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Minimum wage workers in Idaho struggle with Ada County's high housing prices

In August 2020, the median sales price for a home in Ada County was $400,000, a nearly 13% increase from August 2019.

BOISE, Idaho — Housing prices in the Treasure Valley won't be hampered by a pandemic.

Another month, another record for what it costs for a middle of the market house.

The Boise Regional Realtors letting us all know that the median sales price for an Ada County home last month was $400,000, a nearly 13% jump over August of last year.

That led to this text from Steve in Boise who wanted to know...

"On the $400,000 homes, most Idahoans can't afford them with Idaho only paying $7.25 hr."

That $7.25 an hour is Idaho's minimum wage. Been that way for more than 10 years.

And granted, most people making minimum wage -- $7.25 an hour -- aren't looking to buy a $400,000 house.

But we thought, what if they were? Could they do that?

There's a lot of first-time home buyer programs out there and we're not intending to dissect them here.

But what would it take to get the money to just get a look at a loan?

If you make $7.25 an hour, you're making $15,000 a year or $1,250 a month.

That's before taxes and before eating and before paying rent.

Let's say you want to put 5 percent down on a $400,000 loan, that's $20,000.

If you could somehow save $200 a month, it would take you, with a savings account paying .9 percent, 98 months to get that money. Or until November of 2028.

At that point, if you're still making minimum wage, you realize you won't be able to pay the mortgage anyway.

And in eight years what's the median price going to be then?

The finish line will for surely move even farther away.

For some perspective, the median home price in Ada County in 2013 was $198,000.

It's doubled in seven years. Could it do it again in another eight?

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