17-year-old Natalia Kaiser was on vacation with her boyfriend’s family in North Carolina when they stopped to pose for a photo, Buzzfeed reports.

The high school sweethearts from Burleson, Texas, posed for a photo in front an aunt’s house for family members to take their photo.

Kaiser then decided that she, too, would snap a photo, especially because she and her boyfriend, Joe O’Brien, wore matching shirts that day.

And that’s when the idea hit her.

As Kaiser told Buzzfeed, when she saw the photo, it looked like the kind of announcement first-time homebuyers would share with friends and family:

“When I was looking through the photos of us I thought it was really cute, but weird that we were in front of a house. It reminded me of those posts where people tweet about buying a house.”

Kaiser shared the photo as a joke with the announcement that she and O’Brien had purchased a house together — but the news didn’t go over so well:

Commenters who came across the photo had mixed feelings that a 16- and 17-year-old would boast about home ownership on social media:

Kaiser and O’Brien, however, played along with the rouse:

Commenters thought the “announcement” was shallow and naive:

https://twitter.com/D_bezee/status/886800049887432705

Others couldn’t believe that a couple of teenagers could end up in a position to afford their first home:

https://twitter.com/_laurenkirby/status/887803020607721475

https://twitter.com/Clennon_madi/status/887846583148187650

Kaiser and O’Brien said they were both shocked by the backlash, especially since commenters went so far as to direct message Kaiser and call her insulting names:

“My favorite has to be all the people thinking about this logically and giving reasons on how this is actually possible to buy a house at this young age, which we both know isn’t possible,” he said.

Natalia agreed, saying, “I think that’s the one thing that’s surprised me the most is how mean people are getting over a joke.

“It’s really shown me that cyberbullying is a real thing. It’s so easy for people to hide behind their screen and write something mean because it won’t really affect them.”

Kaiser ultimately shared that the whole thing was a joke meant for friends:

In the aftermath of the negative attention, Kaiser admitted that she, too, struggles to save money, perhaps acknowledging why her joke was misconstrued to be serious.

Besides, as she told Buzzfeed, even if she and her boyfriend could afford a house, there’s no way her parents would let them move in together:

“Of course my parents would never let me move in with my boyfriend at this age and there’s no way we could afford an entire house.”

She added: “It has just gotten so much more attention than I anticipated.”

Leave a comment

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.

DEARLY JOINING FORCES WITH MAMA'S UNCUT