Saturday, January 14, 2006

Inside The Numbers . . .

One thing that these numbers reveal is that, not surprisingly, most Long Beach homeowners are older. My guess is that an overwhelming majority of homeowners are over 40 years of age in Long Beach. A lot of the homes in Long Beach are located on the east side of the city. I’ve been there, I used to live there, and I have friends (over the age of 65) who live their now. I know a lot of those neighborhoods, and the people are great, and they are older.

Another thing that these numbers reveal is that Long Beach’s older population isn’t necessarily a wealthy population. In general, a lot of seniors live on retirement, also referred to as a ‘fixed-income’. This amount of money isn’t a lot, so it’s a good things that their houses are already paid off, because most fixed-incomes don’t afford mortgage payments. Also, part of my assumption is drawn from the 50% of our seniors who do claim a disability, and may be collecting SSI, or SSDI from the federal government. These sources of income are also paltry. Oh yeah . . . Long Beach is ranked 6th in the nation in poverty . . . catch my drift here.

More needs to be done to help young people become homeowners. The housing stock is old, and turning apartments into ‘condominiums’ is a risky investment, and a poor way to ‘plan’ a community.

More needs to be done in the area of home modifications. Many seniors need minor fixes that would make their homes far more accessible to them, and to visitors as well. If indeed, Long Beach’s older population is not a wealthy population, than local government will need to develop an assistance program.

Home values don’t gauge the health of a community. I heard a council member last year state that his District was doing well because home values are so high. I guess his ego is an inflated as the home prices around here. The Los Angeles County area ranks as one the most overpriced housing markets in the country. And by overpriced, they mean the house isn’t worth what it’s being sold for.


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