How can a working-class couple hope to make payments on a million-dollar home in Seattle? They can’t.
It’ll be hard to say goodbye to Beacon Hill and Seattle. But after 28 years of living here, my wife, a registered nurse, and I, a teacher with a master’s degree, cannot afford to buy a house here suitable for our growing family.
I had to make the decision to say goodbye to the city I love. The city that loved me. The city that I grew up in. The city where I have spent 28 of my 32 years.
I can’t be mad that I can’t afford to buy a house in the neighborhood I have lived my entire life. It’s even the neighborhood where I currently work. I have witnessed the rising prices of homes over the last few years but didn’t really realize the severity of it until last year.
The house across the street from where my parents live, which is also just a block from where I teach and only five blocks from the house I rent, went on the market for $550,000.
Most Read Opinion Stories
- Puerto Rico cannot prosper, or heal, as long as it remains a U.S. colony
- Don't further burden taxpayers to fund Seattle, King County governments
- Stop sacrificing Indigenous sacred sites in the name of climate change
- Murray, Smiley, abortion and the fight for the Senate
- Herschel Walker has shown us who he is and then some
It is a small 1,200-square-foot house. It does not have any off-street parking, and the only way to reach the front door is via about 20 steps up an embankment. The house sold in about a week for $750,000. That was $200,000 over asking. Two houses within a block of my parents’ home have sold for nearly $1 million dollars. This is just a sleepy little Beacon Hill neighborhood. How can a working-class couple hope to make payments on a million dollar home?
Ultimately, my wife and I were able to buy a 2,400-square-foot house that does need some updating in a very desirable neighborhood in Portland for $400,000.
I believe I have the skills and personality to work at a Microsoft or an Amazon and afford Beacon Hill. But I want to be doing something I love — teaching and working with children. I would feel as if I was selling my soul, and I’d rather leave a piece of my heart in Seattle than sell my soul. So I am just sad, not mad.
It was the most difficult decision I have made to date, I gave it a lot of thought, sleepless nights and teary eyes.
Portland, Oregon, will be where my family and I will live, and where my children will be raised, something I never envisioned. I always had images of my children growing up in Seattle and having St. George School on Beacon Hill being like a second home to them as it has been to me. I could see vividly my children following me around St. George School as I did when I was young with my father. I dreamed of having a boy follow my footsteps and experience the brotherhood that I did at O’Dea High School. While we will be only three hours away, Portland will never be Seattle.
I will miss being close to my family, a job that I love, the friends I grew up with and know me so well.
While I will miss this city tremendously, I am doing my best to focus on the positives that come along with my family’s move to Portland.
But for now, I will make the most of my last couple of months as a resident in the city that I love, Seattle, Washington!