My Hometown That I Can Barely Afford To Live In

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My Hometown That I Can Barely Afford To Live In

Postby reed212thematrix » Tue May 08, 2007 1:28 am

I have lived in Crown Point my whole life. I am now 32 years old, have a wife, and a child, who just turned 3 years old. We live in the upstairs of my parents house, which at our age is quite humiliating. My wife and I both work at a well thought of and prominent local company - whose original owner was well known - but it was bought by out-of-town investors a few years ago. We work full time. For the past 3 years or so we have gotten only one raise because the company has employed a wage freeze ever since they purchased the business, so while the price of gas and everything else seems to keep getting higher, we still make the same amount. Every payday we struggle to pay the bills we have, which includes rent, medical bills, the cost of having a child, etc. I have worked at the same place for almost 11 years, and my wife for about the same, and together we only gross about $32,000 per year, and during the last 3 months of the year we work up to 15 hours a day, every day, 6 days a week for the holiday season. The overtime adds up somewhat, but as you can see, if not for the OT in those last 3 months, we wouldn't even gross $32,000. Though it DOES have the bad trade-off of not getting to spend too much time with our son during the Christmas season, which makes me very sad. The company does not even have any type of pension plan or anything, except for the 401K, which in itself, is nowhere near the end-all of retirement plans. Right now we are desparately trying to pay off our bills so we can purchase a home of our own. But therein lies the problem.

Everywhere I look around here lately, "they" are building HUGE homes that I will never be able to afford. Houses that seem so big - I just cannot see how anyone can afford to live in them, it makes me wonder what kind of jobs those people must have. Huge houses, luxurious "members only" looking neighborhoods, in its own way it just kinda seems like Crown Point is becoming its own version of Beverly Hills. And all of these "mega-homes" just go and drive up the property taxes even higher than they already are. And even the smaller home prices are way out of our league.

I fear that to buy a home in our price range, my wife and I are going to have to move from Crown Point - my hometown, the place I was born and thought I would die - to Gary, Hammond, or Lake Station, where home prices are more affordable. To a place that is not safe for our child to grow up, maybe not safe for all three of us. I fear that our son will have to grow up in a bad area, go to a bad school. My wife is from Gary, and she told me about how bad it was at her high school - riots, a rape commited in the bathroom - gangs.

Not only do I fear, but I KNOW, if we have to move from here it will drastically alter the life of our child in the longrun and turn him into a different person than he would be if he grew up here. I just cannot cope with the thought of that. It makes me want to cry. I am not being paranoid - like I said, my wife is from Gary, she told me how it was to grow up there, seeing all kinds of violence, a year or so ago, on her parents road (almost in front of their house) she saw two guys get into it and fight, and one of them left and came back with a small hand axe!! And the other guy said he was going to get his gun - luckily the police showed up before that - and one of the worst parts was that our son, and nieces and nephews were outside in the front yard to witness this!!

There is no way I can consciously put my son through experiences like that, but then there's that same problem again. We can't live in the upstairs of my parents house forever, and especialy with the wage-freeze at our job, we can't afford to shell out 150,000++ for a Crown Point home, or even $100,000. To tell the truth, I don't know what to do. But as it stands so far, the one thing it appears I won't be able to do, is to be able to stay in my hometown of Crown Point. Throughout my life it just seems to keep costing more to live here.

That is why I titled this Topic "My Hometown That I Can Barely Afford To Live In"
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