California Councilman Forced to Resign Because He Can’t Afford to Buy a Home in the State

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jul 03, 2024

Mike Bucci, a California councilman in Newark, has revealed he has been forced to resign because he can’t afford to buy a home in the state.

According to Bucci, even with him and his wife working high-paying jobs, they cannot afford to live in Newark. As a result, he’s made the difficult decision to move from the city to seek more affordable living elsewhere.

Being Priced Out of Home Buying in California

Bucci posted on Facebook about his predicament, revealing to his followers and supporters that he is resigning as a Newark councilman — even though he had plans to stay in the area.

Old historic homes seen in San Francisco in the daytime.

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Bucci has explained that he is now one of the many who have been priced out of buying a home in Newark, as the cost of housing has skyrocketed in the town in just the last few years.


Trying to Buy a Home

Bucci even opened up about how he and his wife have tried to buy a home — even though the homes are incredibly expensive — but they could never successfully get one.

An aerial photo of a California neighborhood with homes and cars on streets.

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He wrote, “We’re just the next people in a long line of folks who have been priced out of town. We tried to buy a home a number of times over the years but it never happened for us. Now the window has closed and any chance we had to stay in Newark is long past.”

Making Good Money

Bucci also wrote about how “insane” it is for him and his wife to struggle to afford housing in California, as they both earn enough money and have good credit scores.

A view of colorful homes in California seen in the daytime.

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“The most insane part is that even with 60 [thousand dollars] down and a 785 credit score we can’t get into the cheapest house in Newark for less than $7500 a month,” he wrote. “If I put my entire Millwright and council salary towards it every month, it’s still not enough. I just turned 47, what am I going to do, take out a huge mortgage that won’t be paid off until I’m 77? That’s not a real option.”

The Working Class in Newark

Bucci then lamented that if he, a councilman who does earn good money, cannot afford to own a home in Newark, how will the working class be able to?

A close-up view of old homes and windows.

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He said, “If we can’t do it how are other working class folks ever going to do it? What chance does the next generation have? What chance will any of them have to stay in the communities they love?”

A Difficult Decision

After serving in Newark’s City Council for a decade, Bucci had plans to stay in Newark for years to come. As a councilman, he also had dreams of one day becoming mayor of the town. Now, this will never be.

An aerial photo of a California neighborhood with homes with pools.

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“This has been a very difficult decision for us and even though it’s the best path forward for our family, it doesn’t make it any easier. I had dreams of becoming a great mayor…and doing big things for our city,” Bucci wrote.


California’s Housing Skyrockets in Price

For years now, analysts have claimed that California’s skyrocketing housing prices would continue to hurt many throughout the Golden State, as so many working people are being completely priced out of the market.

A close-up of a home near palm trees seen in the daytime.

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Now, even residents who make a good amount of money, such as Bucci and his wife, are being pushed out of the state.


Newark’s Expensive Housing

Some areas of California have become much more expensive than other regions. Newark is one of the more expensive areas of the state. This city of 47,000 people has the median sale price of a home at about $1.4 million.

A view of many homes and buildings near palm trees in California.

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The housing market in the city is also incredibly expensive. On average, homes put up for sale in Newark receive about 8 offers — and then sell in only about 8 days.


A Fast Rise in Prices

Newark has clearly become very expensive for many residents. Interestingly, it’s done so quite quickly over just the last few years.

A close-up of a pile of one hundred dollar bills.

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According to Redfin, prices of homes in the city have risen 15% from just what was seen in the last year. As mortgage rates are about 7%, many locals have struggled to afford homes in Newark.


California Locals Continue to Struggle

As a result of skyrocketing housing prices, many locals in Newark and throughout California have struggled to rent and buy homes.

A close-up of the top of a home seen in the daytime.

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This has gotten so bad that many residents have even chosen to move out of the state to find more affordable living elsewhere.


A California Exodus

This so-called California Exodus really ramped up during the pandemic. Though some data has suggested that the exodus is waning, newer reporting has hinted that many Californians are still choosing to leave the state, as it has become too expensive for them.

A view of a U-Haul truck parked on the side of a road.

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Bucci is now one of those who have made the difficult decision to leave and start over elsewhere. However, the former councilman hasn’t opened up about whether he’s fully leaving the state of California, or if he’s just leaving Newark.


California’s Housing Crisis

One reason California’s housing has skyrocketed in price over the last few years is the housing shortage the state is suffering from.

Many colorful homes in San Francisco.

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Simply, there aren’t enough affordable homes being built to help with the high demand seen in the Golden State. Though the government has tried to fix this issue, nothing has helped yet.