The internet was treated to a stark reminder that perceptions of wealth are relative in the form of a mega-viral house tour.

On December 31, the couple behind a TikTok account called The BlackBarrys posted a video titled “Growing up rich vs growing up poor.” To kick off the clip, the man asked his fiancée Sam to repeat what she’d said to him.

“That I just want to look for an average home like my mom’s,” she said.

Appearing incredulous, the man then walked through the house, which he said was a five-bedroom, three-bathroom home with a gated entrance.

He pointed out the high ceilings— joking they were “80 feet tall” —multiple living rooms, winding staircase, bar, aquarium, high-end refrigerator which dispensed three different types of ice, and kitchen island.

“I thought everyone had an island,” Sam could be heard saying, as her fiancé corrected her.

“The next time you say you want just an average house like your mom as your first home, please remember Sam, you did not grow up like the rest of us,” he said at the end of the video.

The clip went mega-viral, receiving 20.5 million views in two days and counting. It also received over 27,000 comments, which reflected different perceptions of the house and what it said about its owners’ level of wealth.

One top commenter wrote that to them, the house was “middle class.” It received hundreds of replies from people who debated the level of luxury the home represented. It also led to a discussion about rising house prices as people discussed whether a property like that would have been more attainable in previous decades.

Other commenters also sheepishly admitted the house seemed “normal” or “average” to them. One said they thought pop culture depictions of typical families living in unrealistic homes may have contributed to this perception.

Many others seemed to more squarely agree with the creator, calling the house a mansion and saying his fiance was in for a wake-up call when she started looking for houses to buy herself.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average size of new homes being built is 2,191 square feet. The median sale price for homes in the US as of November 2023 was $409,000, according to Redfin.

The BlackBarrys account, which has over 358,000 followers, has posted multiple videos along similar lines before. Its tagline reads “We didn’t grow up the same at all! Opposites attract 🤷🏾‍♂️” and it appears to be run by Sam’s fiancé, whose name isn’t listed. He frequently uploads videos referencing the differences in their upbringings, such as describing their conflicting attitudes towards food waste and making low-cost “struggle meals” for Sam to try for the first time.

The couple shares other aspects of their relationship on TikTok, too, including how they share finances and parent their children, but their posts about their families’ wealth disparity are by far the most popular, often gaining millions of views and generating lively discussions in the comments sections.

Conversations around money and finance have become increasingly popular on TikTok in the past year. Workers have discussed their struggles to make ends meet despite being in full-time employment, and personal finance creators are so popular that even bankers are worried.

The creators of The BlackBarrys did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.


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