Homeownership signifies that you have become a fully functional adult. You’re no longer a child or immature. Also, homeownership indicates that mom and dad have money.
A new study reveals that 27 percent of first-time homeowners received money from relatives or friends for their down payment, up 24 percent from last year and likely to increase due to rising student debt, a terrible job market and higher standards for a mortgage.
At 31-years-old, owning a home is as distant of a dream as winning the lottery for me. In fact, it would take winning the lottery for me to own a home. Student debt has crippled my credit to where I can’t even get approved for credit at Musician’s Friend.
Musician’s Friend! A place that deals mostly with broke people!
Climbing my way out of debt and building credit is no easy chore either. After acquiring a college degree that put me in debt, I’m making less than $15/hour as a working journalist. This is the same amount that fast food employees are demanding as a fair wage. Finding another, better paying job is laughable when considering that highly qualified veterans in every industry are also on the prowl.
The older generations are constantly telling us how lazy and irresponsible Millennials are. We’re not happy with our jobs and we’re financially irresponsible, they say. “I had a career and my own home by the time I was 25,” you’ll hear a lot from Baby Boomers.
Thanks to the Baby Boomers, we no longer live in a reality that will allow young adults to achieve such success. The world that they have created has led to tuition costs exponentially higher than when they went to school. Not only are jobs more difficult to find, but they are paying less than when the Baby Boomers were in their 20s. An 18-year-old Baby Boomer in the ‘60s could skip college, enter the work force and make mid-management wages by the age of 25. Today, a 25-year-old with a master’s degree is struggling to find an entry-level job.
As I have stated in previous essays, socioeconomic status is greater than race when it comes to opportunity and success. A black woman from an upper-middle class family is far more likely to succeed than a working class white male. Now, homeownership is being reduced to only those who come from a certain amount of money. Opportunities for the disadvantaged—black, white, Hispanic, etc.—to live the “American Dream” are becoming fewer and fewer, to almost non-existent.
Shortly after my grandfather passed away earlier this year, my father told me and my siblings that he left some money behind for his three sons. Since my dad lived a more privileged life, he is deciding to pass that money on to his kids instead. We can use it either for student loans or a down payment on a home. After thinking about my options, I came to the conclusion that I’m screwed either way. (1) Put a down payment on a home that I’ll probably never be able to afford to maintain AND remain in crippling debt to student loans OR (2) put a dent in my student loan debt, still be in debt with bad credit and never own a home.
The Bank of Mom and Dad, as Bloomberg phrases it, is proportional to financial freedom for today’s Millennial. If that bank pays for your tuition and a down payment, welcome to the American Dream! If your Bank of Mom and Dad was not too big to fail, good luck. You’ll need it. Until the real banks and current economy gets their shit together, Millennials will have to rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad to enjoy all the things mom and dad said we could have if we just worked hard.
Unfortunately, even the Bank of Mom and Dad has to turn most of us down for a loan.