Where have you lived, Marissa Barker?
When I tell people that I own my house, and that I bought it when I was 21, they always want to know how could she afford it? I can see in their faces that they're wondering if I'm a trust fund baby, if my rich boyfriend bought it with me, or if I secretly make money doing something tawdry. Nobody ever asks me that question, but if they did, I think they'd be disappointed in the answer. My secret: I just saved my money.
New York magazine did a few case studies on roommates who live in New York.
I am in a good place right now: I have a job that can pay my bills, my student loans; I have health insurance; I can afford fancy cheeses when I want to play Russian roulette with my cholesterol. I have a kickass apartment with a washer and dryer, an L-shaped couch, and a working thermostat. It also has a roommate, and she is the best roommate I’ve ever had. She's funny, she cleans, and she has a puppy. There is only one flaw: her boyfriend.
There was no communal space in the apartment other than the bathroom and kitchen (the owner had her own private bathroom), so I often felt like I was in a boarding school/convent/orphanage.
Remembering the people we've lived with.
A recent episode of The Colin McEnroe Show discussed the joys and challenges of living with roommates, with guests like Susan Salisbury, the director of residential life at Trinity College, who talks about how she matches college roommates together in residence halls (she looks at the surveys students fill out saying whether or not they're early or late risers and what their study habits are like, and then matches everyone using pen and paper), The Atlantic's Derek Thompson, who talks about some of the economic consequences of more millennials rooming together for longer periods of time (instead of buying houses and starting families, which they're postponing for monetary reasons), and an appearance from two of those dudes from Fortress Astoria (those best friends and roommates who have been living together for nearly two decades). A caller asks something like, "How do you keep the peace when your roommates have a hard time doing things like taking out the trash when it's their turn on the chore board?" (CHORE BOARD!). The Fortress Astoria dudes respond, "The only agreements we have are to pay the rent, and wash your dishes. Everyone just has to be conscientious of each other." If only it were that easy.
A thing to get done.
I am officially done with grad school, and in the fall will begin life as an assistant professor in a large(ish) city in the southwest. My new goal is to buy a house, and I would like to know how I should start going about saving to do this?