HOME TRUTHS

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UPDATE - With editor Robyn Willis robyn.willis@news.com.au

Search­ing for a place to call yours

Kids these days, am I right? If they’re not com­plain­ing about hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity over smashed av­o­cado, they’re liv­ing with their par­ents so they can save for the next over­seas trip.

It’s cer­tainly easy to stick the boot into the sen­si­bil­i­ties of the younger gen­er­a­tion, who we’re quick to la­bel as lazy and en­ti­tled with­out re­ally con­sid­er­ing how things have changed.

Re­cent statis­tics in­di­cate that while the av­er­age wage in Syd­ney is about $84,000, the me­dian house price is more than $1 mil­lion.

Our first home cost a small frac­tion of that price in the early 1990s while wages steadily climbed.

It’s true, many young peo­ple are less in­clined to take their par­ents’ old fur­ni­ture when they move out, pre­fer­ring to head off to the near­est Ikea for some­thing of their own choos­ing. But when they don’t know how long it might be be­fore they’re in their own home — if ever — you can’t re­ally blame them for chas­ing a lit­tle in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion and hav­ing some con­trol over their liv­ing con­di­tions.

Be­cause there is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween rent­ing and own­ing your home, and I’m not just talk­ing about mort­gage re­pay­ments.

I re­mem­ber well the ex­cite­ment of rip­ping up the car­pets to ex­pose long lost floor­boards, choos­ing paint colours and get­ting stuck into the gar­den, all with the knowl­edge that we no longer needed to an­swer to a land­lord or po­ten­tially be asked to leave when the lease ran out.

And while I still live with some of my grand­mother’s fur­ni­ture, it is by choice, rather than be­ing treated as a dump­ing ground for things other fam­ily mem­bers don’t want any­more that don’t re­ally suit my needs, let alone my style.

So pass the smashed avo and the travel brochures — I’m in.

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