Black Press Media files

Black Press Media files

Ryan’s Regards: Millennials having a heck of a time with housing

A half-a-million over asking price for Langley home is not promising for first time buyers

Saddled with a millennial living in your basement, that just won’t leave? Have they not flown the coop because the housing market is simply too difficult to even consider entering?

You’re not alone. As it sits right now in the United States, 52 per cent of Millennials are apparently still rooming with mom and dad.

Millennials, by the way, were born between 1981 and 1996. Yes, the oldest batch are turning 40 this year.

The zeitgeist would tell you that absolutely none of those people own their own home and apparently never will.

A bevy of boomers curse the “lazy work ethic” of Millennials, while simultaneously worrying about the prospects of their own children’s doomed future.

It’s indeed a difficult landscape out there for first-time home buyers; the recent sale of a home in Walnut Grove that was half a million dollars over the asking price had owners drooling and buyers foaming at the mouth.

But looking far over the fence and past just next door, it appears to me that real estate inequity is, along with politics, religion, and dietary habits, not generational, rather geographical.

Location! Location! Location! It makes this a truly Lower Mainland-specific problem.

As much as I am sick of referencing my adolescent life in the Prairies – it’s impossible not to reference the ample space and lukewarm prices there. A land where all of my friends blow millennial myths out of the water.

Many are married with children, with a home, well on its way to be paid off. Some even built their own dream dwelling and no one is yet past 30.

READ MORE: Ryan’s Regards: Saying goodbye to the soft hello

Our first place of residence is not meant to be a glamorous, Martha Stewart showstopper either; I think the pressure from social media has fed into people’s fears of not measuring up or being okay with anything less than Instagram-worthy.

I often think back to my grandfather, who came to Canada and lived in a renovated granary bin for a decade. He and his wife raised seven kids in that thing.

Could you imagine? Chicken coops, granary bins, and barns were commonplace.

I spent my early childhood living in a tiny but lovely mobile home.

When I moved out as an adult, I was fortunate enough to go spend a summer in New York City. I did not live in anything like Rachel and Monica’s apartment from Friends – that, I can tell you.

The “rustic” 100-year-old complex faced a shipping yard and seemed as though it was a secret that was waiting to be condemned.

So, with affordable living in tiny towns, rat-filled Brooklyn apartments with plenty of… character, chicken coops, or even a dissipating Italian village, where winery-surrounded villages can be owned with mere pocket change, that you can easily pull up on Craigslist, there are options! More options than ever.

It’s an adventure right? Us Millennials are always saying we value experiences more than belongings.

Millennials in the Lower Mainland need to be more willing to move around or be more flexible if they desperately want to have their name on a deed.

If parents don’t like the idea of their children going far or having to shack up with barnyard animals, then they themselves may have to forget about ever selling.

I foresee a whole lot of Millennials never leaving the nest; there will merely come a day when they claim the top floor and the parents are forced downstairs.


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