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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Ellingson

Actually, Millennials Can Afford Real Estate

I am a millennial and I am not offended by Hasbro’s newest Monopoly, Monopoly for Millennials. I do, however, have a fundamental problem with it.

We millennials grew up using Monopoly money, even when we weren’t playing the game. We used the colorful money to run imaginary businesses in our bedrooms, buy our siblings’ toys, learn basic applications of math, and develop a concept of budgeting. The game introduced us to the idea of financial planning, profit, and wealth. We felt empowered by the temporary fantasy of our future, being an adult, and creating a real estate empire. But more importantly, as a favorite American pastime, Monopoly turned family game night into an experience of the American Dream.

Now, Hasbro has recently released a new version of Monopoly, Monopoly for Millennials, with the tagline reading: “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway.” The game that helped us shape our perception of the American Dream just told us that we can’t afford that dream.

My contention with this, aside from the obvious fact that it’s disempowering and coldhearted, is that it’s not true, and it’s irresponsible to perpetuate this distortion. Millennials spend more than any other generation on rent. And in today’s market, a mortgage costing the same as rent plus tax advantages, for something that we own and that will make money for us as we sleep, is more attainable than we are led to believe.

But instead of educating us on down payment assistance programs, aid for first time homebuyers, and the feasibility of homeownership, society is telling us that we simply can’t afford real estate. I’m on a mission to create some transparency, empower our generation, and allow us to live out our American Dream.

So, why can’t millennials afford real estate? The answer is: we can. So stop telling us that we can’t. We hate that.

Elisabeth Ellingson

Real Estate Broker


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