By the time I get home, I’ve put up the equivalent of an apartment for my parents, and my dad has to get up and go for the evening drive to work.
But I’m still not in a rental market that’s fully protected.
For now, I can’t even see my own property in real estate terms.
“It’s not fair,” I tell the owner of a local real estate agent.
He’s a man who, for all his wealth and status, has a reputation as a very straight shooter.
I’m sitting in a car in the parking lot of the local rental office and he’s telling me about a new property he’s looking to buy, a six-bedroom home in a quiet, wooded area with an outdoor patio.
It’s a nice little house, he says, and the property is worth $1 million, with a mortgage of just $300,000.
“It should be priced to the same as the property itself,” he says.
“I could have a very nice home with this kind of property and not have to worry about mortgage.”
He doesn’t have to be worried.
I already know the answer to that question: The real estate market is overvalued.
Kentucky’s real estate is overpriced.
It used to be a great place to live, but it’s not anymore.
For all its wealth, the state is no longer a safe haven for many.
And the reason is that its housing market is becoming more and more undervalued.
It used to say that you can get away with paying $150,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in a nice part of town.
Now you can only afford $40,000 or $50,000 in the most desirable areas of the state.
For all the wealth, I still haven’t seen a home worth that much in the past 20 years.
In the meantime, we’ve had record numbers of home foreclosures.
As we’ve been reporting on this, the number of forecloses is growing exponentially.
The number of homes for sale is up by 25% in Kentucky.
In the past year alone, the average price of a home in Kentucky rose by $10,000, to a record high of $946,000 on the day I left for the holidays.
In just the past three years, it has increased by more than 30%.
That’s nearly $1,200 per person.
And in this market, it’s only getting worse.
Last year, it was the highest price we’ve ever seen for a single-family home in the state, but in 2017, it hit a record $2,849,500, according to the US Census Bureau.
The current market is so overvalued that the average value of a single family home in Kentucky is $1.3 million.
But that’s only one factor contributing to the problem.
Many of the people who are renting now have no choice but to live in the suburbs, or even outside the state altogether.
That means they can’t afford to buy a home anywhere near the city because the value of the home is far outstripping what they can afford.
The real problem isn’t the housing market itself, but the fact that the value is so low that a large number of Kentuckians are unable to make ends meet, unable to get a decent-paying job and unable to afford to live anywhere else.
As a state, we’re on the verge of losing the country’s greatest economic engine.
If we don’t get serious about addressing the root causes of the problem, it will only get worse.
Read more about the state of real estate in Kentucky at The Kentucky Statehouse.
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahlucas