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Meet the new Instagram influencers: houses with cult followings

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Instagram influencers can forget the #OOTD (outfit of the day) — fashion is no longer the only way to build a cash-inducing Insta following.

Enter the home-décor influencer, who has found a way to turn their home into a “money-making social media star,” as Ronda Kaysen reported for The New York Times.

By creating a feed that functions as a photo tour of their house, these influencers have attracted thousands of followers, Kaysen wrote, citing @mytexashouse‘s 449,000 followers and @erin_sunnysideup‘s 241,000 followers as examples.

“Some have gained traction chronicling the restoration of an old home or the construction of a new one,” Kaysen said. “A few dabble in areas like fashion, parenting, cooking and makeup, but they primarily peddle the infinite marketability of a home’s interior, with all its trappings.”

The concept is nothing new. Reality TV shows, from the 1980s’ “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” to today’s HGTV line-up, have long catered to society’s obsession with seeing inside people’s homes, Kaysen said — Instagram is just making the concept more accessible.

It’s a balancing act between presenting a curated, though revealing, version of your home life, from family photos to spotless and organized living spaces, and not oversharing.

Read more: Scrunchies, $80 Fjallraven backpacks, and Birkenstocks: There’s a new type of ‘it’ girl online, and of course the internet is already hating on her

Those who have found a way to build a following and engagement generate money through affiliate commissions, sponsored ads, and merchandise promotions, according to Kaysen. Earnings are unknown, but an influencer with 100,000 followers can earn $1,000 per post, she said, citing Instagram platform Later.

The irony here is that many of the average home-décor influencer’s generational peers are likely to be renters for years.

Thanks to an increasingly expensive housing market, millennials are renting longer and buying later. First-time homebuyers today are likely to pay 39% more than first-time homebuyers did nearly 40 years ago, according to Student Loan Hero. A report by SmartAsset found that in some cities, the median home outweighed the median income by so much that it could take nearly a decade to save for a 20% down payment.

So, while some millennials are churning a profit off their big houses, others don’t even have enough money for a starter home.

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