation CDA born) have been married and saving for 3 years and cannot afford to buy a house and their income and credit score is decent and above average.
I wasn’t able to buy a house (I am fourth generation) until right before the housing market crash in 2008 and took advantage of the zero-down home loans that were available back then. Plus I make more than my kids and I bought my house for $150,000 and could afford it then…I couldn’t afford any home in CDA now.
–Wendy, Coeur d’Alene ID
My husband and I are renters and business owners in Coeur d Alene. We have lived in CDA since 2014 but have been a part of the community before moving here. This year, our landlords decided to sell the home where we lived as it was their investment property. We were surprised at how all of the prices have increased and how few options there were of places to move. Places that were significantly smaller ended up being over $750 more per month than what we had been paying. We were concerned that we were priced out of the area.
Thankfully, we have a neighbor who had moved out of the area that offered for us to rent from them for 2 years (starting last month) so we are still here for now. It is sad to me that people who are dedicated to serving the community could be priced out of the area and then the community loses that kind of dedicated service. My hope is that those who are living here and able to own in this market would step up to take my place when that time comes.
I have been so grateful to live in CDA and to serve our community while I am still able to live here. I am grateful that I (we) have the opportunity to continue to be here, at least for another 2 years. After that, I don’t know.
–Sherilyn, Coeur d’Alene ID