It felt like finding secret treasure. “I was like, if we’re doing it, why aren’t other people doing it?” asks Shawna Monson, a home buyer who recently purchased a house amidst a whirlwind of mortgage madness. There’s just one catch. Monson’s “secret” trick was a strategy now being employed in metros across the country: She went in on the house with roughly 53 other co-residents.
“I’d been outbid over 100 times, and thought about living in an RV,” she says. “That’s when I decided to throw my lot in with dozens of people I’d met at the DMV.”
During a historical housing crunch, exacerbated by generational shifts, and supply chains and employee shortages, prices are shooting higher (420%) than ever before. Altogether it has put the possibility of owning a home completely out of reach, while almost completely limiting mobility. Experts suggest the only solution is to join finances with no less than 37 other buyers.
In the hottest real estate markets, bidders now routinely offer around one-million dollars over asking, with nearly everything, including a left testicle, due with offers, which average 1000 in count per listing. “It was under these circumstances that we decided to lock in a 4.20% rate for buyer-groups,” says loan officer Dana Sacia of Wells Fargo, a lender well-known for its brutally-violent onboarding process. “Disclosures include enslavement of the undersigned’s unborn children. It’s not a great deal, but it’s still better than most conventional programs.”
“The loan works with anyone from 25 to 60 people; the more, the better,” Sacia says.
Although not luxurious by any standards, the resulting living conditions are completely non-luxurious. “We make it work,” Monson claims, now sleeping in the foyer on her mattress near some communal plastic furniture. “We’ve had very few issues, other than the septic disaster.”
There are so many people in the current house, that those who congregate in front haven’t even intermingled with those living in the back of the house (the “backers”). Originally a 2-bed 1-bath bungalow, most closets in the house are now bedrooms. The residents reportedly sleep in shifts. “We’re makin’ it work, we’re totally succeeding,” Monson says, clutching a slow-burning blunt in shaking hands, “I just wish we knew who keeps taking the toothbrushes.”
“Now we just all use each others’ toothbrushes,” she adds, “It’s pretty gnar.”