Equity earned over many years
Ever since I left at 17 for college until I was 30, I lived in one room, usually in shared dorms or apartments. Then I owned a home for 3 years, and then moved to California. For 4 more years I shared (grad school budget), then moved to a small house that I shared with only one other person, instead of 3 or 4 others. I finally bought that little 1,023-square-foot house and lived there for a total of 20 years, 9 as renter, 11 as owner. I never, ever in my life had a garage space.
Then I finally found Mr. Right, who had worked in the computer industry for 30+ years, saving industriously even during downturns. We pooled the equity from our two houses and moved to Lafayette. We were in our fifties.
We love our home and our town, and feel we earned our way here; my husband with good compensation and disciplined savings over decades, and me with low self-employed compensation but some inheritance (for which I'm very grateful and I know not everyone has that) that went into investments.
We welcome all ethnic groups and new Americans to Lafayette, and hope it is possible to add affordable housing WITHOUT destroying the character and ambience of the town and WITHOUT hidden back-door deals or bullying threats from developers.