Planning minister Justin Madden is very critical of new large outer suburban houses and so am I, but maybe not for the same reasons. Some of his criticisms are valid. How much energy does it take to heat a house of that size? Or cool it? Built to the extremes on both sides, a tiny back yard full of outdoor entertaining appliances and a decorative front yard for show, does not for children make a great play space. No jungle trekking here son/daughter and no, you can't climb the pencil pine.
I heard someone on the wireless and it all became clear to me. Parents in the parents retreat watching Rove Live on their plasma, one child in the home theatre room watching a dvd, another child in their study alcove playing on Myspace and doing msn chat at the same time along with doing her homework, another in her own personal bedroom flicking through teen mags when she is only nine.
This is not how I remember family life. We were all together. We annoyed the buggery out of each other I suppose, but I don't remember that. I remember talking to my brother when we sleeping in the same room. I remember the comforting sound of my father snoring. I remember the striking of a match when my mother got out of bed and went to her stash, they baby crying, the sound of my grandmother using her goesunder and the sound of the males pissing orf the verandah.
Mind you, I loved my privacy and insisted on it.
I am not sure why people need such big and frankly, mostly ugly houses. Better to buy something a little more modest and closer to the city. Spend the balance on your child's' education, and I don't mean private school fees.