Only Rich People Can Live Here Now

But who will wait the tables, clean the hotel rooms, work the front desk, sell the baubles, tend the department stores, park the cars, run the laundry, drive the taxis, keep the kids, etc.

Carol Burt
6 min readApr 8, 2022


Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

Today, we were driving around in our beloved town and former home of Sarasota, Florida, and I noticed what I had been seeing wasn’t just a fluke. This town has gotten too rich for most people to live in. It isn’t just the rents, which run from $1200 to $3,000 a month for an ordinary non-waterfront apartment, or even the home prices, which have tripled in the last few years, but it’s everything.

We took some people out to lunch — only two people. The bill was $170, and it wasn’t the fanciest or most expensive restaurant. It was middle of the road.

As we were driving around today, I noticed the cars around us. We stopped at a stoplight. There was a Lexus SUV in front of us, two Mercedes in the lane next to us, and a stupid Land Rover with a “Let’s Go Brandon” sticker on it in the turn lane. It made me want to knock out the back window — or knock the teeth out of the driver’s mouth. It’s all the same to me, but I didn’t want to go to jail today. I’m enjoying the weather and the water too much.

That house today is for sale for $430,000

We owned a house here once. We sold it for $200,000. It was on a lake, and any home with water behind it is usually more valuable. That same house today is for sale for $430,000. Yeah, dollars. Four-hundred thousand.

It isn’t any better than when it cost us $100,000, or any better than when we sold it. It’s more than four times as expensive- and it doesn’t look as good. It needs paint. The roof isn’t in tip-top shape. It isn’t a dream house. It’s just a house. And it looked better when we bought it for less than a fourth of the price today.

It’s like that all over town. And we had wanted to move back here. Ha! We’ll have to find a city just as good and not so expensive and not so filled with moneyed people. There are some. We will find them. I will always love it here, but I don’t love it enough to buy a house and starve.



Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.