I think the truth is that most people don't actually foresee buying a house any more. I know many professionals in the Valley who still live with their parents because it's cheaper than dumping half their paycheck on an apartment. Most people also end up with several room mates. 100k sounds like a lot until you take out taxes and 2k a month for rent. Plus, if you want to be social, you can't eat out for less than $25 a meal. And those are the cheap places. Other required items are also much more expensive out here. Many professionals sacrifice a LOT to live in the valley. Making 100k doesn't hurt, but all that means is that when your TV breaks, you can buy a new one without having to worry about eating. You are still stuck in renting hell. You are still living month to month, just with a little extra money in pocket.