When you’re young, you want to live in the city. It’s pretty standard! Eventually, the natural progression of life will take you out to the suburbs and perhaps back to an urban center again once the kids are out of the house. At least, that’s how previous generations have been doing it.
Lately, though, millennials are having difficulty getting into homeownership. Real estate is only going up...everywhere, really, and landlords aren’t afraid to raise rent. So, kids are getting out of college, heading to the city, renting for upwards of $1,500 a month (just their share, remember), unable to save. And they want a house someday?! Forget about it.
A new popular Instagram account, Cheap Old Houses, posts listings to homes and properties all capped at $100,000. Typically requiring some kind of renovation, the homes are also usually off the beaten path from any kind of bustling urban area. Think: Union, S.C.; Washburn, Maine; Athens, Ga.
According to the NY Post, a couple from Buffalo closed on a property in the village of Gowanda, N.Y. for $52,500 and are expecting around $50,000 worth of fixing-up. Even with extensive refurbishing, these houses are netting out between $100,000 and $200,000 -- quite a dip from what you'd expect from a mortgage. It’s all relative, of course, as far as renovations, but think of the possibilities!
Elizabeth Finkelstein, founder of Cheap Old Houses, told the Post, "The idea of homeownership seems impossible to so many people. Some people are tired of pushing paper and staring at pixels all day. They dream of working with their hands. The site helps people realize that it’s not so off-kilter to think you can attain these things."
Especially now, with more and more employers making work-from-home and remote opportunities permanent, the appeal of living in the city is quickly waning, anyway. Sure, the lure of nightlife and convenience will return someday, but for now, why not hole up in the backwoods of middle America with a Bernese mountain dog and multiple acres of land? Return to urbanity when it comes back to life and become an investment property owner. Go nuts!
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'll tell ya: This 20-something's eyes are peeled for a country home.