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Behind the Scenes


Priced Out
Produced by Jennifer Fischer

Sylvia Alves wouldn't miss her son's first day of tee-ball for the world -- and luckily she doesn't have to. She admits she misses her old job, but this mother of three says it's not a chore to stay home with her kids; it's a fortunate choice. You can't put a price tag on raising your own children.

Sylvia and her husband John settled into the Tracy area 7 years ago, and recently moved into their new 4,700 square foot home in the Redbridge community. In Tracy, the median price of a house is $270,000 -- up 60% in the last ten years. The Alveses paid a lot more for their house, but say it's still a great deal considering what they get for the price. But with the good comes the bad. John is a CPA, and controller of Serena Software in Burlingame…which means he commutes two hours to work. Each way.

CalTrans reports that every month, more than 79,000 people hit the 205 freeway on their way to the Bay Area. The Alveses hope that John can find a job closer to home, but it won't be easy. So for now, they say they'll just have to deal with John's long hours on the road. For them it's more important that their children grow up with a yard -- and at least one parent at home.

Another challenge facing our region: analysts say that at least 250,000 units must be built per year just to meet population demands. Already, California has the lowest rate of homeowners in the entire country. Only 56% of Californians own their own homes, compared to 65% nationwide...


John and Sylvia Alves
Tracy homeowners

Tim Coyle
Senior VP, CA Building Industry Association


The complete text of New Valley Episode 101 -- Preserving the Dream...


Presentation also made possible by a grant from
the Great Valley Center


New Valley Official Site