How Trulia Is Gradually Becoming the New Pornhub For Millennials

Source: Shirleylee/Flickr

Like most people in the world, my friend Jimmy (not his real name) watches porn every once in a while. But he tries not to do it too often. 

"I feel like it accesses this part of my brain that is completely useless," he recently told me over drinks. "I start out thinking, 'OK, I'm gonna just get this over with.' And then an hour later I have twenty tabs open and I'm still looking for the perfect clip to, y'know, cum to."

"Huh," I thought to myself when he made this candid admission. "That sounds a lot like my current relationship with Trulia."

Source: Flickr

Trulia is a quick and easy tool that allows prospective homebuyers to browse real estate for sale in the areas of their choice. I am not, however, a prospective homebuyer: I currently rent a one-bedroom apartment in New Jersey with my boyfriend, and we're not planning on upgrading to a house anytime in the immediate future.

And yet! Like 69% of young Americans, I can't help but daydream about a day when we eventually will be able to afford a domicile of our own. So I indulge the dream by compulsively logging into Trulia and seeing what's out there. I am the real estate equivalent of a porn-addicted virgin (who can't drive).

The parallels between looking at pictures of homes on Trulia and looking at videos of people fucking on Pornhub are aplenty. What are you in the mood for today? An interracial threesome, or a lesbian scene? A New England colonial in the $500,000 range, or a raised ranch with lots of acreage? Choices abound. 

My tastes tend to vary. Some days are for dream homes in way-too-expensive towns (think an overproduced, big-budget feature). Others are for normal-ish homes in affordable areas that might actually be within the realm of possibility one day (think amateur porn, or a leaked sex tape).

Source: Flickr

There are a number of possible explanations for my Trulia addiction. I've always been into domestic trappings (h/t @YankeeCandleCo), and who doesn't love pretty pictures of beautifully crafted colonials? But most of all, there's something perversely satisfying about browsing homes that I know I'm not currently in a position to buy, but indulging the fantasy anyway.

Am I the only 20-something for whom home ownership is more of a fantasy than it is an actual life event right now? Probably not. Headlines indicate that "millennials are delaying buying homes more than ever." 

Even if such claims aren't exactly the most accurate (after all, millennials did make up 35% of overall U.S. homebuyers in 2015), it is true that millennials have a tendency to flock to cities over suburbs or rural areas. In fact, 62% of millennials currently live in urban areas, according to data from Nielsen. And living in a city means living in a buyer-unfriendly location where residency is often temporary and big, beautiful, affordable houses just don't exist.

By the time a young person decides to leave the city in search of home ownership in the suburbs, though, it may be too late.

"It's now the case that after young people live in a prosperous city for a few years, they're finding it increasingly hard to get the economic foothold that would allow them to leave," wrote Joe Pinsker in the Atlantic last year. Thus, it's more difficult than ever for urbanites to "secure a mortgage and buy a house elsewhere."

So WTF are they supposed to do?

I recommend logging into Trulia for couple hours and pretending you have a few million dollars to play around with. Let your imagination run wild.

Source: Flickr

Dicking around on Trulia can be great fun until it becomes straight up depressing.

Sometimes I'll fall in love with a house, but then in the next picture I'll notice that it's kinda close to its neighbor. (Privacy is essential.) The next house might look great on the outside, but then its interior shots will reveal that it's too much of a fixer-upper. (I prefer move-in ready.) In the sage words of my friend Jimmy, "it's hard to find the right clip to cum to." 

Sometimes, I'll find the perfect, brand-new raised ranch in a beautiful neighborhood at well under my imaginary budget — only to learn that it's in the middle of a 55-and-older housing community. And then I'll think to myself, "Wait. I'm living in this pretend fantasy land where I can literally pick any house I want — and I still can't find something that meets my standards? WTF is actual home ownership going to be like?"

Eventually, surfing Trulia stops being fun. Every home listing just becomes one more reminder that you can't always get what you want. I'll probably never get to live in the McMansion of my dreams, and based on how hard it is to find perfection in Trulia fantasy mode, I doubt I'll even wind up getting the raised ranch of my dreams.

But then again, well, *shrug.* Maybe the key to a healthy relationship with both Trulia and porn is simply a question of moderation. If the real thing isn't within reach, what's the harm in jerking off to it from time to time?