Our ‘own’ home.

When we say we own our own home it means just that. We own the title to our home. This means we can sell it, and profit/lose from it. We too bought our own home with our own earned money. Years ago, it used to mean that you had a roof over your head and ‘owning’ had a different meaning. Many people would probably add that owning own home is one of their best investments. I remember being swept up in Australia after our arrival, whereby ownership of home was seen as a main goal. A dream.  It is still looked upon as a major achievement in life. During the nineteen fifties till now,  urgings by many to strife for home ownership reached almost religious proportions. Half the newspapers used to consist of advertisements for buying and selling homes.

People gathered around the garlic- prawns getting grilled on wood- barbeques and spoke of magic real estate deals. Legendary tales were told by jolly men about unimaginable profits  made on selling properties that had sky-rocketed to much higher prices. Parties would rocket as well by  tales of real estate with empty two litre casks of Coolabah-chardonnay littering next morning  with redolent empty prawn shells. If you let it be known you were an ‘own homer’ your status gained enormous. Women would flock around, easy to date. They too were drawn to Homer.

My dad had much trouble understanding this. In Holland at that time ( 1956) owning own home was unheard of and totally unnecessary. Housing was supplied by Councils or Governments and generally leased for life. Even today home ownership in Holland is about 50% of the adult population. There was a period, compliments of WW2 and carpet-bombings, that an acute shortage existed of available housing. Thanks to the US generous Marshall Plan that Europe was given after the war the housing shortage was soon overcome.  Even so, tens of thousands were drawn to migrate to other shores, especially Canada and Australia. One of the attractions that were being dangled before future migrants’ eyes was the prospect of own home on own block with own bathroom in far away countries. Australia was magic. Colour footage was shown of ‘home owners standing on own lawn in front of own house.’ Those white picket fences, the gloriousness of it all.


My parents with ‘own home.’

My mother was especially attracted to own bathroom. Back in Holland we had a galvanised tub with handles to bathe in. My mother would boil water on a gas stove. I was lucky  being the second eldest and by and large enjoyed a nice warm bath. However my brother Adrian who was nr 5 in the line of ascendency had tepid and scungy greasy well used water. That’s how it was.

Now the real estate has been so magically successful that hardly anyone can afford it. Many flock to the major cities. That’s why cities are formed. The majority like living in close proximity of each other. The prices are astronomical. A million dollars gets you a bare two bedroom un-renovated almost derelict cottage or a liveable home-unit. Most young couples have given up.

The dream is now a nightmare.


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18 Responses to “Our ‘own’ home.”

  1. leggypeggy Says:

    You are so right. The dream has become a nightmare. I feel for the young ones trying to get ahead.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Housing has degraded into becoming an investor’s dream commodity, and with all the lucrative tax avoidance bonuses has now made it almost impossible for young couples to afford in buying or even renting.
      The solution might have to come from barring foreign ownership and investing in social housing.
      I personally feel, housing should be seen as a social need above that of a speculative commodity.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Some of the young have difficulty finding even a room to rent in someone’s home. And yet some in tech industry especially. are buying/building enormous mansions for two people. Very unfair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Oh, the McMansion have also raised their ugly towering heads here in Australia. Monstrous houses built on small allotments. Media rooms, offices, pool room, granny rooms, studies, 4 bathrooms etc. People get lost in those houses so big an elderly person might well perish in a forgotten room.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    A welcome crack has starting to appear in the Melbourne housing market. Investors are now not settling on properties bought off the plan and are willing to forfeit their deposits. Others are now selling with losses.
    Chinese investors are also getting out the Australian housing market.Their government getting stricter on moving capital overseas.


  4. DisandDat Says:

    Build affordable housing with a tax on people with investment property. By all means allow them to make a profit, say a min of 5% on market value per annum. The remainder in a fund used to build affordable housing not your 5 bed rm with entertainment loft and 5 bathrooms. Put an extra 15% tax on black roofed houses ! And use that for alternative energy research. There is so much more that can be done but our dumb inward looking polys only see 100mm/4inches in front of their noses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I agree with your idea of black roof taxation. (BRT) It is incomprehensible allowing black roofs which only means the consumption of more energy to cool those heat traps. I have difficulty in not seeing those suburbs with black roofs as a giant mortuary.

      Housing people is a social issue and having a roof above ones head ought to be a right for everyone. In Australia and elsewhere this ‘housing under roofs’ was privatized many decades ago when title of ownership was introduced.’

      At the beginning this worked well and produced a nice little nest-egg for retirees and their off-spring after they died. However, in the major cities ownership has slipped away into the hands of speculators and the well heeled.

      This seems to be inevitable whenever a material value is added to a social issue.

      I don’t know the answer except that years ago the housing commission provided many people with reasonable housing for reasonable rents, subsidised by the government and taxpayer.

      Sadly with paying less and less tax many of those provisions have disappeared and now thousands of people are sleeping under the cover of railway bridges, in shopping malls or under tarpaulins.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Great story. Had no idea that Australia is consumed in greed. Americans are consumed by a different greed- mainly it’s the super rich and politicians wanting more money.

    The housing market in smaller Texas cites is affordable if one does not want to compete with the Jones’ way of upscale living. But housing in California and along the East Coast is very expensive.

    I know that you and Helvi are super glad that you have your own home. A grand sense of security and pride, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Australia is not totally consumed by greed, but a large part of conversations is often around real estate or sport. I admit having profited from real estate too.

      We bought in an area that during the fifties and sixties was for the most part avoided. The inner city areas. Now, there is a mad scramble for inner city living.

      People prefer closeness to work, schools and leisure which living far away in the suburbs or country don’t easily provide.

      The quarter acre block with a house Helvi and I never took to and right from the start lived close to the city.

      We did have fourteen years on a farm, but that is a different story and was very enjoyable on 120 acres.

      With European migration came cafes and latte sipping. At first this caused great upheavals and seen as a decadent past-time.
      You were supposed to work not sit around and enjoy life.

      Yes, Ivonne, we are proud owners and happy not renting when all it needs is for the owner to give six weeks notice and we could end up on the streets. At our age, moving again would be catastrophic. It is odd, when one is young moving is seen as adventurous. Now I like the security of sameness and routine. I would consider a nice apartment in Manhattan though, in our final years. Do you think Trump would let us in?

      What about you. Could you move again?
      My daughter is moving and tomorrow we are going to Sydney with our car packed with card-board boxes and many of those refugee bags to help her pack. It’s busy times for us and her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        I have lived since 1963 in the same house on one acre and Ilove my home and semi wooded property. I’m onmy minuts from the grocery, gas station, library, veterinarian and the lake. I wouldn’t sell my place. It[s not fancy but I keep it semi groomed fr there are lots of birds.

        Gerard, I never liked moving and I’ve always said I’ll leave when I’m to feeble to cope. 🙂

        PS: my kids are sticklers too. Same houses for them for about 25 years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        That is a remarkable feat and a wise one at that, Ivonne. Living close by shops and library is not all that easy to achieve. Many people are forced into long drives just to get a bottle of milk or the newspaper.
        We will stick it out here too despite the surrounding enemies and their love of blood sport in bullying.
        I don’t know when feebleness will arrive. Hopefully never till the last hour or so.


  6. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    We have become like Austria in that the only way our children will own their own home is by inheritance. Too bad if you have more than one or two children. But then, is it all it is cracked up to be? Is paying a huge mortgage but an albatross around one’s neck? There does seem to be other alternatives – but totally agree on the black roofs and the box like structures. So environmentally unfriendly. Too big to clean too….. More lateral thinking needed by government and restrictions on foreign residential/agricultural investment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, a wise thing to contemplate ‘is it all cracked up to be’. Many young people don’t worry about having to own their house. They have given up. It has been fostered by Governments that owning a house ought to be our main aim in life. This of course, lets them of the hook in providing low cost housing.

      I remember my parents talking till late in the night worrying themselves sick in getting a mortgage to buy a house. No matter how poor we were, but getting into debt was seen as shameful.

      Now everyone whoops it up as of there is no tomorrow, living on credit, but…for how much longer?

      Sydney is now so spread out it seems endless, hill after hill devoured by bulldozers and more houses popping up like weeds. The smaller the family the bigger the house.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. scrapydo2.wordpress.com Says:

    I can relate to your tale about owning an own home! My parents migrated to South Africa. When my aunt visited us she was surprised that we owned a ‘big” 3 bedroom home and a big piece of land too! Today it is very hard to own your own place again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Welcome scrapydo.

      This Government in Australia is twisting and turning pretending to do something for young couples to get a roof above their heads.
      Many now live-in with parents.

      Perhaps that is not such a silly thing. The kids have more than just own parents and get good grandparents as a bonus.

      Shared households used to be normal at the ‘good old times’.
      I am not sure I could do that, I prefer to visit off-spring.

      On the other hand many young couples are not willing to compromise. When we had our kids we sat on paint drums and made our own beds to save and pay the mortgage.

      We had second hand fridges and washing machine and I remember sucking on the washing machine outlet hose to get the dirty water going into the sink because the pump had packed it in. I even ended up with a sock in my mouth which miraculously had found its way into the hose. The sock had been washed though.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Big M Says:

    Only this week I was looking at a graph prepared by an economist comparing average annual household income to the cost of housing in Australian Capital cities. The graph was flat from Australia’s (Invasion) beginnings until 1982 with housing being about double yearly incomes. Pretty affordable!! From 82 the cost increasd exponentially, in spite of 88-89 having the highest interest rates in our history. Now inflation is negligible, interest rates are low, so incomes are stagnating, yet housing prices soar. Yes, there’s an occasional drop, yet, averaged out they are extraordinary.

    I still exhort young people to move to the country, or go overseas. Who wouldn’t want a misspent youth on Lake Como, Florence or Dubbo??

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Big M.
      It is not easy. I suspect the first rumblings of a correction is on the way. Watch the clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne over the next few weeks.
      The Government is keen for people to move to country towns. We like Bowral but if we were young we would camp in Sydney.
      Whooping it up in Dubbo might be fun though. There is nothing like going to the local club and do a bit of vigorous line-dancing.

      Liked by 1 person

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