690 words long | 4 minute read
In the last 12 months I have been getting sent instagram accounts that curate cheap house listings. For those not familiar people find cheap listings from around the world and post them to instagram with photos, the price, etc. all within the post. At first a friend had sent me an account called cheap nordic houses which was really interesting. Who among us hasn't thought about giving it all up to go work remotely in Sweden from your house farm a million miles from anywhere? It's a really romantic idea and I quickly followed the account to see what else is out there.
At first I had assumed that cheap nordic houses was the only account curating these types of listings, but there are actually a ton out there. Each country usually has an entire account dedicated to posting some of the cheapest listings out there. As of now the ones that I follow are:
Conceptually I love the idea of owning some cheap house you can escape to when you would like and these instagram accounts fill a void I didn't know I had to see what is out there in countries I never planned on living in before. I especially love it when friends send listings because you can send a quick "wanna split it?" and start daydreaming of owning a place together in another country. Admittedly, this idea is a bit inspired by Tynan who actually splits buying reasonably priced apartments with friends around the world and goes into great detail how he does it on his blog. Since reading his posts I am really interested in exploring a similar idea with friends of my own.
What is so great about these accounts is that it really ticks the boxes for window shopping: an escape, something different/new, with a hint of "wow I could actually buy this" sprinkled in. The fact there is a ton of virtual inventory to gawk at also helps. You can quickly go down a rabbit hole of looking at listings for almost any country you can think of. With house window shopping there are two ends of the spectrum typically:
We have all gone to Zillow or Redfin to look at the local $2 million+ listings and window shopped for the ultimate dream home. Cheap house instagrams fill the other side of the spectrum. Most of us will never buy a house abroad but the fact that it seems possible due to the low prices makes looking addicting. I often find myself thinking "man for these prices I could pay this off in a couple years and save a ton of money compared to what I'm doing now" and it's true! The reality is that it's probably more complex to buy, move, etc. but on the surface it just feels so simple and attainable. This is especially true at a time when house prices in many countries are absolutely skyrocketing and making things like home ownership or upgrading your current house unobtainable.
I have to assume with the large number of accounts somebody actually ends up purchasing one of these houses, right? House buying in your current country is difficult enough and I would imagine that the red tape and typical home buying issues are an order of magnitude higher. I would love to hear from someone that has to learn about their experience as I could totally be wrong.
Part of me would love to run an experiment to split something with people I trust, similar to Tynan. It would be very Millennial of me to buy a freakin house cause I saw it on instagram. Maybe if I keep an eye on these instagram accounts I might just find the perfect place to split with a bunch of friends... Until then, I'm going to be the guy window shopping and sending "wanna split?" messages to all of his friends.
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