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Millennial Homeowners Are Sharing How They Were Able To Afford A House In This Economy, And Their Honesty Is Refreshing

"The only reason we were able to afford a house was an inheritance. We don't shy away from that fact."

Let's be honest: Buying a home right now — whether it be a house, townhouse, or condo — sucks. In cities nationwide, there are far more buyers than there are houses for sale, which often leads to bidding wars that price homes far above their actual value.

Two happy young women showing off the keys to a new house
Nickylloyd / Getty Images

So when young friends, family, schoolmates, or just randoms on our timelines announce they've bought a home, many of us are left wondering...how? How are they affording it?

Piles of coins of increasing height, with a small house with a key attached to it on top of the highest one
Manusapon Kasosod / Getty Images

Those who are lucky enough to have an inheritance or a family willing to offer a loan, or to receive money through other privileged means, do not always share this, which can lead some to assume they did everything by themselves. 

Recently, Twitter user Josh Kruger, a Philadelphia-based writer and commentator, went viral after asking millennial homeowners to share how they were able to afford the down payment and closing costs for their homes.

If it was thanks to an inheritance or tax free gift or the like please disclose this since many people will assume you were able to save $10,000-$30,000 over several years while paying bills too.

Twitter: @JoshKrugerPHL

Here are a few of the most refreshingly honest replies:

1.

@JoshKrugerPHL I did it through a first time homeowners program in Georgia and then a grant in atlanta specifically for first time owners that qualify which covered the down payment and most of the closing costs

Twitter: @Guavah_Go

2.

@JoshKrugerPHL Literally the only reason we were able to afford a house was an inheritance. The only reason we are able to afford our kitchen reno six years later was a life insurance payout. We don't shy away from that fact

Twitter: @mskelleyware

3.

@JoshKrugerPHL I got a full-time job that paid $20 an hour, more than doubled my yearly income. I continued to live like I had been living (dumpster diving, bringing home food from catering gigs) and saved $5,000 in one year. I bought a 100,000 house with a $5,000 down payment and an FHA loan.

Twitter: @speakwright

4.

@JoshKrugerPHL Lots of Millennials were buying at the bottom of the market post 08, so we didn't have to save for today's prices. Our first house doubled in value in 4 years, and it's gone up another 25% since then. If we hadn't bought when we did, we'd be priced out forever.

Twitter: @RMWhaley

5.

@JoshKrugerPHL Stock from one of my first jobs out of college. The company made it public eventually and it became worth enough for a down payment. If the company had failed, I wouldn't have had enough savings for a place.

Twitter: @dennisnahas

6.

@JoshKrugerPHL Elder millennial: lived at home (as in paying 0 rent) with a moderately high paying job (120-150k) better part of 3 years. Saved up 80k for down payment on apartment. (400k in 2015) 2021: Sold that apartment recently at 130% what I paid in 2016. Turned proceeds into 1.3MM house

Twitter: @FinFanTragedy

7.

@JoshKrugerPHL Agreed. My wife and I were able to save because we lived with my wife's family for 2 years and they didn't charge us rent, god bless them. We saved about 45k for a down payment and closing costs, and bought a house that needed a lot of work so it was very cheap.

Twitter: @Angststern

8.

@JoshKrugerPHL Bought home in Ypsilanti, MI for $200k in Sept 2020. FHA so $7k down which my partner covered by taking a loan against his 401k. I’m not on our mortgage at all because I have too much student debt, despite still being in grace AND having excellent credit.

Twitter: @cathey__amber

9.

@JoshKrugerPHL Millenial here 👋🏻 saved up about 10k with my husband for our down payment and CC. But we live in very affordable town in the Midwest. We bought in 2019 and I was 26. But, I had family help me with college expenses so my debt is minimal - less than 10k.

Twitter: @The_Sarahnade

10.

@JoshKrugerPHL My dad died suddenly in his 50s, was single, and as his only child, I was the beneficiary of his life insurance policy

Twitter: @babbymd

11.

@JoshKrugerPHL Navy Federal First time homeowner loan! I tell everyone I can about it for those who qualify (can use NFCU). We had a higher fixed interest rate, but we didn't have to put any money down. That first house went up so much in value it got us into our second home. 💯 Best decision

Twitter: @virasera

12.

@JoshKrugerPHL I got $7,500 in assistance from IL housing authority, forgiven under the conditions I stayed there at least 5 years and didn't rent it out. Sold it for 20k more than I bought it for, even though it was mid-renovation, which allowed me to put 30k down on my next house.

Twitter: @CalebRiechman

13.

@JoshKrugerPHL My husband and I rented an apartment from an aunt. She only charged $400/month. We both worked full time, put money aside, and saved our tax returns for a few years. We bought the house from her for $95K. You can put down as little as 5%. That with closing was just under 10K.

Twitter: @theKMHW

14.

@JoshKrugerPHL I’m 30 and I’m trying to buy a house now. We are putting down a 100,000 down payment. I sold some stock I got from my company (33,000) and my dad gave me 50,000 and we saved the other 17,000 over the course of a few years. We are looking at 400,000 houses in Arizona.

Twitter: @Sophia_Iacoveli

15.

@JoshKrugerPHL We emptied our savings to pay our down payment and closing costs - about $23k all told - but some of our savings was wedding gift money from 4 years previous and my parents reimbursed us the closing costs which is why we could also hire movers and buy nicer furniture.

Twitter: @janakg5

If you're a first-time homebuyer or interested in the process, click here to find local homebuying programs in your state.

Now, after reading through, I'm curious — what questions do you have about homeownership? Let us know in the comments, and we may answer your question in an upcoming post.

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