For a single income family, housing will never be affordable on a teacher’s salary
Megan Ihlefeld moved to Blacksburg in 2009 with her two young children after her husband passed away in 2008. She loves her job as a science teacher at Blacksburg Middle School, but has struggled to find affordable housing in Blacksburg. Megan lives with her two children in an apartment of a family-style home in a neighborhood that is a mix of student rentals and families. It is strange for her to see students renting a home in what is intended to be a family neighborhood knowing she can’t afford to rent the same home.
Megan feels connected to Blacksburg’s mountain vibe and has a great sense of community. She likes the small town living that feels safe for her kids and knows they are receiving a solid foundation for education.
“For a single income family, housing will never be affordable on a teacher’s salary. I often feel like teachers are undervalued but I know I am a part of this community and have a very important impact. I have had to do it on my own from the time that my kids were very young. I desire the opportunity to be able to own a home in this community.”
In 2018 Megan enlisted a realtor to help search for a home but nothing was in good enough condition at the price she could afford. She did put an offer of $10k over the asking price on a condo but was not successful. “I'm not a competitive buyer in this market since there was only so much I could put down.”
Megan is grateful for her job and the opportunities to engage with students about science. She wishes there were more incentives for teachers. “I’m not leaving a job I love to make more money. Providing and advocating for affordable housing for teachers would be awesome!”