How do people buy houses?

by Dragonfiremule

I graduated college with a bachelors a year and a half ago. My first year out of college I did an internship which paid 30k/year. Once it ended, I got an actual job and now make 57k/yr, which is pretty high for my job/experience range (I’m a cell biologist). I’m fairly young (23) but I dream of having my own place. I want to be able to make improvements on the place I live without it feeling like a waste because its not mine. But its so far away!?!? How does anyone own a home before they’re 39??

Take home pay is 3705/month. I live in San diego, CA. I went to the cheapest school in Cali (6k/yr) and worked as an RA my entire time there so I didn’t have any housing/food payments so I managed to graduate debt free. My current job pays 100% of my health/dental premium. My budget is as follows;

Rent: 900

Utilities: 100

Household goods (I just moved into my own unfurnished room for the first time a few months ago, so I’m slowly getting things like pots/pans and craigslist furniture): 150

Transport (Gas, Ubers, & Bike supplies. I bike to work 3 days/wk): 125

Groceries: 240

Eating out: 50

Alcohol: 40

Entertainment: 50

Gym: 25

Misc goods (beauty products/random stuff/seasonal stuff): 222

Savings/Large expenses: 1785

1785 is roughly 48% of my income, seems good for savings right?

Lets say big purchases (Crowns for my teeth, car repairs, car insurance which I pay in lump sum every 6month, etc) end up averaging $285/month. I feel like I end up having to spend $400 on something or another every few months so that is probably fairly accurate. That leaves me with $1500 to save every month.

If that holds, I’m able to save 18,00/yr. But $6000 of that each year will go to my roth IRA, leaving me with 12,000/yr.

The average home price in San Diego is $629,000. To get a house here (its a hot market), you generally need at least 30% down. So around 188k. It would take me !16! years to save that much, and the price will probably have increase by a lot by then.

So how do normal people buy houses?? Is my view on the average age range for people buying houses just skewed? Do people buy them later in life than I thought? Or am I missing some fundamental obvious fact that I somehow inexplicably glossed over?? 16 years just seems like forever.

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