The American dream has always been a version of the following: owning one’s home, happily married, raising healthy and content children, and perhaps owning a pet.
But for some of us who are part of the millennial generation, the dream is just that.
The Zillow sketch that aired on Saturday Night Live over the weekend speaks of the painful truth.
The professional and social security net that our parents and grandparents knew does not exist anymore. Decades ago, it was not uncommon to get a job straight of school, stay in that job for decades, and retire comfortably in one’s fifties or sixties. With that steady income, homeownership was almost guaranteed.
For most adults under a certain age, this is a pipe dream. Due to any number of factors (which Covid has only made worse), the job market has ebbs and flows, creating highs and lows when it comes to employment numbers. The housing market is worse. According to experts, one’s rent or mortgage should be no more than 30% of their monthly bills.
I would love for that to be the case. I don’t know about other housing markets, but in New York City, some homes cost millions of dollars. The 30% rule is already out the window when the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment is the same as a mortgage on a four-bedroom house with a large plot of land and a driveway outside of the city.
The skit was not meant (in my mind at least) to shame Zillow (or any real estate company). It simply pointed out that for many people, home ownership is being their reach and will never come to fruition.
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