When I was young, “The Sims” was my main jam. I wasted so many hours playing God to all of the Sims I created while meddling in their lives and building dream homes with indoor pools and game rooms.
Recently, some friends and I have gotten back into “The Sims.” And even though we’re playing the much more expansive and detailed “Sims 4,” as an adult, it’s been a little too revealing of how unrealistic the game was (and still is!) to real life.
I didn’t start my adult life with $20,000 in my bank account, and I can’t just “motherlode” until I can build the house of my dreams. I have to actually work to earn money. And even if I work every day for the rest of my life, I will still probably never be able afford even the more modest homes that I make in my game without drowning myself in even more debt. Cause seriously, HOUSES ARE EXPENSIVE AF.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to buy a house IRL, and looking into everything has been extremely disheartening. And it isn’t just me. Despite wanting to, home ownership has been very elusive to millennials. With mountains of student debt and the rising cost of living, it’s become pretty impossible to save any amount of money, let alone the amount needed for a down payment on a house. But yet, thanks to “The Sims,” I still keep dreaming about my perfect house.
Here are all of the unrealistic expectations I now have about buying a home that stem from a childhood spent playing “The Sims.”
“A starter home will be easy to buy, because they’re cheap and I’ll easily be able to save for one.”
In “The Sims,” you’re able to buy a one bedroom house with a kitchen and living room for a little less than $16,000. As a kid, I never thought twice about this, but as an adult, my heart breaks and my soul weeps at the very notion. I live in a smallish city. Not too big, not too small, capital of my state, so I feel like I can safely say that I can give an average house price – $150,000 to $200,000 for a small 1 to 2 bedroom single family home. Looking at that amount coupled with with my student loans gives me an anxiety attack. Sure, I can get more debt in a mortgage, but most lending institutions still require that you have 20 percent of the total cost of the home in savings before you can qualify for a loan, which is around $30,000 – $40,000, an amount I have never even remotely come close to seeing in my bank account so far in my adult life. I may very well have to live with my parents for what feels like the rest of my life in order to save enough money, and I’m not the only one.
“Adding a pool to your home is easy. You can just pay for it with your savings and be done with it!”
The first thing I always add to my house in “The Sims” is an in-ground pool. I’ve done this since I was a kid. For a modestly sized pool in “The Sims,” it averages from $2,000 to $3,000 Simoleans. Here’s hoping the exchange rate from Simoleans to dollars is not 1-to-1 as a real life pool is so much it takes a professional quote and a loan to get. And after you get a pool, the upkeep can be so costly, it may not be worth accruing all that extra debt. More of my dreams being killed by reality.
“Remodeling is quick and easy because you just sell everything you want to get rid of and replace it with new stuff!”
If only remodeling were as easy and inexpensive as it is in “The Sims.” I can change my style on any sudden whim that comes to me in just a few minutes. Wanna change the wallpaper in this room? BOOM, 10 seconds later, I’ve got a fresh look. If the style and arrangement in my bathroom aren’t working for me anymore, I can sell all the stuff in it and change it up in just a few minutes. For around a thousand Simoleans, a brand new bathroom is created! But in real life, there is a lot more involved with a bathroom renovation which takes a lot more thought and detail, and could cost over $9,000.
Being an adult is depressing, and trying to do cool adult things like buying a house can feel impossible with all the costs that come along with it. But somehow I persist and “keep on keepin’ on.” The way I do this: I play “The Sims” as an adult. I mean, I have to live out my dreams somehow.