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Banks will definitely loan out crazy stuff. But it's not very common, from my knowledge, to buy a $1m+ home with less than 20-30% down. (You have to pay PMI and a really high mortgage then anyway) To have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around before you're 28 is pretty remarkable. Especially if you aren't at FAANG.

The means they were able to do it through were likely rich family (no one here of course will say their family is rich) and high paying job ($300k+/yr). Both of which I am not in (for my position in my region). I'm at a startup. Watching my peers, who are not in companies like mine, just skyrocket in wealth is rather discouraging. It's even more harsh because it's usually a couple who are sky rocketing and I'm just sitting here with a SO who will never make anything substantial. Love them to bits but the lack of financial contribution is practically suicide here.

I know everything isn't perfect. It's curated. But the point is that often their highs are way higher than mine. I already know their lows are nothing like mine because I know a lot of the people well enough to know that much.

Side note about home buying: a lot of statistics online about homes being bought for x and what kind and where and all that. But there's very little information on who is buying and what they're doing with the home!

I only recently discovered that all the homes being bought under $1m in the Bay area aren't being owner inhabited. They're all being converted into rentals and as investment property. It explains why East Palo Alto hasn't gentrified.






I was able to amass ~$500k+ in liquid assets before 27 with a combination of attending a top college, not having any college loans when I graduated (worked hard all through college to make sure this was the case - parents are not wealthy), working at a startup that grew significantly for several years (significant equity upside), and investing everything I possibly could into the stock market over the past few years (greatest bull run in the country's history).

I also paid <$1500 a month for rent in SF for many years by living in converted rooms or having room-mates to keep costs low (relative to market rates). Many of my peers were paying >$2.5k-$3k to have their own spot. I was keeping expenses low and aggressively investing the difference in companies whose trajectories were all but inevitable in my opinion (+ some broad market index funds which have also done extremely well).

The weird thing about money is that once you get the flywheel turning (not easy), it compounds like magic given that you've made some good decisions.

My intent here isn't to boast. I figured you might appreciate a specific example of circumstances leading to building a modest level of wealth as a 20-something software engineer.

Involved was a lot of hard work, luck, timing, right place (SF), right company, good decisions, help from others, sacrifice, obsession, and a bunch of other things but I'll spare you the boring details. You could boil it _all_ down to luck if you'd like - but that's a bit too cynical for my tastes.


I appreciate it - I think I would like the boring details as those tend to be the things that I find super important. Similar to the "the yada yada" episode from Seinfeld.

My story isn't far different from you. It just lacks the happier parts. Just want to show how similar we are and how much those happier parts matter. Which some could perceive as luck. I attended a "top college" (by program at least). I worked through college on top of having a full ride (government). After college, I slept on an air mattress to save $$$ (don't do it) and then a 25 year old one because I got it for free. I chose the cheapest possible everything forever. Drove my $4000 car into the ground until it was crashed into. Never paid more than $50 for a piece of furniture. I spent maybe $100/month on food. I lived very cheaply for 8+ years with minor splurges on things. (I still live in a 400sqft in-law unit that used to be a workshop ffs - I definitely don't live lavishly) But - in the end, I can't save enough because my income isn't high enough. I gave up on penny pinching because I realized it was futile for this area. No one is buying the <=$1m homes that I could afford with years of penny pinching and saving and then living in them. (It's all investment property) Therefore, the neighborhoods never gentrify and are crap. My SO says even if I buy one - she won't move into it because we'll get stabbed, robbed, or, worse, have to live there without it gentrifying. So, homes that are actually gentrifying or nice are closer to $1.5m+. Therefore - I'd have to save about $700k+ in order to be able to qualify for the mortgage (decade+ of penny pinching saving then). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that's a terrible move financially. (Putting basically all of your money into a house - not a very diversified portfolio...)

But ya know what - I see my peers who are living lavishly (buying brand new Porsches - living in luxury 2-bedroom apartments by themselves - buying all the new things - going on ski trips and whatever vacations)... It doesn't affect them. They're still buying the damn house! It's cause they're at $400-500-600k+ and not the <$200k I'm making.

Gotta join FAANG or some startup that's about to go public. The income disparity is just massive.


> The means they were able to do it through were likely rich family (no one here of course will say their family is rich) and high paying job ($300k+/yr). Both of which I am not in (for my position in my region). I'm at a startup. Watching my peers, who are not in companies like mine, just skyrocket in wealth is rather discouraging. It's even more harsh because it's usually a couple who are sky rocketing and I'm just sitting here with a SO who will never make anything substantial. Love them to bits but the lack of financial contribution is practically suicide here.

I don't see what is the problem here. That you'll buy a house a couple years later than some of your peers? That's life. Some people have cancer at two - not THAT's shitty. Waiting a couple years more to buy a house is just hilariously insignificant in comparison to anything serious.


No - I think the wealth and income disparity was maybe not obvious enough? I'm literally sitting at half to a 1/4th of the income of my peers. (Either due to dual income, well compensated jobs, or both) Wealth wise - I practically build none because the cost of living for two people with one income is just outrageous here.

My point is more that - I will never be able to buy a house.


If the startup you work at takes off, I assume you'd get some of the upside; catch-up to you peers.

Yeah... Just gonna let you know that's a real shot in the dark.

I've been questioning whether I should even buy my options when I quit. I really have no faith in my current company.




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