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The most important function of your house is to keep you warm when it is cold and dry when it rains

I am utterly horrified by just how much it costs to rent a house  in the big smoke these days, as a home owner without a mortgage hanging over my head I look at the amount of cash that people have to outlay to get that roof over their heads and I am amazed at just how much the cost of that necessity will enslave. But I am also well aware of how the choices that are made about the life they want to lead have more effect on their housing prospects than an so called “affordability crisis” in housing:

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 Colin Barnett is right about the sort of houses that so many new entrants into the home buying game are desiring, we should all be happier with more modest digs but two things get in the way as far as I can tell, the first has a great deal to do with wanting our abodes to display a greater social status than we may have earned (so the bigger and more ostentatious the better) and the second one is the rather silly belief that one’s home should be treated first and foremost as a tool for creating wealth, as an investment. Reality check folks; the most important function of your house is to keep you warm when it is cold and dry when it rains…

So in many ways less is more. Less conspicuous consumption and more modest aspirations is the answer…

Cheers Comrades


  1. Richard Ryan says:

    Iain—So True! I am still living in the first house I bought, way back in 1983, basic hardiplank, no garage, while the would be if the could be, struggle to pay off rip off finance to banks. Meanwhile the Nazi Real Estate agents are bothering me every second week to sell, as my house market value is about 250,000 dollars, in the lower range of the market, and is easy to sell, and when I inform these Nazi property agents that I don’t want to sell, and have to borrow another 250,000 to upgrade, their word, to a house with double garage, they seem confused . Yes my favourite comment, I have no ambition to keep up with the jones, the subtle property “class distinction” is alive and well in Australia. Now who was it who said?, ” property is theft”

  2. Richard Ryan says:

    This sounds cruel—-but I would love a property crash in the prices of Real Estate here in Australia, it would bring these” working class capitalists”back down to earth.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    Problem with that, Richard, is it would hurt the ordinary people more … and there are a lot more of them.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Well it seems to me Richard that those who claim that property is theft are usually those who have none… as soon as they do get some then they say “get your hands off of mine jack”

    That said congratulations on getting a secure place to live, better a modest abode that you own than a grandiose one that owns you.is my personal motto.

  5. Richard Ryan says:

    Still we have a lot of empty houses in this country, holiday houses they are called, maybe used four weeks in the year, seems a waste of space.

  6. Sax says:

    Unfortunately, and I think this has been discussed on these pages previously, some time ago.
    Young couples no longer are willing to wait for their dream home. They want it first cab off the rank, and are pretty emphatic about it.

    Gone are the days, when a couple would start out with a fixer-upperer do that up, sell it, and work their way up the market scale, to the home of their dreams. That doesn’t happen anymore. That is why we have so many foreclosures nowadays. They build their dream home first up, and wonder why, when the kids start coming along, why they get into strife and the banks move in.

    I am one of the lucky ones. The RAAF paid for my digs for years, so when the time came, my kids were nearly grown and gone, so we could afford to be picky. Even still, at the beginning, these digs were hardly plush by anyones standards. That’s the challenge, and the one that so many young couples are not willing to engage in these days ?

  7. gigdiary says:

    I too am horrified at the rents people have to pay today to live anywhere near a CBD (or in Sydney, full stop) I wasn’t aware that Brisbane is as bad. $180 for a room in a shared house in St Lucia! Well it’ll keep the welfare lot out at least. Back in my day (yawn), in the mid seventies I was paying $15 a week for shared accomodation in Brisbane, and in suburbs quite close to town. Can’t remember them all, Highgate Hill was one, Toowong another. At the time I was playing clubs and pubs for $150 a week. Rent was a snack, the last thing you worried about.

    Came to Sydney in ’78 and my better half and I rented a one bedder five minutes from the beach in Bronte for $55 a week. To add insult to injury, the agent told us it was for sale, $25,000. We knocked it back.

    If I only had a time machine….

  8. Luzu says:

    I live in a 1979 3×1 that I bought 8 years ago with my husband. We have a nice backyard, a bedroom for each of the kids and a mortgage under $140,000. It’s not flash but I refuse to move and load up on more debt. People who judge me on how my house looks or its location are never going to be my friends anyway.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Better to live well in modest circumstances than to suffer and strive for that status symbol I reckon.

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