MIKE: “I like my apartment, but I don’t love it.” ESTER: “Have you ever loved an apartment?”
If young adults held out until we ourselves could afford down payments as well as closing costs, fees, and mortgage payments, far fewer of us would buy property. But let’s not pretend the system is fair.
My husband and I were responsible, tax-paying honor students, the kind of urban, young professionals accustomed to benefiting from, while simultaneously feeling guilty about, our hetero- and white privilege. This was probably the first significant time in our lives we had heard the word “No.”
In October 2012, my husband and I had established careers in our town, a down payment saved, and a big student loan and a truck paid off. We were ready to buy a house, and our lease was up, so we packed up our stuff and moved into a small apartment that came with a six-month lease that turned month-to-month.
I bought my first home in 2012—way earlier than I ever expected to—with the help of a clutchcity program designed to get people like me into permanent taxpayer status. As a first-time homeowner I had a dream house in mind (two stories, kitchen island, guest bedroom, backyard, puppy), but as a 28-year-old who had only ever rented and who earned a salary low enough to qualify for down-payment assistance, all the reasonable voices in my life (my mother, real estate agents, lenders) kept suggesting a condo might be a better way to make the transition from renter to homeowner.
The story is that the ex wants to move out but doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to do so. So, until Levy can sell the mansion-like apartment where the entire brood currently lives, she and Lipman are stuck sharing a kitchen and squabbling over inanities.
What will said oligarchs and financiers get for their zeros? Space. Some amenities. A view. The knowledge that they are blocking out the sun, much like Mr. Burns once did in Springfield, before he came to a bad end.
We’re looking at small flats in East London, because who needs stuff anyway, right?