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Percents, Prices, & Parents

A few people my age have houses. That is, people I know at least. The majority of them live back home or in a city like Detroit where economics favor them and their homeownership. But those in Los Angeles? They either are rich to begin with or struck gold, somehow. I know one girl my age with a nebulous job who purchased a house in one of the city’s richest neighborhoods. “My parents paid,” she told me. “I don’t want anyone to think anything else of it: I’m a trust fund kid.”

That was kind of refreshing. I admired that financial honesty although it did frustrate me that I don’t have that help. If you can get your parents to buy you a nice house, then your parents can do what else? Pay your phone bill? Buy you a car? Make sure you have a new computer, wardrobe, furnishings, etc. whenever you want? Must be nice. I have none of those. I think my dad maybe pays some odd $100 a month loan payment for school—but I pay the $400 a month majority. (Which reminds me: if he actually is covering something, I want to take that shit back. Anyone my age is too damn old to have their fucking parents pay for anything for them.)

It must be weird to be so “mature” emotionally (Ha!) yet so stunted financially. But who is that even referring to? Myself for being behind or those with help for not forging shit on their own? I don’t think there is an answer. I will say that those people my age with houses and great finances are definitely very lucky to get some funding from parents or to have gotten some big success at a young age. The Atlantic proved this recently, too.

Millennials who are lucky enough to have some, or all, of a college tuition’s burden reduced by their parents have a leg up on peers who are saddled with student debt, and they’ll be able to more quickly move out on their own, and maybe even buy their own house.

And that matters a lot in the long run: While many remain skeptical about the real-estate market, homeownership is still the primary way that Americans build wealth. But first-time buyers—a group generally made up of younger adults—have been scarce since the recession. And research indicates it’s not because many of them want to remain renters, but because they just simply can’t save up enough for a down payment, especially not the down payments needed in the expensive urban markets where so many Millennials prefer to live. According to Svenja Gudell, the senior director of economic research at Zillow, “There’s a ton of people out there who want to buy. In our most recent survey in the beginning of the year, we had 5.3 million renters interested in buying over the next year.”

Yeah, bummer dudes. Even if I’m not even close to these “lucky enough” people I do have to check my privilege and highlight what I mentioned about my dad: I do have it kind of nice? Could be better—but I’m doing it on my own (for the most part). Yet, as the article mentions, there is something called the “Funnel Of Privilege” in which “young adults with rich parents soon become rich themselves.” Why? They didn’t have to deal with any financial struggles!

That’s the bummer. I may be able to rise up some economic ladder in the future but, for now, that’s an impossibility. It’s a luxury. My loan payments aren’t crippling nor are any other bills—but I can’t save-save in the way that some of my peers can. I’m not even annoyed by that: it just means that nice house I want is getting snatched up by someone else and, when the time comes for me to be ready, everything will be gone and I’ll be priced out of my own city.

Wah wah. Must be nice!

Photo via. No shade, Lena: you know you got your privilege, gurl.

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