It’s so expensive to move

Katelyn Burns
2 min readApr 30, 2022

I’ve been trying to move for several years and housing is so darn expensive

Credit: Uwe Rothuysen, Flickr

When I first looked at moving back to Western Massachusetts a few years ago, the rents were largely affordable. I could find a two bedroom place for the rent on my current one bedroom in greater DC.

But over time, the rents up north have been steadily going up. Recently the internet was kind enough to help me get the money I needed to move after taxes wiped out my entire savings account. But as I’ve begun looking, I’m realizing just how out of reach a new place may be.

I’m still going to move, I just need to be picky about when and where I move to avoid being house poor again.

The US has a housing crisis that no one seems to want to acknowledge. Some places in more popular cities have just ridiculous rents even for one bedroom apartments. How can anyone afford multi-thousand dollar rents on the meager wages American workers are paid?

The last few years have seen modest gains in employee wages, but landlords in the US have doubled and sometimes even tripled the average rent in their areas over that same time period. What the hell are landlords spending money on that they need to boost rents so high? Maybe they should try getting a job, or selling some assets if they can’t afford it.

Ultimately however, the problem is there’s not enough rental stock in this country. A mix of Nimbyism towards multi family housing and a rush to profit off of AirBnb have restricted the number of available rental units in any city with a modicum of tourist attraction.

It won’t be long now until the median mortgage payment will be lower than the median rent on similarly sized housing units. This is unsustainable over the long run.

This may have turned a bit ranty and I apologize for that, but it’s so frustrating finding a new place that I can afford even on a fairly robust freelancing income. I wish I had the power to change any of it, but I do not.

Katelyn Burns

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe