Hustling and Struggling: Owning a Home


In this article, we talk about the concerns of Indonesian millennials who want to own their own home but often run into various financial problems. A struggle that many face in Jakarta and other big cities in Indonesia.


In early 2021 I moved back to live at my parents’ house with my family, after having lived alone for six years. A big change that certainly greatly affects my daily lifestyle. The thing that has changed the most is the loss of my privacy and personal authority. Of course, staying at home with your parents is a pleasant thing. The cost of living is more efficient and I never feel lonely, but there are many times that make me also miss living alone in my own house. In our 30s this is something that a lot of us feel, become uneasy about, but don’t talk about much.

 In my conversations with many friends of the same age who still live with their parents, they also want to be able to move out and live in their own house. They all have the same reasons as me, privacy and comfort, two things that are difficult for them to get when living at their parents’ house. But this desire is always hindered by the large costs that must be incurred. “It’s really expensive to buy our own house!”, that’s the average complaint I hear from my friends. There are also those who complain about how expensive it is to have a residence in a strategic area.

The houses they can afford are usually located outside of Jakarta and it takes more than an hour to reach the office or hangout places in Jakarta. “Not to mention if there is traffic, we will get tired on the road.”, that is also their complaint about deciding to be able to move to live in their own residence. The high price for buying a house and the location of the house are two things that make them think 100 times about having their own house.

According to data from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing in 2019, there were 81 million millennials who did not have their own house. As many as 28.63 percent stated that they had not found the right one, 24.9 percent were not financially able, 10.49 percent had not been able to pay mortgage installments, and the rest stated that they still had other installments. This means that the majority of millennials do not yet own homes due to financial problems.

As much and as hard as we, millennials, work and save, it will be very difficult for us to have our own house. A down payment that is too large, a mortgage (KPR) application that is rejected because of inadequate credit history, and even monthly installments that are too heavy. These facts raise questions about the future of Indonesian millennials and the opportunity for us to own and live in our own homes. Is it because of these things that we have to sacrifice our privacy and comfort living in our own house?


Some of my friends also chose to live on their own in a kost. Besides they can have privacy and personal comfort, they can also live in strategic areas. But living in a kost did not solve their problem. “The rental price is expensive when compared to the facilities. The rooms are cramped and there are many boarding rules that must be followed.”, that’s one of their complaints. You lose some, you gain some. That’s what they said about living in a kost. Many of them, even though they already live in a kost, still dream of having their own home.

“Actually, the rent for this kost makes it even more difficult to save to buy our own house.”, a very true statement. How can you save to buy a house if most of it has been used to pay for rent? These complaints made us all think, is it possible for us to have our own house? Now or in the future? What does it take for us to own a home?