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  • Writer's pictureCaitlin Lewis

How Saratoga NY Evolved into a 'Monopoly' Board Game: Unaffordable Real Estate Edition

Ah, Saratoga NY, my hometown. A picturesque little city known for its charming streets, historic racetracks, and... becoming the unofficial live-action version of the game Monopoly? Yes, you heard it right! In an intriguing turn of events, Saratoga has transformed into a board game of sorts, but with a twist that's more bitter than sweet. Gone are the days of affordable living; welcome to the era of unaffordable real estate, where locals are finding themselves literally priced out of the market. So, grab your Monopoly money (you'll need it!) and join us on this journey through the ups and downs of Saratoga's real estate roller coaster.

As Saratoga's real estate market soared to the stars, it seems we forgot to tether it with a sense of community. The landscape now resembles a VIP party that most locals weren’t invited to. Enter the dark players of this board game: the investors and developers, acting like they've got hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place, monopolizing the once quaint and communal neighborhoods. They're flipping houses like burgers at a summer BBQ, except these prices are no backyard deal. This gold rush has turned parts of Saratoga into a showcase of luxury and exclusivity, sidelining the needs of long-term residents. Gone are the days when a stroll down the street meant bumping into familiar faces; now, it’s more about dodging ‘For Sale’ signs and wondering if your next-door neighbor will be a person or an investment firm. This real-life game of Monopoly, with its high stakes and higher prices, has shifted the essence of Saratoga. While the gleam of new developments might catch the eye, it's the shadow they cast that we’re living in—the shadow of a community wondering where it fits in its own hometown.

Imagine Saratoga, where the streets are lined with homes as stunning as they are unreachable for the folks who used to jog around the block. It’s an odd twist, reminiscent of a tragic comedy where the punchline is the housing market itself. It’s the irony of ironies, where the quest for a place to call your own turns into an elaborate game of musical chairs, but the music stopped long ago, and there aren't enough chairs to go around. This homeowner’s paradise has become a paradoxical stage where the idea of owning a home is both a dream flaunted in your face and snatched away just as you reach for it. The notion is as bizarre as finding yourself thirsty in a rainstorm—surrounded by water. Here we are, in the heart of a community turned exclusive club, where membership fees skyrocket and the locals are left standing outside, noses pressed against the glass, wondering how the dream of home sweet home turned into an elusive fairy tale.

Saratoga, you're like that high school sweetheart we can't get over—full of charm and nostalgia, yet somehow leaving us out in the cold. Your journey into the land of eye-watering real estate prices might be a fairy tale for the few, but for the rest of us mere mortals, it's turned into a bit of a nightmare. We adore your tree-lined streets, your storied racetracks, and yes, even your unpredictable weather. But as the cost of living skyrockets, our love affair is on the rocks. It's like being in a relationship where one partner keeps buying expensive toys, and the other can barely afford the Netflix subscription. We're not saying it's time to break up, but maybe, just maybe, it's time for a little couples therapy. Let's sit down at the community table, hash out our differences, and find a way to make this relationship work. The locals are just looking for a little love to raise their families in the town they grew up in. And not to be pushed out by out of town builders, big city residents that purchase a house just for the summer only to be left vacant in the dark times. Your residents love this town.

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