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Search MLS by True Living Cost

Commenting on a blog post today entitled, The Illusion of Affordability, one reader @MattSab wrote:

Nothing has changed in 13 years. When my husband and I sat down with Wells Fargo in 2001 we were making maybe $75K between us with a newborn child. We were told that we could afford a house for about $350k based on our income and what we were already paying for rent. We left that office in shock. Even with very little experience we knew we could not swing that expense and still eat every day, put gas in the car, pay for childcare and everything else you need to live. These calculations are a unreasonable and Trulia should be ashamed!

RealEstateCafe responded:

@mattsab Thankfully, some innovators are trying to address your problem with new decision tools that allow homebuyers to factor their actual living expenses into the home buying process and sort MLS listings based on TOTAL LIVING COSTS, that makes sense for your unique household based on commuting costs, and other user-specified date / what if scenarios. describes their “True Lifestyle Cost” model as follows:

“Our search tool takes into account over 31 unique lifestyle factors to find you a perfect home that is truly affordable.”

Their co-founder / CTO was a White House technology fellow, and as their first BETA site in Boston, we’re eager to invite tech-savvy, DIY home buyers to experiment with / help improve this long overdue PRUDENT approach to home buying!


Want to test drive the latest working version of @TLCengine?

Better yet, let’s meet at this exhibit on commuting costs (before it’s completely dismantled this week), or somewhere else offline in Greater Boston and we can DEMO the BETA site side-by-side, ideally with virtual assistance of their co-founder.

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