I grew up in a single-parent household with three other siblings, and for at least ten years of my life, we were moving to a different house. At times we could stay a little longer, but there were also times when we would only be there for a couple of months before we would eventually move again. I remember how draining it was for me to be moving constantly, and having to readjust to the neighborhood again, getting to know other people, making new friends. It was a difficult time in my life with all the change that was going on.
There eventually was a fear in me that grew over time. I had been afraid never to be stable enough to stay in a home to raise my kids in. I wanted to be able to have that for myself, so when I got to my twenties, I had pressured myself into working hard and saving up for my own house, which now has caused me anxiety and feelings of doubt, further lowering my confidence.
Studies have shown that I am not the only millennial who thinks this way. A recent study shows that one of three millennials will never own their own home, and renters can be evicted with just a two-month notice. This instability may have a great effect on our mental health, which affects our physical health. Countries like Ireland have seen the lowest percentage rate for homeownership in nearly five decades. What is happening is that the rates for a home are significantly increased, and it is happening faster than the increase in incomes. This has caused the age of buying the first house to be 34 years old.
However, this is not just the case of losing money. Being able to own home gives us a sense of security and accomplishment. A study by Uplift has shown that 84% of people prefer to own a home, and more than half of this number have expressed that the inability to own a home has caused them great stress and mental health issues. Another study from the University of Manchester has shown that the longer people are renting, the poorer their well-being becomes later on in life. This was even greater for those whose parents had owned a home of their own.
What may happen to us millennials is that we may start comparing ourselves to our peers or to the previous generations who we view as more successful due to the fact that they have their own home. This can be very anxiety-inducing to us, and it can destabilize our relationship with other people.
A perfect way to battle this feeling is to connect with people and look for support in them. Despite the instability that renting may give, the bonds that we form during this time may save us from further mental health issues. This way, we can connect with people who may share the same sentiments as us, and through this, we can somehow release the pent up stress and anxiety we have. A study shows that people who rent do not make the same effort anymore to meet people and to connect because they feel as if it is no longer needed because the likelihood of them staying for a long period of time may be unlikely.
For me, I had eventually let go of my anxiety of not owning my own home and not being able to have a place that I can say where I had raised my kids. It was simply a matter of reassuring myself that I may not be able to do it now, but there will come a time where I would be able to get out of the renter’s life and move into a home of my dreams. Right now, the focus is to be able to survive the day to day life and to save enough money to maybe buy that dream house eventually.
One thing is for sure, this will take a long time, and this journey will not be easy, but like studies show, the support we will get from the people we connect with may save us from further trouble. So, do not be afraid to reach out and connect with people. There will always be someone out there who will understand your struggle, and in my case, there is at least one in three millennials out there who understand my pain and share my sentiments on the matter. Whatever may happen, all we need is to keep pushing through, and if by the end, we do not get that chance to own that dream home, then it will still be all okay. We all have different journeys that we take, but it does not mean our story is not as good as theirs.