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Differing expectations for today's young couples setting up home?

(46 Posts)
ixion Wed 24-Feb-21 10:59:55

Reading a post yesterday from a GNetter talking about their sum possessions when setting up their first home, it all seemed terribly familiar to me.
In 1975, our first home comprised my grandfather's old dining table, four non matching second hand dining chairs, two rather dodgy and saggy old fashioned armchairs, non matching plates and cutlery donated by relatives and a hanging rail, no wardrobe.
The pièce de résistance loan from my Aunt was a table top camping Baby Belling with two electric rings and a tiny drop front 'oven' with, to put it politely, ''variable thermostat.
Happy days - really!

It got me wondering whether today's youngsters have set the bar a tad higher than their parents' generation?

Smileless2012 Wed 24-Feb-21 11:09:51

Our son's "set the bar a tad higher" than we did ixion.

When we married 40 plus years ago I washed by hand and thought the spin dryer was a real luxury. When our first son was born we got a twin tub and didn't have a telephone for the first couple of years.

All the things that we thought of as luxuries were necessities when our boys were setting up home for the first time.

Witzend Wed 24-Feb-21 11:13:22

Some do, wanting everything new.
But IMO there are quite a few who don’t.

A dd and her then dp (now dh) had been working overseas for several years when they bought their first house, and had not so much as a teaspoon.

They were very grateful for a mass of 2nd hand things from family - everything from furniture to bed linen, crockery and cutlery - and gradually replaced much of it as and when they were able to - but my dd still buys a lot of things 2nd hand via Gumtree, FB marketplace or charity shops.

Polarbear2 Wed 24-Feb-21 11:13:42

I think a tad higher is the understatement of the year!

ixion Wed 24-Feb-21 11:18:20

I was trying to be measured in pitching my question, Polarbear2😉

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 24-Feb-21 11:20:33

As your DD had worked overseas Witzend she'd gained a different perspective which is no bad thing but I get the impression that many youngsters have higher expectations these days which is inevitable (progress?) and I expect we wouldn't like them to rough it like we did.
I think there's the desire of wanting to be like the Beckhams which is impossible for the majority.

Polarbear2 Wed 24-Feb-21 11:25:39

Ixion 😂.

BlueSky Wed 24-Feb-21 11:28:35

Same as above! When we got married 50 years ago we were grateful for any hand me down furniture. We made do without. Now they don’t even live together until the house is as they want it, with the all the gadgets and small luxuries!

ixion Wed 24-Feb-21 11:33:58

And, while we're at it, don't get me started on honeymoons🤣

paddyanne Wed 24-Feb-21 11:38:30

We didn't live together before we got married ,I left my parents home for the first time on my wedding day.That was 46 years ago.Our first home was furnished with wedding gifts.Bed from OH's granny ,suite from his parents ,living room carpet from my parents and bedroom furniture and all the wee things came from guests .We got cash from my mother neighbour "to buy a freezer" we spent it on a chess set.Had a fair few fridge freezers since then but still have our much loved chess set.
I'm still using the blender I got from my godmother and I have wedding presnts in the cupboard.We didn't need to buy much .Most folk I know were the same ,everything from bedding to tea towels ,iron, kettle and cleaning materials .Loads of chance glass and dishes . My Parents paid for the wedding and OH's for busses to bring guests across the country and take them home at night .

BlueSky Wed 24-Feb-21 11:44:21


And, while we're at it, don't get me started on honeymoons🤣

That’s right Ixion! grin

Georgesgran Wed 24-Feb-21 11:49:23

We bought a new house in ‘72 - cost £6250!! It nearly killed us and we both worked 2 jobs - we were like ships that passed in the night! DH worked for a carpet weaver, so the whole house was carpeted in the finest Wilton (remember that?) at cost. MiL offered us her old utility table and chairs, but FiL said we didn’t want their cast-offs and bought us a GPlan dining set. My Mum worked at the Electricity Board and I became the proud owner of a Belling double oven, fridge and chest freezer.
Grandma bought us a Hoover and work clubbed up for a bedroom unit. We bought a bed, sofa and chair on HP from the Co-op and rented a tv from Granada.
No washing machine for a year, but I would spend an evening at my Mum’s getting it done.

Nowadays - I’ve found (at least with my DDs) that they prefer new build houses - with guarantees - and a lot of extras can be negotiated into the price, especially floor coverings/white goods and wardrobes.

I should add that we had a Registry Office wedding and a weekend in the Lakes as a honeymoon. No holidays and DD1 was born 7 years later when we felt more financially stable.

I’m pleased our children have higher expectations than we had - both sensible, so I know they won’t overstretch their budgets. They think it’s a huge joke when I tell them that I used to go around Woolco with a calculator and once had to put a jar of coffee back on the shelf as I didn’t have enough to pay for it!

Witzend Wed 24-Feb-21 11:58:57

@Georgesgran, both my dds bought older houses - one from the 1950s, one 1929 - and both perfectly liveable, but with incredibly dated decor. I think they probably got them that bit cheaper because the decor put a lot of other buyers off!

As regards house prices, my elder sister got married about 5 years younger than I did - her first house cost roughly a tenth of what our first did - though admittedly ours was a bit bigger and in a slightly more expensive area. Prices had shot up so enormously in the interim.

Georgesgran Wed 24-Feb-21 12:12:23

Yes - work colleagues actually said we had a millstone around our necks! I think half our proper salaries went on the mortgage alone.
My friend bought an older house that needed work - every wall and ceiling was either lime green, emperor purple or fuchsia pink!! It took her parents weeks to try and paint over, in the end they had to use lining paper everywhere and paint over that. Can still see it and the chap was a Police Sergeant - it was bizarre.

GagaJo Wed 24-Feb-21 12:21:01

Hmmm, in 1983 we had some second hand stuff, but a lot of what we had was new. We weren't well off by any means, tiny 2 bed terrace.

Not a lot different to when my daughter bought her flat really. I don't think things have changed that much.

Although yes, as Witzend has said, there is a HUGE market in second hand stuff found online. Different to hand me downs, because they can find things that fit their taste. And don't forget, upcycling is a huge thing now. I used to just call it painting old furniture!

Esspee Wed 24-Feb-21 12:24:32

My son needed help with the deposit on his first home. Who wouldn’t help their children and grandchildren? Once the sale had gone through I received a link to the estate agent’s video of the property. It had a swimming pool!
My OH had to calm me down and keep DS away from me for more than a week until I had calmed down. My first five years were spent in a house that didn’t even have a bathroom!

Jane43 Wed 24-Feb-21 12:28:44

They certainly do have differing expectations. It’s a wonder they can afford anything after the eye watering sums of money that are spent on weddings these days. A couple in our extended family aren’t even married yet and they have just moved into their third house, they have very luxurious furniture and both have luxury cars. We started off married life 56 years ago on Saturday in a grotty flat with no carpets or floor coverings, I cashed in some National Savings Certificates and we bought a bed and a wardrobe and two arm chairs, everything else was either wedding presents or given by family. My wedding dress was £10 from C and A, the bride at a recent wedding we attended told us her dress was £7000. Hen parties and stag nights didn’t exist then and our honeymoon was three days in London.

MadeInYorkshire Wed 24-Feb-21 12:31:38


My son needed help with the deposit on his first home. Who wouldn’t help their children and grandchildren? Once the sale had gone through I received a link to the estate agent’s video of the property. It had a swimming pool!
My OH had to calm me down and keep DS away from me for more than a week until I had calmed down. My first five years were spent in a house that didn’t even have a bathroom!

Good God!! I am not surprised you were livid!

My daughter who is married and has 2 children wants everything new and cannot afford it, and neither can I.

The other daughter had her first place and would rather have all her stuff around the edges of the floor than buy a chest of drawers etc off ebay! Ridiculous in my opinion!

Still can't get over the 'swimming pool'!

geekesse Wed 24-Feb-21 12:32:27

I remember moving into a new house around 1971/2. It came with a fitted kitchen, but the only furniture we had to begin with was beds. We did have curtains downstairs, but not in the bedrooms. We sat on upturned tea chests while my parents saved up, first for a dining table and chairs, then a 3 piece suite. It was a good year before we got vinyl flooring and curtains for our bedrooms, and some time after that before we got storage heaters.

When I started out, I expected to rent until I could afford to buy. Now I see young people living with their parents into their 30s because they won’t move out until they can afford to buy a house.

GagaJo Wed 24-Feb-21 12:35:35

Oh I don't know geekesse, my parents moved straight into their own home, in the best area of the city too. Dad's dad lent them the money. No mortgage. They were working class, grandad was a caretaker.

It was much harder for me and also for my daughter.

Forsythia Wed 24-Feb-21 12:40:38

Our experiences in 1975 are similar to others. Got a sofa and chairs from a neighbour which I got stretch loose covers for from Allders. Jackson cooker for £5 from a friends mother who was upgrading. Lots of crockery and table cloths from various aunts. The house we bought had built in wardrobes but we had an oak chest of drawers, still in use today, from DH grandmother. Bought a washing machine, bed, linen etc all new.
Daughter has set up home recently. Mostly new things but has my parents solid oak dining table and chairs which I refurbished, painted and up cycled together with a set of coffee tables, small cupboard all of which have been painted. They have more disposable cash than we ever did for sure.

Grannybags Wed 24-Feb-21 12:47:27

Interest rates of 17% on our mortgage

I'm so worried that my son and dil have stretched themselves so much that when the rates start to go up again they won't be able to afford anything. They couldn't live without a dishwasher!

BlueSky Wed 24-Feb-21 12:47:59

GagaJo I think that would have been the exception not the rule, especially for working class people. Most wouldn’t have had the cash to lend to family.
Yes the cheapest wedding dress, the weekend by the seaside honeymoon, putting items back in supermarkets when we didn’t have quite enough to pay.
The good old days!

grandmajet Wed 24-Feb-21 12:54:15


And, while we're at it, don't get me started on honeymoons🤣

What about the stag do/ hen night! And when did baby showers creep in? Come to celebrate my pregnancy and bring a big present please!

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 24-Feb-21 12:54:51

In 1971 we rented a bed sit, thankfully it came with a cooker, curtains and carpeting, with a manky , mouldy cupboard for our clothes.
We had a kitchen table and chairs for a wedding present (still using the table), electric kettle was also a wedding present, we splashed out and bought a new bed settee, coffee table was a wedding gift and I had a third hand washing machine with a mangle on the top. All odds and ends, bedding etc. were wedding presents or given by relatives.
No car, phone, fridge, television, hoover.........however did we manage?
But we had no debts either.