How affordable is the American dream? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How affordable is the American dream?

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – It may not be quite as affordable to buy the American dream as once thought. A center for Neighborhood Technology study shows that when both housing and transportation costs are considered, only about two of every five communities are considered affordable.

Realtor Gary Eller says he's not quite convinced by the study. He believes there are plenty of affordable homes in the Albany area.

He says the best tip he can give anyone looking to buy is to go to a lender first. In general, lenders won't loan you more than 33% of gross income to make sure you can make the payments.

Eller said, "You really need to get pre-qualified with a mortgage company before we take you out there and show you this home and you get your hopes way up and momma gets her heart broke, so don't go down that road. My advice is, get with a good loan/mortgage company, get pre-qualified and then you know what you can buy."

The median household income in Dougherty County is about $35,000. That means the majority of families here should be spending less than a thousand dollars a month on housing.

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