‘Gilmore Girls’: We Might Have Figured Out How Lorelai Gilmore Bought Her House
Lorelai Gilmore was pretty proud of the fact that she managed to make a life for herself and her daughter, Rory Gilmore, without the help of her wealthy parents. One of her points of pride was buying her home. While the Gilmore Girls plot relies on Lorelai dismissing any help from her family, it would seem as though Lorelai would have needed some financial help from the Gilmore clan. In fact, Lorelai’s ability to buy her house without the use of family money seems highly unlikely.
How much would Lorelai Gilmore have paid for her house?
Today, the town that inspired Stars Hollow is home to some truly spacious and beautiful houses. The price of those homes aren’t cheap, either. Lorelai’s fictional home, however, was pretty modest. It consisted of just two bedrooms and one bathroom when the show began. According to property records, a similarly-sized home would have sold for $200,000 to $250,000 in the 1990s.
While it is considered a good financial move to have a 20% down payment on a house, most first-time buyers don’t have nearly that much money. According to The Mortgage Reports, the average buyer puts down 7% as a down payment. Assuming Lorelai’s home was worth $200,000, she would have needed to have access to between $14,000 and $40,000 for her down payment. Whether or not Lorelai would have been considered a good candidate for a mortgage is an entirely different conversation.
Lorelai had bad credit and a spending habit that suggests she would be a bad candidate for a mortgage
Assuming Lorelai did scrimp and save enough money to put down on her home, would she have actually been approved for a mortgage? Based on her spending habits and lack of liquid funds, it doesn’t seem likely.
Lorelai and Rory ate out for almost every meal. Even the occasional breakfast at home was followed up by a trip to Luke’s Diner for a coffee. Their diner habit alone would have cost hundreds of dollars each month. Her bills, her relatively low income, and her lack of a solid credit history would have made her a risky candidate. In fact, given her situation, most mortgage companies likely would have passed on her, even if she had a 20% down payment.
So, how did Lorelai afford her house?
Lorelai insisted that she scrimped and saved to purchase her home, but just six years after buying the house, her credit was so poor that she needed Emily Gilmore’s help to procure a loan. In order to buy the property, she likely would have needed to buy it outright. Certainly, someone like Lorelai couldn’t have amassed a $200,000 fortune in just ten years.
It seems likely that Lorelai had access to a trust fund, just like Rory. The timing makes a lot of sense, too. Lorelai noted that she purchased her house when Rory was 11. Since Lorelai gave birth to Rory when she was 16, that means Lorelai was 27 when she closed on the property. Rory’s trust fund stipulated that she could not access the funds until she turned 25. If Lorelai had a similar fund with the same stipulation, she would have come into the money not long before closing on her home.