Please Feel Bad for These New Homeowners

Illustration for article titled Please Feel Bad for These New Homeowners
Photo: John Minchillo (AP)

Over the last eight months, the New York Times has made “infuriating report of rich people doing just fine during the pandemic” a genre of hate-read unto itself.

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In May, Ginia Bellafante drew backlash for a piece on the ultra-rich building $75,000 in-ground pools, wherein she seemed to invent the term “vector class” to refer to low-income people who might be exposed to the virus because they can’t afford to isolate themselves as thoroughly as the wealthy. Island brokers were “overwhelmed” by the number of rich people looking to purchase private quarantine oases, the Times reported in October. That same month, the paper’s real estate section featured a woman who couldn’t decide whether to buy (buy) an apartment in Brooklyn or a house in the Catskills: “She had the budget for one,” the headline read.

And now the Times would like you to feel bad for these new homeowners, former New Yorkers who fled the city and have no idea what to do with all of that square footage.

There’s Joe, who is struggling to heat his 1,700-square-foot home:

He learned almost immediately that there’s no such thing as turnkey when it comes to owning property. First, the outdoor wood-burning furnace didn’t provide enough heat for the 1,700-square-foot house, then the dishwasher needed replacing, then diseased trees needed to be cut down, the land needed leveling and he had to build a proper driveway.

Joe has also realized it takes Amazon packages a lot longer to make their way to the Catskills:

... Country living, he has discovered, is an exercise in patience. “It takes weeks to get someone to do appliance repair. Even Amazon packages take 10 days, not two days.”

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Then there are the Elliotts, who are having a hard time adjusting to no longer having a doorman:

The couple spent a few thousand dollars replacing a broken refrigerator and furnace oil pump, and updating their fireplace and chimney for the season. A smart video doorbell, which cost $300, was also purchased, to help them adjust to no longer having a doorman to greet visitors or accept packages.

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Thoughts and prayers!

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.

DISCUSSION

triumphantd0ve
triumphantd0ve

I know renting is technically like throwing money away but not having to deal with all the maintenance shit of one’s home just keeps sounding nicer and nicer.