How Much Self-Indulgence Do Millennials Have To Give Up To Buy A House?

How Much Self-Indulgence Do Millennials Have To Give Up To Buy A House?

Do you want to buy a house? Select the size of your down payment, your area and the amount you are willing and able to save. And our tool will tell you how long it will take you to take your first step up the property ladder.

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Old folks have been complaining about the irresponsibility of youth since at least Roman times, and today is no different. Target du jour is Generation Y, also known as the Millennials. These kids (ages 15 to 35, give or take a few years) are digital natives, and natural urbanites. They expect their neighborhood to have a hip coffee place, and that coffee place to have free wifi.

Those and other assumptions are easily mocked by everyone up to Generation X, the last demographic cohort to grow up in the analog age. Yeah, things must have been much tougher back then, when everybody was offline and bored.

But don’t the Millennials have a point when they say they’re the first generation in living memory to have it worse than their parents? Economically speaking, that is – irrespective of the half-dozen devices they own with which they are online every waking moment of the day.

The litmus test: buying a house. Not only does that once-in-a-lifetime purchase mark the watershed between carefree youth and responsible adulthood, it is also a signpost, across the decades, of the economic resilience of each successive generation.

The Baby Boomers boomed, in large part, because it was relatively easy for them to finance their houses. Today’s prospective home owners have had to get used to a New Normal – the euphemism for financial perspectives reduced by the Great Recession. Owning a house is a much more distant dream now than it was back in, say, 1955. Or are those Millennials simply drinking too many frappuccinos?

This tool puts that to the test. It allows you to pick the down payment you will be expected to make for a median-priced single-family house in any of the 25 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. (Data provided by the National Association of Realtors). Select how much you will be able to save each week. The tool will tell you how long it will take you to save up for that down payment – in two different ways. First, in time: how many years, months and weeks it will take you to get the money together? Second, in gadgets: how many iPhones, yoga classes and/or flights to Cancun will you have to cut out of your life to get into that house?

This tool is an effective way to translate one lifestyle choice – enjoying the good stuff in life – into another one – buying a house. And it’s so simple you don’t even have to be a millennial to use it. So if you want to keep enjoying your daily burritos and frappuccinos, best make sure your parents don’t get to see it. It might give them the wrong idea about your extended stay at the Hotel of Mom and Dad.

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