I Don't Mean to Be Really Boring Here..

But I was reading an article out of Money Magazine that stated, "Spend no more than 2 1/2 times your income on a home."

How fucking ridiculous. Do they know where I live? Who is this article supposed to be for? Now, by virtue of my profession my income is unsteady (something that makes buying property all the more difficult) but according to my tax records, I've made between twenty-five and thirty-five thousand dollars each of the last three years. My most successful friend only makes a bit more than twice that and he is considered, by the standards of our generation, quite well off. Presuming that these are representative of people of our age, the very age at which one begins thinking of things like starting a nest egg and buying a home, who the hell is finding houses in the 65k - 150k ranges? Provided I am unwilling to live somewhere that I am likely to get shot simply for being outdoors, where in greater Atlanta can I find a house for that much?

I have one friend that recently bought a two bedroom bungalow in town for 180k. I had another who sold his two bedroom fixer - upper with no yard in one of the aforementioned common gunfire neighborhoods and got something like 120k. Even my parents' post-war era, 3 bedroom ranch house in Marietta would fetch close to a quarter million on the open market and the house is nearly sixty years old.

Am I actually living in poverty and don't realize it? Are property values in Atlanta inflated or wages suppressed by something like four times what is reasonable? According the the last census I'm at precisely the median income for a man of my age and education so am I being bamboozled? Is there some repository of cheap property that everyone else knows about but me? Or, are the professional investors and moneymen that write Money Magazine totally out of touch with the real world?