PHOENIX — Real estate prices are nearing record highs here in the Valley, making it tough for new or first-time home buyers to find a place that fits their needs and their budget.
Real estate experts say it might be time to get creative and consider a micro house or box house until the traditional housing market settles down.
Realtor Jeremy Fierstein tells ABC15 the surge in home prices hasn’t peaked just yet.
“The fact of the matter is housing has gone up so much in the past 12, 18 even 24 months and it’s really hard to see it coming down moving forward. And we’re looking at another 10 to 15 the experts are saying for next year,” Fierstein said.
In other words, the amount of house a buyer would’ve been able to afford a year ago is now much smaller.
Maybe even smaller than you think, if you’re willing to think outside- or inside-the box.
“Affordability is definitely the key here. They start at $18,500,” said Rainbow Wieland of OpenBoxCar.com.
Box car houses are just one option in the micro housing market making home ownership a reality for people who are priced out of the current market.
“There is land that you can rent just like you would an RV or you can buy land for inexpensive and get a couple acres on the outskirts of the city. You don’t have to go very far for it to be affordable,” she said.
Fierstein explained that because more people can work from home now, the old adage of 'location, location, location' doesn’t mean what it used to.
“I think people are becoming a little more creative in the way they’re considering their lifestyle. You see some of the outlying cities in Arizona, the San Tan Valley's, the Maricopa's, the far northwest Valley where a lot of construction is happening and those are now becoming desirable places because people are allowed to work from home now, which makes the commute a non issue.”
Prospective buyers can even take that lifestyle to the water. Yes, the box cars can be made into boats, cutting your rent even more.
“From the boat perspective you take this container home and put it on the water; You don’t have a mortgage, you have the boat slip which is usually about $500 or ball which is what you tie down to and that’s around $150,” Wieland said.