“There are homes for first-time buyers, but you have to look around,” he says.
That’s what Ray DeWire and his wife, Brittany, both young middle-class professionals, recently did. They lived in Kew Gardens, where “we were having problems parking our car,” Ray DeWire said.
They wanted to stay in Queens, but “it was tough to find something in Queens,” namely, a one-family house at the right price and with the amenities that they wanted.
Jamaica Estates residents Mekale Jackson and his wife, Aisha, two young art-industry professionals with middle-class incomes, have a year-old daughter whom they want to grow up in a home. But it’s been rough.
“It’s a difficult environment [to buy in New York]. Queens is out of the question,” Mekale Jackson said. “You would have to pay $388,000 and then maybe more to fix up the house. We also want to find a home in a place where we are not going to pay for private school.”
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One factor in the higher prices locally is that the supply of new units is not growing fast enough. Also, since the housing meltdown of 2008, it has become more difficult for many people to obtain a mortgage.
Another potential roadblock is the average down payment of 20 percent. That means the prospective New York City-area homeowner must have $97,225 up front. Obtaining a mortgage also requires an annual household income of just under $90,000, HSH.com said.