Home Sweet Home etc etc

3 August 2007

One of my dearest friends in Sydney, Lara,  and her husband Mark have today bought their first house.  They’re expecting a baby in November and decided that now would be the right time to put down roots and get the security of their own place, rather than being at the whim of the rental market.  A perfectly adult decision.

However,  I read today that a survey of 16-24 year old Australians shows that for over 90% of them buying their own house is their greatest ambition!!!   What sort of society have we bred when the number one ambition of the young and single is to own their own house?  I really don’t think it was something I gave any thought to at that age, any more than I worried too much about a pension plan when I was 21.  If I’d done both of those, I’d be a lot better off than I am now, but what an incredibly dull life I would have had.  I was able to up and go when the fancy took me – give notice at work, notice to my landlord and away I went.   I find this survey incredibly sad.  Some people may feel that it shows how sensible and mature our young people are.  But when it comes to houses, the time to become sensible and mature isn’t before your 21st birthday. 

May I also say that I really don’t like the Australian habit of calling bricks and mortar a “home”.  Lara and Mark have bought a “house”, and they’ll make it into a “home”, with their child, their cat and their rabbits.  Best wishes to the two of you . . . and when’s the party?  


  1. […] Thanks Sally for the promo 🙂  And yes, owning a home was always a goal of mine, far more so than having a […]

  2. The party will be as soon as I get enough stuff unpacked so that you can see the floor 🙂

    We spent an hour there this afternoon, but it doesn’t seem like home yet. Home is where the creatures are!

  3. We still rent (hubby and I are in our 40s), having missed the vaguely-affordable-housing boat about 4 years ago, after which time house prices DOUBLED in Canberra. Oddly enough, salaries didn’t double to keep pace. So we still rent.

    There is certainly a big focus on ‘owing your own home’ in Australia, more so than in Europe, for example. My family is forever asking when we’re buying a house (and they can BLOODY WELL SHUT UP ABOUT IT). Sorry. Hit a nerve there.

    As renters in Oz, you’re often made to feel like 2nd class citizens – What? You have a PET? How DARE you? Well, that’s 4/5 of the properties barred from you for a start. I’ve even heard of a family having trouble getting a rental property because they had a toddler. When they left their youngest child off their application, they got a place… criminal. Housing is a basic need; people seem to forget that in this housing investment boom.

  4. Even more than “home” the word that drives me mad is “property” – as in “we bought this property last year”. And while Jejune is right about mainland Europe and renting, certainly in the UK “home ownership” is a huge thing. People are having nervous breakdowns because they think they’ve missed the boat.

  5. wow you are also in this blogosphere?!!! good to read about your world;

    love you

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