Up until about five minutes ago, I had never heard of Tim Gurner. This could be for numerous reasons – because I’m not Australian, I have no concept of the $3.8 billion in properties he’s developed, or because he’s truly just not that noteworthy.
But Gurner made headlines this week after his appearance on the the Aussie 60 Minutes claiming that the reason millennials can’t afford housing is because they’re too busy blowing money on avocado toast and coffee. This guy is 35 years old, which puts him just about outside of the “millennial” blanket that so many people love to take collective shits on.
Never mind the fact that he just repped his gym routine in the small amount of minutes he was allotted on 60 Minutes. That’s somehow not the douchiest thing he said. No, no, it was everything else.
Per his interview, let’s explore some of the better quotes.
“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each.”
No one is spending $19 on avocado toast. And if you are, in fact, spending that much money on avocado toast then Gurner is absolutely right – you’re never going to buy a home. But this is flawed thinking because no one is spending that much on avo toast, guy. I went to a high-end brunch spot in Houston on Sunday and got avocado toast with smoked salmon and locally sourced scallions. Locally fucking sourced. And how much did that run me? A cool twelve bucks.
Had I made that at home, imagine the waste. I’d spend $4.00 on a loaf of toasted seed bread from Whole Foods that’s destined to go bad because I eat bread once a week. I’d buy a bag of avocados where I eat all of two of them before the rest go brown, again wasting probably six dollars. That smoked salmon? It’s going for about $23.99 per pound, and you know no one is buying less than half a pound of that. Mix in the time it’s going to take me to find some dank locally sourced scallions and I’ve pretty much invested an entire day’s paycheck into this shit. Time is money, Tim. I know you know that.
But furthermore, no one is drinking four coffees a day. And if you are, you need to start reducing your caffeine intake because that’s just unhealthy. Trust me, I know, and not just because I’m token millennial scum. I used to drink two $2.98 red eyes a day and got straight addicted to caffeine. But that’s still only about $6 per day as opposed to your the $16 he’s claiming.
“We are coming into a new reality where … a lot of people won’t own a house in their lifetime. That is just the reality.”
Right now, not owning a home for my entire life sounds incredible. As someone who lives in a city with a booming market, I have no intentions of buying a home I can’t afford. I’m not trying to have the responsibility and headache of fixing an air-conditioner. I’m trying to text my landlord and let him waste his Saturday fixing it while I day drink and overspend on rideshares.
I know you need to buy land because they’ve stopped making it, but the lifestyle I (and others) want to live doesn’t involve mowing lawns, fixing leaky faucets, and exterminating rats that live under my porch. I’m about bogey golf, roof decks, and large bodies of water where I can spread my wings and be me. I welcome that reality where no one owns homes, muchacho.
He went on to clarify that he truly never believes young people will buy homes by saying:
People that are spending that type of capital at that rate will probably own homes because they’re members of The Lucky Sperm Club who will inherit more than we’ll ever make in our lifetimes. The rest of us just might not have home ownership as the be all and end all of our lives. The life model of dating, getting engaged, getting married, buying a home, and having kids just isn’t working like it used to.
It pains me to cite them because of my ongoing beef with them, but The New York Times actually fact-checked the notion that avo toast and coffee is the reason millennials aren’t snatching up real estate.
In fact, research suggests that people from 18 to 34, a group often referred to as millennials, are no more freewheeling with their spending on travel and dining than other generations.
The truth is, even if millennials assumed the eating-out habits of baby boomers, it would take around 113 years before they could afford a down payment on a home (assuming a 20 percent down payment on the median price for a home in the United States, $315,000 in March 2017, and a 1 percent yearly yield rate).
Sure, spending money on brunch weekend after weekend isn’t the most financially prudent path to achieving home ownership, but one could make the case that either is going to an out-of-state college for four years or taking out absurd loans for graduate school. This Tim Gurner guy outlined how he achieved it, and honestly, it sounds like the majority of his twenties really fucking sucked which would explain the chip on his shoulder.
When I had my first business when I was 19, I was in the gym at 6am in the morning, and I finished at 10.30 at night, and I did it seven days a week, and I did it until I could afford my first home. There was no discussions around, could I go out for breakfast, could I go out for dinner. I just worked.”
Somebody’s jealous of how strong the brunch game is in 2017, eh? Hope having a name on your lease was worth being a drone during your glory years. I’d rather stick to a healthy work/life balance and see how the cookie crumbles. Or the feta on my avocado toast, rather. .