Why Aus­tralians aren’t leav­ing the nest – The Costanza Ef­fect

Shepparton News - SN Local Real Estate - - OPEN HOMES AND AUCTIONS -

With the free­dom to eat what you want, sleep in as late as you can, and keep your room as (un)tidy as you’d like — there’s a lot of temp­ta­tion.

But if in­de­pen­dence is so highly prized, why are so many Aus­tralians still liv­ing in their fam­ily home through­out their 20s, their 30s — and even their 40s?

Hu­mor­ously branded ‘The Costanza Ef­fect’ — named for Se­in­feld char­ac­ter, Ge­orge Costanza — the num­ber of adult chil­dren mov­ing back home with their par­ents, or never leav­ing in the first place, is on the rise in Aus­tralia.

This can be at­trib­uted to many dif­fer­ent in­flu­ences, but the most com­mon rea­son is ris­ing un­af­ford­abil­ity of house prices across the coun­try.

It’s even more un­der­stand­able when you con­sider that, while hous­ing prices and the cost of liv­ing have been ris­ing, wages have risen at a dra­mat­i­cally slower rate.

But if you’re con­sid­er­ing mov­ing back home, there’s much to con­sider, with var­i­ous pros and cons to weigh up.

For many, the com­fort and se­cu­rity of a roof over their head is enough to en­cour­age them to stay home, as well as the sup­port, the fam­ily con­nec­tion and the com­pany (the fully-stocked fridge def­i­nitely helps, too).

many young Aus­tralians will move home for a pe­riod of sev­eral months while build­ing a house, or to save for a de­posit on their first home.

There are many crea­ture com­forts of home, but such com­fort comes at a price.

Liv­ing with your par­ents can in­vite feel­ings of child­ish­ness as well as a lack of pri­vacy, and re­la­tion­ships can turn sour if bound­aries aren’t re­spected.

Liv­ing at home is no doubt a great idea and ex­pe­ri­ence for some, but for oth­ers it can be highly stress­ful. In fact, the 2016 Aus­tralian Unity Well­be­ing In­dex sur­vey even found that the well­be­ing and av­er­age life sat­is­fac­tion is lower for those who live with their par­ents.

For those who have adult chil­dren wish­ing to move back in with them, or if you are hop­ing to check back into the mum and dad ho­tel for a spell, there are a few things you can do to en­sure things re­main even, fair and re­spect­ful. Even if it’s just a small amount per week, set­ting a weekly board or rental fee cre­ates a re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ship and ac­knowl­edges ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the liv­ing ar­range­ment.

Adults should all wash their own clothes or con­trib­ute to the wash­ing rou­tine, and the kids should be in­volved in cook­ing din­ner one or two nights a week, to con­trib­ute to the house­hold.

Kids mov­ing home can of­fer a great short-term so­lu­tion, but it’s an ar­range­ment that shouldn’t drag out for years, let alone decades. Set some goals and make a plan for the date you’re plan­ning to part ways.

The debt-fu­elled hous­ing boom and record-break­ing real es­tate prices have caused fi­nan­cial prob­lems for many Aus­tralians, and this trend seems likely to con­tinue in the near fu­ture.

Econ­o­mists are fran­ti­cally try­ing to spec­u­late whether this po­ten­tial bub­ble is about to burst, but in the mean­time, Ho­tel Home ap­pears to be do­ing a roar­ing trade.

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