Man Who Makes $120K Per Year Shows The House He Can Afford After 7 Years Of Budgeting & Saving

After saving for so many years, the man would have hoped he could afford somewhere livable but today's housing market had other plans.

TikTok screenshot of a man in front of a dilapidated house TikTok

A man on TikTok is voicing a frustration many people are feeling about today's housing market after revealing the only house he was able to afford in his area after struggling to budget and save for years.

It's no secret that the housing market is out of control and with so many people struggling to find affordable living, TikTok user Average Joe (@averagejoegam3) is dealing with a plight experienced by many — even the most financially savvy among us.


Joe and his wife were unable to afford a livable house in their area, even after working diligently for seven years.

Joe posted a video showing the only house he and his wife were able to afford in their area with a combined salary of $120,000 a year, good credit, and $40,000 saved for a down payment. The house looked to be in extremely poor condition. The exterior was in shambles and covered with dirt.

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Joe described how he and his wife spent seven years “struggling and sacrificing” to reach a point where they were no longer living paycheck to paycheck, and were able to save for a house for themselves and their two children.


While older generations might suggest getting a degree or learning a trade, it's simply not as easy to afford a house now as it was when they were younger.

When Joe’s parents were in their early twenties, they each worked a job that paid just over minimum wage at the time and were able to afford a house that would cost around $600,000 today. In his TikTok, Joe highlighted the extreme cost of housing today, asking older generations who might suggest just working harder “Is that how it always was? Did you always have to be a doctor, a lawyer, an architect, an engineer, to get a livable house?”

Plenty of commenters sympathized with Joe's experience.

The video sparked thousands of comments, with many people sharing Joe’s feelings about current living costs. One user commented that “Anyone working full time should be able to afford a modest home, car, clothes & food… at the least. It’s gone too far.”

While some suggested that the family move to a cheaper location, others responded that this wouldn’t necessarily be an easy solution.


“People say move but don’t realize you can’t take that work income with you,” one person said. Other users pointed out that moving can mean leaving friends, family, and community behind, and that people shouldn’t be forced to uproot their lives to buy a house.

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Housing costs have exploded over the past decades.

According to a 2017 report from CNBC, housing costs have risen dramatically over the past fifty years at rates rapidly outpacing inflation. In 1970, the median cost of a house in the US was $17,000 — which correlated to about $65,600 in 2000s dollars. The National Association of Realtors now lists the median cost of a house as $363,000 on their website.

The age at which people are buying homes has also been on the rise. Another 2017 report from CNBC cites data from The NAR which reported that the age of a typical home buyer in 1981 was between the ages of 25-34. According to CBS, in 2022  the average home buyer age was 36, the highest ever recorded. 88% of these homebuyers were white Americans, with many buyers relying on generational wealth to afford their houses. Buyers have also been moving further away from their previous homes in hopes of finding cheaper locations.


While plenty of Americans would like to buy a home someday, affordability is a huge barrier. Between low wages and skyrocketing housing prices, home ownership seems unattainable for many.

At the beginning of his TikTok, Joe attributes trends like “quiet quitting,” a term that essentially means doing the absolute bare minimum at work, to high costs of living: “I’m going to show you exactly why the younger generations are quiet quitting, saying careers are dead, nobody wants to work anymore.”

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Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.