“…In our weekly Hustlin’ series, we go beyond the pitying articles about recession-era youth – and illuminate ways our generation is coping.
The last few years may have been a rude awakening – but we’re surviving.
When I moved into my first apartment, my roommate’s mother came to help settle us in.
As we hashed out our finances, she wondered aloud, as only a loving mother could: “Why are you paying so much for something that isn’t yours?”
I recall thinking she had a point.
We were signing up to fork over thousands a month, only to leave empty-handed once the lease expired.
And then there was the broker’s fee – that unexpected punch.
My parents had paid a monthly mortgage for 30 years – but once they were finished the house was theirs.
My monthly bills were going nowhere.
That was August of 2008.
In a short time, the economy would tank, bringing the value of my parents’ house with it – and kicking it further down for years to come every time a foreclosure sign appears on their block.
Yet my father still imagines a time when I’ll buy a home.
Once I’m financially stable, he says – I need to consider the investment.
On paper, I should.
Home prices and mortgage interest rates are extremely low.
There’s a growing consensus that housing has hit rock bottom; if you have good credit and a steady income – it’s the time to buy since home values can only go up.
But I don’t plan on it – now or anytime soon.
And I’m not alone: in unprecedented droves, our generation is opting to rent.
We’re doing it in major cities where renting has always been plentiful – and in smaller ones where it hasn’t.
A stream of recent articles has arrived wondering why Millennials aren’t buying homes.
The stories paint us as victims of rising rents – saddled with student debt and a crappy economy that keeps the American dream out of our reach.
But what if renting wasn’t our curse?
What if instead we celebrated and embraced it?
By many counts renting is a financially savvy move.
It can free us up for careers and lives in ways that ownership cannot.
And the more of us who rent – the more opportunity we have to alter a system that is stacked horrendously against renters…”
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