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In Hot Market, Slim Pickings For Average Income House Hunters

Julia Ritchey

Median home sale prices are hitting post-Recession highs, and that's resulted in slim pickings for homebuyers. To get a sense of what the housing market looks like this summer, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey went house hunting with a local realtor.

Local realtor William Process is taking me in his truck to go look at homes that exemplify the sellers market we're in right now, all of them in Sparks.

Process is the president of the Reno-Sparks Realtors Association and knows the ups and downs of the market. He got his license in 2008, at the very start of the housing collapse.

We pull up to a modest, one-story white home on a shaded street. It  has three bedrooms, one bath and was built in 1961.

"It's a smaller home; it's a little over 1,000 square feet. This is very typical of a home in a nice, clean neighborhood that someone with that average income can buy."

Washoe County's median household income is $54,000 a year. Process says this house is listed for a little more than $200,000, and admits it's a bit of a fixer-upper.

"So this needs some work; it needs some little things, but this is the opportunity for someone that can come in with not a lot of money down and get a a lot of sweat equity right away."

Process says the challenge for homebuyers is selection. The region has about three months of inventory, and with prices still climbing, even homes like the one we toured today could soon be out of reach for locals.

Credit Julia Ritchey
Credit Julia Ritchey

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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