You may have already been out enjoying your Friday night when I posted this, with a link to a Boston Globe story about a Massachusetts state senator who wants his state to give $10,000 to graduates of universities there to assist in buying homes or condos.

I got a few responses to that post — one from reader CC, who expects San Diego will experience something similar to Massachusetts’ feared “brain drain,” if local lawmakers don’t do something to help young, educated would-be homeowners get a place of their own. CC terms those who will get out of college the much-larger “echo” of the baby boom and imagines they’ll get out of college in a couple of years only to find there are not enough apartments to rent. She cheered the Massachusetts plan for that reason.

Another reader had some experience to offer. He’s spent chunks of his life in both places — spending childhood in southern California, high school in Massachusetts, undergraduate work in San Diego, grad school in the “mid-Atlantic” and then a 2-year stint working in Boston.

He called that city a “really wonderful place to live and work in during the mid-late 90s,” except for rent costs. In addition to first and last months’ rent and a damage deposit, would-be renters had to hire an agent — paying a month’s rent as commission — in order to find a place.

The for-sale market was more reasonable than it is now, he said, but still proved out of reach for a just-graduated student making about $30,000 annually and paying student loans. He returned to San Diego to take a position that offered a 20 percent salary increase, but still, with “pesky” student loans and debt from living in Boston, he continued to rent.

Now, several years later, he said housing prices have risen much quicker than his salary, despite his graduate degree.

“Would $10,000 help?” he asked in an e-mail. “It’d be nice, but only with other help. In order to get the price of a house or condo down to the level one could afford, lots more than $10,000 would be needed.”

But he said the fact that Massachusetts lawmakers are even thinking about this issue is heartening — enough so that he’ll “most certainly be searching the want ads for jobs there.”

Your thoughts? As always, click my name below to send me an e-mail.


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