A new reality series evidently thinks this is the stuff of high drama:
It’s a topic sure to grind any millennials’ gears: buying homes. Think pieces and studies regularly analyze why twenty- and thirtysomethings aren’t snapping up properties at the same rate as baby boomers did. Some have even blamed millennials for not achieving the same milestones as quickly because they like to treat themselves to avocado toast or a coffee in the morning.
But data shows that as the cost of living has steadily climbed over the past few decades, wages have not. Combined with the price of college doubling since the 1980s, it makes it harder for young people to save up for a nest egg that can go toward a down payment on a home. With the median price for a new and used home going between $260,000 and $334,000, first-time buyers should have between $12,000 and $17,000 in the bank, plus additional cash for closing costs.
At the same time, the prices of weddings have also risen every year. Luxury venues, live music, grand exits, open bar tabs, catered meals, multi-tiered cakes, photographers, videographers, and expensive bridal dresses all contribute to the average wedding’s price tag of $34,000.
Unfortunately for lots of couples, the numbers put them in a hard spot. They have to decide whether to put their savings toward a down payment on a first house or drop it all on their nuptials.
Netflix puts a cheery spin on the grim situation with its new series Marriage or Mortgage, a hybrid of reality shows such as House Hunters and Say Yes to the Dress that premieres on March 10. Torn on what path to choose, engaged lovebirds come to real estate agent Nicole Holmes and wedding planner Sarah Miller for help on which route they should take.
After what we have all lived through over the last year, should we even be entertaining this kind of a choice? This has been a year of reckonings, heartbreaks, grief, prolonged separations and times of intense clarification and refocusing. Lives have been lost. Jobs have been eliminated. Futures have been upended. Priorities have had to shift. It’s been a time of choosing. What matters? What doesn’t? What lasts? (Spoiler alert: a six-tiered red velvet wedding cake doesn’t.)
It’s a cliche to say “A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime,” but honestly: it’s just that simple, isn’t it?