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Here we go. It’s early November, less than 60 days away from exiting one decade and entering another one.

Just the look of “2020” alone probably generates a wide range of emotions for many of you.

Whatever it is that you might feel, the roundness of “2020” offers a visual platform of sorts, the balance of numbers and the opportunity to start a new decade with a stronger voice.

On that note, it’s time for us to speak up on affordability.

When you Google “affordability,” simply looking for a general definition of it, there are ads and links all over the page that immediately reference housing affordability.

That’s because it’s so damn confusing. I don’t know who keeps track of often used terms or phrases, but “housing affordability” must be at the top of the list.

Our elected leaders, at all levels, talk about it. The media talk about it. I’m even talking about it now.

However, the problem that nobody seems to talk about is what “affordability” really means to our government, to the business owner, to the consumer, to the homeowner, to the renter or to the homeless.

Everyone is different. We all have our own definition of affordability and how it impacts our lives.

So why is it that this definition appears to continually get defined by groups or persons that are independent of the same groups or persons who they are trying to determine what’s affordable to them or not? Yes, we require structure, but not unrealistic parameters.

For example, there absolutely needs to be a better definition for “housing affordability.”

I can’t keep track of all the indexes, calculations, ranges, etc. that are being floated around by industry groups, the media and politicians regarding what’s affordable or not.

Perhaps this is intentional because it creates more ambiguity and opportunities for those who look to take advantage of people who have run out of options.

As a lender, there’s not much more we can do to help consumers finance a home.

There are 100 percent financing options available, government-insured loans, assistance programs, grants, silent seconds and equity share products.

We even allow for the use of gift funds in certain scenarios from family or friends or employers if properly documented. Although lending product menus are extensive, and rates are currently low, it doesn’t seem to be working the way we envisioned to make a dent into the housing crisis we face today.

Please speak up, tell your elected leaders what’s affordable to you, stop letting them tell you what you can and can’t do based on whatever mathematical calculation they attempt to use to define your affordability.

Use your voice, don’t sit back and hope it will get better. We are going to get flooded with political mailers over the next 12 months.

Let’s reverse the flow.

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Chris Salese can be reached at chris@delsurmortgage.com or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — CA-DBO #254469 Corp NMLS #1850 Equal Housing Opportunity.

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