Selling Sunset tells us we don’t need no man
Angie Kent on home ownership as an independent woman
You’re reading Scene & Heard, a weekly newsletter where I chat to a guest writer about the one scene from a recent Netflix release that left them floored. It’s part of Netflix Pause, a publication that’s all about hitting pause to reflect on the latest film and TV. Subscribe now to get it in your inbox every week diving into screen culture.
I’m Joseph Lew, editor of Netflix Pause, and I’ve come to the realisation that I’ll probably never be able to afford a house. Between my $16 avocado-toast splurges, daily oat milk lattes, and the fact I work in the publishing industry, home ownership seems like a total pipe dream. As someone who wants to do it all alone, this seems even more futile.
Because of this, I’ve been living vicariously through Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause instead, who after a messy public breakup last season, has finally decided to purchase her own home. It’s an experience media personality Angie Kent knows all too well, which is why I decided to reach out to her for this week’s Scene and Heard.
Looking at a scene where Chrishell gets outbid on the house of her dreams, Angie reflects on her eerily similar home ownership journey, and shares what it’s like achieving these major milestones as a single woman.
JL: Angie, I’m sure the premise of Selling Sunset is pretty familiar to you. Massive boujee mansions, a group of people who take a while to be able to tell apart, and a shitload of drama. For those people who haven't seen the MIRACLE that is Selling Sunset, can you tell me what goes on in this scene?
AK: In this scene, Chrishell's buying her first home. She’s super excited, because she's a freshly single gal – she recently had a public breakup – she's been in and out of homes and didn't have a home growing up. And now she’s like ‘Yes I’m a single independent woman, I don’t need no man, I’m going to buy my million-dollar home’. Goals!
She puts in her offer for what she thinks is her dream home, and then gets outbid by a strictly cash offer. And she gets a bit salty about it. But then an even better one comes along, and she GETS IT!!! I can fully relate to the feeling of thinking that you really want something, not getting it, and something else amazing coming along.
Much like Chrishell, you’ve had a very public relationship breakdown of your own. What was it like dealing with that and how did your priorities shift after it?
I was brought up in a little coastal town on the Sunshine Coast. It's not so little anymore, but back in the day it was. It was always: get married, have children. Even my mum said, ‘Dream big, marry a rich man’. And I was always like ‘Ew no, I’m going to dream big, and I’m going to do it all on my own.’
When I went into The Bachelorette, I was like, ‘This is my chance to let a person into my life and get out of that I can do everything alone mindset.’ That turned out swimmingly for me – we had a good year in it, but we just came from completely different walks of life. It followed with a very public breakup that came from a very public show.
I had finally let somebody in after being all ‘I am woman hear me roar’ and I’d let all of Australia witness that. And then for it to go down the shitter, not only was it heartbreaking, but it was hard for my ego. I just went into hiding and took time to re-evaluate who I was. I needed to focus on my mental health, my physical health, and my heart.
My career had always been my main focus, but I had to kind of put that aside for him, because it’s hard having a public relationship. And then I had this moment where I was like, I’ve worked so hard, I have all of this money, why don’t I invest in a home. I’d never thought I’d ever buy one; I was always all about travel, career, life, friends, and family. But I just got so obsessed with looking at houses. I think men in heterosexual relationships generally take the lead on it, but I did it all by myself. It was hard, but it was so worth it.
That brings us to your home, the beautiful Jessica Yurt. At this point, I’m totally convinced that you and Chrishell are the same person, because didn’t you have the exact same experience before you found your dream place?
I’d been living in Sydney for the past 10 years, but obviously I’d never thought about buying there because I’m not a billionaire. I came back to my stomping ground last year to film my first movie, and it was on the Gold Coast. I wanted to be able to feel that city life, but still be able to afford somewhere. At the time, the market was booming because of COVID – you’d have to spend 100 grand more than the asking price. I put an offer for this one place, but I felt like I was settling, so when it didn’t go through, I was kind of happy about it.
But then I found this other one – it was like a gated community, but near the bush. It was beautiful, and there were butterflies everywhere, which is my spirit sign. It was like the angels were telling me to buy this place. So I put in an offer, but then somebody swooped in with a cash offer. And I was like, ‘Oh my god I can relate to Chrishell so much.’ I was a bit sad about it – I’d been looking for the last six months and I was living out of my suitcase. I was just like, ‘All the signs were there, what’s the universe trying to tell me?’ I was fully off it.
And then, one day, my managers were like, ‘Let’s go up the mountain; Mount Tamborine is so you – it’s full-on hippie vibes.’ We went up there for the day, and we went to beer gardens and markets and crystal shops. And I was like ‘Holy shit, this place is heaven.’ We looked at a couple places, and the real estate lady was like, ‘We have another one up the road later.’
The place was insane. And I could afford it. I put in an offer, and it was a bidding war between me and this couple. Everybody told me not to get it because it was this hardcore house with so much energy. As a single woman that’s never lived up a mountain with water tanks, they were all like, ‘It’s too much for you, just get a gated Gold Coast apartment.’ But I was just like, ‘No, hold my purse. I’m going to do it, and I’m going to take it all on.’ And I got her, and that’s Jessica.
No, I’m literally obsessed with her. I saw the photos of the cat piss room and I was just like damn she wildin!
Oh my god, she’s like me. She’s spirited but she’s messy and I love it!
I’d always been conditioned to feel like I had to buy my first home with somebody. I remember I was away working in Melbourne and Sydney, and I was on the phone with my broker, my agent, and the bank, doing all this paperwork while I was still living out of a suitcase. Everyone was telling me that it’s easier if you’ve got someone to help you. But I was just like, ‘No, I'm in the position as a single woman now.’ For generations, women didn’t even have their own bank accounts. How amazing is it to be in a situation where I can do it all on my own?!
I’ll be honest, I had many sleepless nights crying because I hate math, and all those numbers were wigging me out; Was I just handing over money? But I love the feeling of breaking that generalisation, and I’m so stoked I didn’t do it as a couple. Chrishell was always so used to doing what people expected from her, having that perfect relationship and being in the industry. And I can relate to that. But you don’t have to – you can be messy and on your own, and still achieve your dreams. And to do it as a woman, it’s just a real stick it to the patriarchy.
Look, what I’m hearing is, lovers are temporary yurts are forever.
In Chrishell’s words, “Put your hopes into a home not a man!”
Angie Kent is an Australian media personality, columnist and podcast host. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.