Owning a Decrepit Shack in The Middle of Nowhere Is The New American Millennial Dream

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    • #407187
      • Total Posts: 6,171

      My Next Apartment Was Worse

      One morning I woke up with a cockroach in my bed. My landlord apologized and said she’d send someone to spray for pests.

      A guy came and squirted around my kitchen pipes. I said, “What about the rest of my apartment, like my bedroom?”

      He shrugged and left.

      The roaches grew emboldened. They started holding parties on my desk. One night I found one trying to have sex with my toothbrush. Some of them sprouted wings. They started dive-bombing me at all hours. I’m not kidding. Flying cockroaches are an actual thing.


      Oh yes they are! Recommended.

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

    • #407190
      • Total Posts: 3,220

      My first place was great,but the local county commissioner bought it out from under me.The second one was also great but mice invaded the building and the owners just tore it down rather than go through the expense of eliminating.I moved from there into the building across the street,which eventually developed cracks in the floor the landlady wouldn’t fix,so mice and later rats crept in.The water running down the walls from a leaky roof caused mold to form,and the landlady wouldn’t fix that either.

      I was on a fixed income and couldn’t afford a better place.I’m in a small town,but a decent apartment here goes for a thousand dollars a month.

      My longtime companion finally saved me.He was finally in a financial position to marry so we bought a beautiful older house,where we are happily ensconced today as man and wife.

      Landlords and rent are issues that really need to be addressed.There should be universal rent controls and standards for which landlords can be prosecuted if they don’t uphold.

    • #407193
      • Total Posts: 1,567

      I was actually thinking of selling my house and renting an apartment in a nearby city. Maybe I’ll think twice about that. But homeownership is still full of problems.

      I am a couple of years away from paying off my mortgage and ran the numbers. What I paid in mortgage, down payment, finance fees, points and major improvements to the property, I will never get back. Not adjusting for inflation, I would have to sell my house for about 25% more than the market rate to just break even on the sale. And now that Trump has taken away the mortgage interest tax deduction, home ownership is not the bargain it use to be.

      But I once had a bank…during the W Bush crash…attempt to evict me from my house even though they didn’t have my mortgage anymore. I had to show them where they sold my mortgage and got paid off.

      I have a house fly problem in spring and summer because my neighbor doesn’t know how to maintain their horse pastures and keep planting  Bradford pear trees that are pollinated by, and attract, flies.

      I had a leak in my roof for 20 years that I finally figured out how to fix despite having 6 different roofers look at it. It caused mold to grow in the attic that I spent months trying to clean up.

      So home ownership isn’t the end all and be all especially in a dysfunctional capitalist kleptocracy.



    • #407199
      • Total Posts: 2,233

      renters have to face the fact that they will have to pay 1/3rd to 1/2 of their monthly salary in order to rent a decent place. Um, well, 1/3rd of your income is the traditional rule of thumb, at least it was when I was younger. Or that monthly rent should equal 1/52 of your annual salary.

      Has the rental market changed that much?

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

      • #407226
        Ohio Barbarian
        • Total Posts: 20,155

        Now the real estate industry tells people that half of their disposable income is “reasonable” for the rent or the mortgage. Now, it usually costs a greater percentage of working or middle class income to rent than it does to take out a mortgage, and to do the latter one usually has to pay far more up front than the typical one month’s rent for a security deposit.

        Two of my millennial stepkids live with us because we only charge them $300 a month each in rent, and can be flexible about it if their hours or cut or they get sick and miss a few days since neither of their jobs has paid sick days. The best they can do in the Cleveland area rental market, one of the cheapest in the country BTW, is over $600 a month plus utilities and usually water, and that’s for a small one bedroom apartment.

        There’s no way they could make it in, say, Denver or on the coasts, where they’d be paying at least twice that, and wages aren’t any higher there than they are here. That entire generation, and the Zoomers after them, are being systematically screwed by our kleptocratic system, and older boomers are hoarding most of the generational wealth for themselves. That’s just a fact of life in 21st Century America.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #407200
      • Total Posts: 672

      My 28 year old daughter and her 30 year old fiance rent and aren’t sure they’ll ever buy even though they are saving for what may become a down payment. They see the money spent on upkeep and repairs  on my old house, never mind property taxes, and like the freedom of not having those responsibilities. However, their landlords haven’t always been the most responsive and they live in an already expensive city with the constant threat of a rent increase. Real estate can be a good investment if you buy and sell at the right time and choose your location wisely. It can also be a losing proposition if you find yourself underwater on your mortgage or come up against a huge unexpected expense like having to replace a roof or having a waterline break. Homeowner’s insurance covers less than most people think. It’s a crapshoot.

    • #407202
      • Total Posts: 1,385

      Ha renters can be really awful as well!  They leave houses trashed. We had a friend who rented our house for several years she destroyed the house. Then we have had college renters who are just gross. So it does go both ways   My daughter had a landlord who was a nightmare, I think they finally got run out of town.


    • #407220
      Bernie Boomer
      • Total Posts: 458

      Such misfortune. She lived in so many different places, in different climates, with different problems . . . but in the end, she was lucky to be married to someone who inherited enough money for them to afford to buy a tiny house.
      That poor little thing.

      It’s a shame, really. She’s right about the issues, but by making it her personal trials and tribulations, limited to her generation, she minimizes the impact that a more factual story would produce.

      • #407241
        • Total Posts: 3,220

        rather than limiting it to just her experiences,she could have added the stories of other millennials she knew.

        She mentioned grading papers,so she’s obviously a teacher of some sort—that gives you a middle class income.But even a middle class income doesn’t go far enough to rent a decent place anymore.

        And low income housing is a joke.The rules and restrictions are so labyrinthine,and the hoops so hard to jump through,it’s a wonder anyone can find a place under their terms.Unless you enjoy living in a low income building with few amenities,surrounded by lowlifes.

        I’ve never understood why the Department of Housing doesn’t issue vouchers instead of the usual means-tested,conforming to regulations in triplicate procedures.The  affluent boomers want unlimited choices for themselves,but no choices at all for the “others”.Let ‘em eat cake!

        • #407418
          Bernie Boomer
          • Total Posts: 458

          the lack of regulation and oversight in housing is criminal. I know it is true, from experience – it’s not just the younger generations and it never has been just a problem for the young. I dislike generational identity politics with a passion. It is reductive and useless and serves only to divide people who have common ground and common goals, simply because they are different ages.

          Ms Wildfire is, from reading what one can of her bio (she’s pretty elusive) is apparently a college or university professor. I suspect she teaches writing, since she has a dramatic bent to her own work. She seems to be pretty bright and capable of doing good research. Unfortunately, she is also (reading through some of her Medium posts) absolutely invested in blaming everything on boomers, which is sad and counter-productive.

          • #407506
            • Total Posts: 3,220

            @bernieboomer,not every boomer is a hidebound conservative whose war cry is “hooray for me and the heck with you”—-But unfortunately enough of the other kind attained power and hold said power in a death grip.And  lack of affordable,decent housing for working and poor people is just one example of the damage that kind has done.


        • #407512
          Cold Mountain Trail
          • Total Posts: 12,404

          Teaching is no longer a guaranteed middle class income.  It depends very much on where you teach, at what level, and on what terms (e.g. if college level).  I’m not sure it ever was guaranteed middle class as I used to hear some horror stories about the south and sw.

          at any rate, the era when it was generally so roughly coincided with the post-war interegnum.

          My step-father’s mother was a teacher and when they were young they spent several years living at the poor farm, that’s how middle class it was.  This was pre-WW2.  The war saved them.

    • #407224
      leftcoast mountains
      • Total Posts: 5,687

      Over the years the cabin has been fixed renovated etc. Now apparently my area has become a hot spot to buy. The people up here keep receiving postcards and phone calls asking us to sell our property. But it’s paid for and it’s mine. I have to live somewhere, so will stay.

      vote for nobody

    • #407239
      • Total Posts: 1,179

      that you should pay no more than 1/5th of your income for housing… that had to change as people’s incomes lost ground against costs (at the expense, of course, of savings).

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

    • #407248
      • Total Posts: 1,579

      but many years ago I had a rental with a roach problem. We complained and the landlord pretended to be deaf. So I took it on myself. One day I learned that the landlord was going to show the apartment across the hall from me at 1:00, so at 12:00 I bought 2 economy size spray cans, one of Black Flag and one of Raid, and I went end to end of the hall, emptying both cans. When the landlord opened the door to the hall it was 4 inches deep in dead roaches. (read that again if you must. I don’t blame you.) The landlord decided he had to do something about the roaches. Sooooo… the building’s garbage was kept in a sort of basement. Well, he cancelled his contract with the garbage company. Two weeks of accumulated garbage attracted mice. When people started complaining about the mice he resigned with the garbage company and had the two weeks of garbage removed. Now the mice had nothing to eat – but roaches. And once they ran out of roaches the mice went looking for someplace else. No more roaches, no more mice.

      Unfortunately the building had a flat roof and he didn’t bother to clean the drains, so one winter storm the roof collapsed.

      His widow was the only landlord who gave back my cleaning deposit. I think there was a bankruptcy court involved (He’d left the building with 3 mortgages – and 3 very angry banks)

    • #407370
      • Total Posts: 8

      If you have kids, it’s almost impossible, at least in some areas. We always had to live in run-down, roach and rat infested houses when I was growing up. Little to no heat, no AC, pipes would freeze. Holes in the walls, holes in the floors, holes in the roof. Nothing was ever fixed, we had to do it ourselves. In one house, the old chimney fell down. Into the house. My father cleaned it out and patched up the holes, the landlord couldn’t be found.

      I bought a mobile home, luckily during a period I had a decent job, simply because I couldn’t find a single person that would rent me — a single mother with two boys — anything at all. The only house I could find was falling apart, at an outrageous price and the landlord told me straight out I’d be responsible for anything that broke.

      My home isn’t much. It needs work, but it’s paid for. The land it’s on is finally paid for. Taxes are still relatively low, though I expect it to rise as more and more people move out here with their balloon payments and tiny lots. And we’ll probably end up with a new landfill out here before long, as more and more people move to this rural county. 🙁

      The user formerly known as berniceta. Had to make a new account to use the forum when logged in. 🙁

      • #407507
        • Total Posts: 3,220

        You have to be resigned to the fact that if you are poor it means living in a dump,of one kind or another.

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