If you’re looking for a new apartment to rent or a home to buy and filter your results by budget, only to be disheartened by what pops up on your preferred search engine, you’re not alone.
A TikToker by the name of Grace Lemire (@grace_lemire) uploaded a video delineating just how discouraged she was while looking for a place to live that fit within her financial means.
According to the results she received while on the hunt for an abode, Lemire discovered she could only afford a parking space.
@grace_lemire my budget isnt even that low???? 😭 #apartmenthunting #apartmentliving #boston #bostonapartment ♬ original sound – grace
“No because I’m looking for apartments right now, and I just put in my budget and the only thing that’s coming up is parking spaces,” she says in a viral video. “This is the most humbling experience I think I have ever had.”
Judging from the comments left by other TikTokers who viewed her clip, it would seem that many people are in the same boat.
“Sometimes I get storage units,” one person quipped.
Another commented, “Girl I’m in the Midwest trying to move to a bigger city and I don’t even wanna see those numbers time to find 50 roomies.”
One poster wrote that finding a place that wouldn’t be potentially hazardous to her long-term health was a herculean task. “So real. Last year I was looking at $1000 apts that had mold and wonky doors.. like what?” they said.
Lemire added in a caption for the clip that her “budget isnt even that low.” Her story is yet another social media anecdote from folks looking for housing who were shocked by how expensive the cost of living in the United States is becoming.
It appears these anecdotes are backed by data. It was easier for folks to purchase homes during the Great Depression than it is today. The National Low Income Housing Coalition writes that one contributing factor to the rising cost of properties is an overall lack of homes in densely populated areas, which creates high demand: “Nationally, there is a shortage of more than 7 million affordable homes for our nation’s 10.8 million plus extremely low-income families.”
Today’s Homeowner also points to another troubling trend: the rise of investment firms and corporations buying up single-family units, meaning that the potential for businesses to gobble up units to use for short-term rentals with jacked-up prices increases year after year. Some areas of the country are looking to end “rental gouging” through initiatives that target specific business models, like New York’s push to strictly regulate Airbnb rentals.
There have also been accusations against real estate-focused businesses, like Zillow, for fostering “collusion” among brokers that would artificially spike the prices of homes in a specific area. The website ultimately won an antitrust lawsuit accusing them of slimy business practices in this regard, but that still hasn’t stopped folks from accusing the site of “inflating” the housing market through less-than-scrupulous means.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate prices soared, leaving many Americans out in the cold when it came to their hopes of purchasing a new home during that time. Forbes reports that the costs of houses have been progressively dipping throughout 2023, and there have been murmurs that the real estate bubble would burst, culminating in a housing crash that Investopedia says ultimately didn’t happen.
However, with more and more folks speaking out against the high cost of living in the US, it’s no wonder why there are many analysts who believe that such a crash is still imminent.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Lemire via TikTok comment for further information.