How’s the real estate market? Affording a home in Ukiah #8211; Ukiah Daily Journal

Recently, a local woman who’s lost her extended family to moves out of state asked me for advice. She’s concerned that her remaining grandchild will move away, too. She said, “Our last grandchild (a young adult) and her boyfriend would love to buy a house here and we are thrilled. But finding one they can afford is a challenge…how can our young get started here in real estate?”

These are great questions and, excuse me for a moment while I step up onto my soapbox to answer them. We have two closely related housing problems in Ukiah. First, lack of availability for housing, either to buy or rent. Second, which is related to the first, the high cost of housing.

People from bigger metropolitan areas look at Ukiah and think housing will be cheap. They sure are disappointed when they start looking around. Although housing prices aren’t quite as unreasonable as they are in the Greater Bay Area, they are higher than expected and higher than they would be with some different decision-making in Mendocino County.

The cost of renting or buying a home is driven by the basic economic law of supply and demand. Supply (more available housing) is created when people move out of the area or pass away, or by new construction. Demand (desire for more housing) is created by people moving to the area or people in the area choosing to buy or rent a new place. As long as Ukiah remains a popular destination for new