Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Andrew and Ozgul Leone
Andrew: Healthcare rights advocate
Ozgul: Saleswoman at department store
Income: Andrew earns $44,000 a year; Ozgul earns less than $200 a week
Andrew and Ozgul Leone are nearly priced out of their home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a state where the housing prices have risen 274 percent since 2000.
"I was lucky to buy into property before prices exploded," said Andrew, who bought his 2-bedroom condo for $100,000 in 2003; now it's valued at $200,000.
Andrew said he took advantage of the surge in property value to take a home equity loan and pay down other debt. But now he owes $167,000 on what had originally been a $70,000 loan.
"The place where I live is small," said Andrew. "But even a rental [in this area] is expensive. The cost of living has increased dramatically."
Andrew says for a while he was the only one in his home insured. In addition to his wife, he pays for support of two boys from a previous marriage.
In November Ozgul qualified for healthcare insurance through her work. "It costs $35 a week when she makes $6.70 cents an hour. If I had to pay for my [wife's insurance] it would be an additional $400 a month."
"I've had to rely more and more on credit cards to stay afloat," he said. "There's a lot of juggling to be done. A lot of creative financing. A lot of borrowing Peter to pay Paul."