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comment by Foveaux
Foveaux  ·  286 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class

Super thankful my parents never bought into the "We could do it in our day, why can't you?" shtick. They've just bought their first house this year, they've been renters all their life as we shifted a great deal up and down the island.

I could buy a house now, at 29, though what's stopping me is the absolute cut-throat nature of real estate in our country now. I'm sure it always has been, but now it's glaringly obvious how fucked you are if you don't time it right. My two flatmates just bought their house last week, a really exciting time for them but I watched them bounce from open to open home, all absolutely packed with families of 4/5 wanting to buy a two bedroom home because it's all they could afford. Then come auction day a 2 bedroom house with an RV of 190k going for 450k - seeing them return home each day entirely outclassed in the finance realm by people just wanting to add to their investment portfolio.

I don't have anything against making wise investments, but the way we treat housing as a source of income scares the shit out of me.

My flatties wound up buying a place by strategically attending the first open home on a weekday so families would find it harder to attend, getting alone time with the vendor, writing a soppy letter about making milestones in the house and the sound of kids running down the hallway and making an unconditional offer knowing that's pretty much what you have to do these days.

The worst part? They're never going to have kids. They don't want them, they just knew they had to present themselves in a certain light or they'd never get a look in. So the letter was fabricated and it worked, the vendor is an English teacher who loves kids and wanted the house going to a similar minded couple. She said the letter was a huge factor in the decision and they got the offer accepted last week.

Shits fucked man.

kleinbl00  ·  286 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I graduated with no debt from a program that paid an average of $65k a year. My wife graduated with no debt from a program that paid an average of $50k a year but she's really fucking good at her job and she was making $80k a year within six months of graduating. Within another year she had bought a house for $175k.

Fast forward 20 years. My program now averages $72k a year and it costs five times as much. Her program now averages $50k a year and it costs five times as much. Meanwhile the house is currently worth half a mil.

Me, 20 years later, is epically fucked. It's the timing. Purely. But wait, there's more - we happened to have not great credit on paper while also never missing a payment on the house so TARP funds got us out of a 30 and into a 15 at a lower payment. My mortgage payment is less than my neighbor's HELOC. I looked at paying it off last year but it would literally save me about $3500. Fate and circumstance has been kind to my family but if I had less clarity about the situation, I'd assume that kids these days can't afford a house because they're too busy eating avocado toast.

Foveaux  ·  286 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was absolutely stoked to see I now only have 19k left on my 42k student loan for a Bachelors degree in Psychology (which hung on my wall as I started working in retail the day after graduation). Thank goodness our government made it interest free. Over half way baby!

The interesting thing is, I don't feel particularly hard done by on a day to day basis. I earn bang on 60k a year and my living expenses mean I can quite comfortably save for fun, a house, and enjoy things every week. If I didn't get paid for a month or two I'd be comfortable living on my savings until things got sorted. Plenty don't have that luxury and I am appreciative of that.

But as soon as I look at buying a house, it suddenly looks impossible. Aside from the stress, I need my partner on board with her income otherwise we can't afford the repayments as the average house in our city has shot to an average of $460k, up from $306k in just 2016, and we're the lucky area that's experiencing relatively slow growth!

I'm telling the young lads at my local gym to seriously consider trades and not to be put off by people who look down on Polytech courses - if they want to get into building or plumbing, we sorely need skilled people in those realms. They get told they need a University degree to be employable and to avoid working with your hands - same message I got in high school in 2007. Trades are for labourers and unintelligent people, apparently. Turns out they're plenty bright, earning well and quite often doing something they genuinely enjoy.