bitching over the gas some more...
but read what they own....1800 square foot home, ford expiditions, porsche cayenne's.....shut the F up people and sell your gas guzzler and your oversized home..live closer to work....etc...people will never cease to amaze me
The rush for cheaper homes in the west Valley and Pinal County is catching up to some homeowners feeling the pangs of gasoline costs that have soared past $3 a gallon.
Their flight to affordability is now a struggle to make mortgage payments, as families drops hundreds of dollars per month more into gas tanks while enduring 100-mile roundtrip commutes for work, a skimpier quality of life, and anxieties over potentially losing what for most will be the biggest investment of their lifetime.
Pinching the few pennies they had between them, newlyweds Jennifer and Samuel Sayles moved from San Diego and bought their first home in late June in Gilbert.
With precise budgeting and limiting personal spending to $40 each per week, they could balance on a thin financial margin for their 1,800-square-foot, $235,000 house - until gasoline prices ripped through the roof of their dreams.
"I've got a house for rent now," Jennifer Sayles, 21, said. "We want to avoid selling, that's our ultimate fear."
The young couple plan to put their home on the rental market and look to rent a small and cheap one-bedroom apartment closer to their jobs in downtown Phoenix.
Even with their fuel-efficient compact cars, the roughly $75 more per month for gas hurts their fragile budget.
Gasoline prices are increased about 50 percent Valley wide since July 1, according to the American Automobile Association's Phoenix office,
Still, prices would probably maintain current levels for months before significant effects are felt, said Jay Butler, director of the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus.
"Probably right now there isn't much impact," Butler said. "If you live 'out there' you make tradeoffs. You may give up one trip a week to a restaurant.
"But if you're looking for a home, you may take it into serious consideration."
Even if homeowners sell to get closer to work, they'll pay more for their home and probably lose gasoline savings to their mortgage bill, Butler said.
The Sayles have so far eliminated San Diego visits, cut off their cable TV to save $50 a month, left the thermostat at 85 degrees to reduce their electric bill, and don't buy new clothes. Shutting off their cell phones may be next, as well as selling their interest in a time-share condo to save $200 a month.
"We're basically barricading ourselves in our house," Sayles said. "We want to get out and mingle and see what the town has to offer, but we can't . . . I just turned 21 in July and I'm staying home on Saturday nights playing Monopoly. It's my favorite game now."
City of Maricopa residents Mathew and Rachele Reese got a great deal two years ago on their 2,400-square-foot house. Mathew retired from the Maricopa Unified School District and things looked financially bright when he took a job at Apache Junction as a charter school principal in early June when a gallon of gas cost about $1.70.
Now, his wallet's nearly running on empty as twice weekly fillups for his Toyota Corolla cost $80 instead of $40.
"It makes me want to look at the want-ads and find something closer," Reese said.
Pinal County resident Barbara Parsons likes her big house in San Tan Heights,but she doesn't like her 124-mile roundtrip commute to an engineering job at Union Hills and Interstate 17 at Phoenix.
She usually drives a Chrysler Seabreeze, but Pinal County and southern Maricopa County's poor road system sometimes force her to take a gas-guzzling SUV to get through rough or flooded roads, which further drives up costs. And it makes it tough for friends to visit or for her to enjoy what the Valley offers.
"I don't go out on weekends and people won't come see me in San Tan," Parsons said. "So, my social life suffers."
Pinal County resident Timothy Roan hasn't let higher costs hurt his social life, but an 80-mile roundtrip to an accounting job at Tempe means a $53 fill-up every four days for his Kia Sorrento and he'll probably stop using air conditioning to boost gas mileage.
"I try to do all of my shopping on the way home so I don't have to out again," Roan said.
Buckeye residents Sean and Kristy Grippo, who moved in January from the Sacramento area to buy a house, have felt the pinch. Sean drives around Phoenix and to Tucson for work. He gets reimbursed for mileage, but like many such employees those rates haven't kept pace with fuel price surges and it's getting harder to make car and credit card payments.
"It's impacting our finances quite a bit, but we're on a tight budget anyway," Kristy Grippo said. "We're not going as many places as we used to. Of course, we live in Buckeye so we have to drive everywhere . . . we're getting to the point of worrying about our mortgage."
Boston transplants Mike and Stephanie Paesano bought a 3,100-square-foot, Paradise Valley home for the same price as a 1,500-square-foot home back East - and a raging $800 a month gasoline bill now as both have been commuting about 100 miles roundtrip to Gilbert for work. For his Ford Expedition, at 12 miles per gallon, it means twice-weekly fillups to get to an auto shop job, and for her Subaru about $50 to $60 per week.
"We have everything we need five minutes from home," Mike Paesano said. "But it's just to the point where it sucks to put gas in, the price is ridiculous. We're pretty much stuck in the pool, and hanging out at home."
Steve and Jennifer Kennard moved two years ago from the Phoenix historic district to Apache Junction to get away from the hustle and, but now she's driving 70 miles roundtrip to a Tempe job and paying more than $50 to fill up her Toyota 4-Runner, which gets 18 miles per gallon. They have no children, and aren't worried about making the mortgage, but they have slashed trips to hiking and lake areas, and she's considering a more fuel efficient car and carpooling.
"All you can say now is 'Holy you-know-what' because you're spending $50 or $70 a week," said Jennifer Kennard.
Stan Lund, a mortgage broker who drives a Porsche Cayenne SUV, which gets 15 miles per gallon on its 25-gallon tank, is dropping in $1,000 a month in gasoline - a $300 increase.
"But it's having no effect at all," Lund said. "The mortgage business has been very good the last few years."
If anything, Lund said, now is the time for homeowners with equity to consolidate or refinance to create savings, which can help them absorb higher fuel costs.