How Did You Afford This, Cat H.?

We’ve all seen it: a Facebook or Instagram photo of someone we know showing off a big purchase. Sometimes we’re happy for them, sometimes we’re resentful, but one thing is usually true — we don’t know the whole story. In “How Did You Afford This”, we ask readers to let us know how they were able to afford big purchases in their lives. In this installment of the series, we are starting with one of the biggest investments any of us will ever make: home ownership.

Background

  • Location: ½ Urban & ½ Suburban in Denver, CO
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Type of Residence: Single Residential
  • Down payment percentage of home cost: 10%

Details
LW: How old were you when you bought/when did you buy?
CH: We closed on the home in 2011, and I was 25 and he was 26.

LW: If you have a domestic partner, are you both on the deed/loan?  If not, why? 
CH: Currently, I am the only one on the deed and loan.  Prior to that, I did have a partner, and we originally bought the home together with both of our names on the loan and deed.  But when we parted ways, I bought him out of his portion of the equity value (original investment and a portion of the increased value of the home) in 2016.

LW: Why did you decide to buy?
CH: At the time when we originally purchased the home, it was actually cheaper to buy with interest rates at an all time low, than renting.  We each had a dog and pet rent and deposits are expensive ya’ll.

LW: How long did you save until you started your home search and what percentage of the value of the home was your down payment? If you have a partner, did you split the down payment?
CH: Maybe 3 months of cleaning up our spending habits (debt to equity) to improve credit scores for loan pre-approval; I am a freak about enhancing my credit score.  I am also a “saver” by nature and had been saving a small nest egg since I became a “working adult” (22-ish).  He had an inheritance that we partially liquidated to help with the down payment, which was about 75% of the down payment.  I contributed about 25% of the down payment, and most of my savings was used for other start-up home costs (ya know, the stuff we forget adds up like moving costs, furniture, cleaning supplies, lawn mowers…).  Regrettably, I was also holding some of my savings to pay for our wedding.

LW: Did anyone else contribute to the down payment? If so, what percentage of the down payment?
CH: I guess you could say his inheritance was contributed by someone else, even though it was his?  That was about 75%.

LW: Is there anything else you want to share?
CH: He had more lump cash, but I had the more stable and consistent income to meet mortgage.  So while he put down more, I assumed more of the ongoing mortgage obligation and other costs.  The home value appreciated quite a bit from the time we bought the home and then got divorced.  That sucked to have to “buy him out” of his original investment AND the appreciated value, and I was cash poor for awhile after that, but it was worth it to now own the home completely by myself.  My new partner lives with me now, and it’s really nice that he splits all the costs with me (even though I don’t need that help, financially).

 

Did you enjoy figuring out how the fuck Cat afforded this? Find more stories in this series HERE.


I Made a Real Life “thank u, next” List

In January of 2018 I turned to the apps in hopes of finding someone I could love and be loved by. I had reached my late 20s only ever having had 2 boyfriends with a few dates here and there. Nothing had happened organically (it doesn’t help that my version of flirting is the opposite of flirting) so I decided to turn to the modern day classified ads for love and stuff. I certainly didn’t intend or hope to date so many guys, and to be honest, 2018 has left me discouraged that nothing has worked out. 

In fighting resentment and coincidentally channeling Ariana Grande, I’ve turned to gratitude. Nothing has been wasted. Every interaction with another human, even a bad one, provides something to be thankful for. And it goes both ways.

So thank you, to all the guys I dated in 2018, to the ones who caused heartache and the ones I can barely remember.

#1. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of what it could feel like to love someone.

#2. Thank you for showing me that not everyone is compatible with you sexually.

#3. Thank you for showing me that just because you are a decent human does not mean I will like you romantically.

#4. Thank you for being excited about diversity, even if that means Scottsdale to you.

#5. Thank you for showing me humility.

#6. Thank you for showing me there are still softies out there before ghosting me.

#7. Thank you for making dating fun even though I think we ultimately found each other boring.

#8. Thank you for finishing my drink for me so I could drive home. 

#9. Thank you for tacos.

#10. Thank you for telling me you brought your roommate on our date, 15 minutes into it.

#11. Thank you for being nice when we ran into each other after I turned you down for a 2nd date.

#12. Thank you for having an entire date in Spanish with me.

#13. Thank you for the great kiss right before you ghosted me.

#14. Thank you for the coffee.

#15. Thank you for the laughs at happy hour.

#16. Thank you for pushing through your discomfort to allow me the closure I needed.

#17. Thank you for asking the important questions, even at the risk of not hearing what you wanted.

Cheers to 2019, and hopefully a shorter list.

 

This piece was contributed by an Inspiring and Anonymous Author

Never the Less

A young woman tries to get on her feet in NYC after moving to the city, then being kicked out by her boyfriend. Shot with her partner and frequent collaborator, the director made this piece after their own recent move to NYC together. While the storyline is fiction, a lot of the feelings are real. The city is beautiful and full of unique possibilities and inspirations, but it’s often isolating, more and more so as people are more reliant on technology.

Kristine Morgan @kristineleemorgan – writer, director, actor
Chris Lopez @rightsideblues – cinematography, music score, actor

More of Kristine Morgan’s work can be found at: vimeo.com/kristinemorgan & KristineMorgan.com


How Did You Afford This, Scott L. & Jen D.?

We’ve all seen it: a Facebook or Instagram photo of someone we know showing off a big purchase. Sometimes we’re happy for them, sometimes we’re resentful, but one thing is usually true — we don’t know the whole story. In “How Did You Afford This”, we ask readers to let us know how they were able to afford big purchases in their lives. In this installment of the series, we are starting with one of the biggest investments any of us will ever make: home ownership.

Background

  • Location: Urban in Concord, CA (East Bay)
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Type of Residence: Single Residential
  • Down payment percentage of home cost: 3.5% (first home), 25% (second home)

Details
CH: How old were you when you bought/when did you buy?
SL: We bought our first townhome in Oakland, CA in June of 2011. I was 26 years old and my wife was 25.

CH: Why did you decide to buy?
SL: We bought at a downturn in the economy a few years out of college. I come from a real estate family and believe real estate is one of the best long term investments. Paying rent monthly for us was the equivalent of throwing away money and we wanted to avoid that as quickly as possible.

CH: How long did you save until you started your home search and what percentage of the value of the home was your down payment? If you have a partner, did you split the down payment?
SL: We were very fortunate and qualified for an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment. In 2011 Bay Area homes were surprisingly affordable and we had enough money on hand (it was about $9K) to purchase our town home. Our process from home search to closing escrow was approximately 6 weeks.

In the summer of 2015 we saw an Eichler home come up for sale in Concord about a half hour away from Oakland. My wife and I both come from architectural backgrounds and fell in love with the home instantly. We were not looking to sale/move but decided before viewing the home we were going to go for it. We sold our town home in Oakland and bought our Eichler in a span of 4 weeks. Given the increase in home values over the 4 years we owned our first home, we were able to put down 25% on the new home.

CH: Did anyone else contribute to the down payment? If so, what percentage of the down payment?
SL: No.

CH: Is there anything else you want to share?
SL: You’re awesome, and I want to meet your new puppy.

 

Did you enjoy figuring out how the fuck Scott afforded this? Find more stories in this series HERE.


all my flowers grew back as thorns

Chimera: a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusionary or impossible to achieve.

Hurt. It’s an emotion that rarely shows up online. When it does, it’s often in the form of a passive aggressive Facebook status, never really explored until it’s been processed and packaged for consumption.

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.  Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

“I recently photographed a project that has grown over the course of the past five years for me. I wanted to find a way to express some of the pain and emotion I’ve gone through — that many of have gone through — but don’t generally show online. I wanted it to be rough, ugly, and truly raw, but also to expand on the “beauty in the breakdown” cliche. This shoot finally came to fruition after I went through a recent hardship and needed a way to channel that pain in a healthy way.” — Kate Jacobson

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture. Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture. Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

“I started by collecting images for inspiration that resonated with the emotion I wanted to portray. I sat on this project for such a long time because I wanted to make sure I had the right person to model for the photos, but I also really wanted to find a makeup artist who could make realistic wounds.”

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

” ‘Chimera’ resonates because it’s impossible to always be 100% well, and social media —more often than not— can give the illusion of someone’s life being so much more than it actually is.”

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.  Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

Online Community exploring how millennials live authentically in an internet culture.

Photos: Kate Jacobson (@kate_rosee)
Model: Lina Skrzypczak (@damnlina)
MUA / SFX: Marlene Jimenez (@hello__marz)