By: Mike LaFirenza

The American dream of homeownership often begins with a starter home—a manageable property that allows young adults and families to establish roots, build equity, and lay the groundwork for fi nancial security. This initial step on the property ladder fuels the housing market and strengthens the economy by creating a generation of invested homeowners. However, finding an affordable starter home has become increasingly challenging in recent times. With
historically low inventory and major affordability hurdles, homeownership in the U.S. has become an uphill battle.


Although recent market trends have presented significant challenges, the issue of housing affordability has persisted in the U.S. for decades. A primary contributing factor is the disparity between the rate of growth in home values and household incomes. Between 2000 and 2022, the median home value surged by 59.1% after adjusting for inflation, whereas the median household income saw a modest increase of just 4.5% during the same timeframe.
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Supply has been another constraint or fi rst-time homebuyers. The U.S. faces a shortage of housing overall, but builders are also building fewer of the smaller, more affordable homes they used to. One- or two-bedroom homes represented 24% of single-family homes built in the mid-1980s, but just 5% in 2022. Over the same span, the share of new homes with four or more bedrooms grew from 19% to 53%. Whether you are a homeowner or a general contractor, finding a reliable builders risk insurance policy for your next project could save you thousands of dollars.


The declining trend in the construction of starter-size homes—defined here as homes with three or fewer bedrooms—is especially apparent in the northern areas of the Great Plains and Mountain West. Less densely populated than their Northeast or West Coast counterparts, states in these regions all have a below-average share of starter-size homes (compared to the national average of 67.7%). Notably, Utah (41.8%) stands out with the lowest proportion of homes with three or fewer bedrooms, while Rhode Island (78.7%) and West Virginia (76.5%) offer the greatest proportion of smaller homes.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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