I am slightly guilty of this disease, I’ll admit that.
You get used to having money and things done for what you are paying for that you can sometimes delude yourself into thinking: But I am one of them! I am one of the Working Plebs! I am not RICH…. when in fact, I most definitely fit into the top 5% if not top 1% of Canada based on my finances.
But this is not a post about me. It is about the phenomenon of those of us who are well off, getting confused about how well off we are, and thinking we are in the same position of those who are actually struggling.
Case in point – this Toronto Life Article: Rent in the City, Buy in Cottage Country
All you need to know about this article is summed up in its headline:
Tired of the soul-crushing search for an affordable property in the city, these Torontonians gave up on the local market and bought a cottage instead
My friend posted this link with a rant that things were getting SO unaffordable in the city that she did EXACTLY THIS because they couldn’t find anything to buy, and that Toronto is so unaffordable.
I raised a very skeptical, now microbladed to perfection eyebrow, because these are people who about 4 years ago, purchased a home in a very nice part of our town, that cost at least a million dollars.
So I was a bit confused about her rant about high prices and asked her if she sold her place.
Her following response is basically that they had wanted to do a massive tear down & renovate on that million dollar property in Toronto, but couldn’t, because of some structural issues or some City thing.
They then decided they would try to sell the home and buy another one that already had what they wanted, and bla bla bla, they were outbid on the 10 homes they looked at.
So instead, they used that money meant for renovations, and purchased a cottage in the most prestigious part of Ontario.
And the house in Toronto? Still keeping it. Planning on renovating it next year but not doing what she wanted to do, something else.
I am left at the end sort of flummoxed….
Basically, my friends bought a house in Toronto, then an expensive cottage in Cottage Country.. and are complaining because they think that this article TOTALLY REFERS TO THEM – they are TOTALLY these folks who are renters in the City who cannot afford jack, and bought a cottage instead to assuage the frustration and stress.
I think my friend COMPLETELY missed the point of the article because the headline even says:
Tired of the soul-crushing search for an affordable property in the city..
IT DOESN’T EVEN APPLY TO HER!
She already HAS A PROPERTY IN TORONTO.
A VERY nice one in a VERY expensive neighbourhood, and yet, she read this article and said to herself:
Wow, I am totally like these folks who can barely afford a home in the City because I can’t even find a second home in the City to move into un-renovated and sell this one I live in.
The delusion that we have sometimes, is we THINK we are like some of these articles and we are nowhere near that at all.
What ended up happening at the end, was she kept her Toronto home, and bought a fancy cottage with the money she was going to use to renovate that home / buy a new one instead of renovating.
I think that speaks to a lot more to ‘delusion privilege’ than it does to finding City prices ‘soul-crushing’.
And for me it was sort of insulting to everyone who would probably die / kill to have her un-renovated home now, as-is, but can’t afford it and are buying a cottage instead.
(Cottages by the way, still don’t make sense to me unless you are retired. A home you have to drive a few hours to, spend time cleaning before you can use it, maintain during the year even when you aren’t using it, and feel guilty for not spending as much of your free time there as possible because you paid all this money for it?….. I call it bananas but then again, I did not grow up in a Cottage Family.)