Saturday, November 05, 2016

Housing thoughts

A slightly interesting article at The Age about living in the outer housing sprawl of Melbourne (can't find the article now to link to but this graph at this site is interesting) and the choice to live in apartment near to or in the city. Most of my life has been spent in a house with a front and rear garden, the rear garden being called the back yard. Indian born people are inclined to call it the back side of the house, which can be problematic. Can I go around to your backside? You need to do some weeding work at your backside. I could go on for a long time.

Like Jackie in Toronto, we swapped to a high rise apartment from more suburban housing living and we I have no regrets. It is easy living and gives you time to do other things, such as just shut the door and travel or just be terribly lazy. Outside maintenance is paid for quarterly and not your problem as long as you can afford your building quarterly charge.

You have to be quite wealthy now to afford to buy a free standing house within ten kilometres of the city. It wasn't always the case.

I think now travelling on a freeway from Ballarat, you no longer pass the entrance to Caroline Springs but we used to and how we used to mock it. For a young gay man, to live in Caroline Springs would be a fate worse than torture or death. The estate had a grand sign above the entrance to the modern housing estate, a nice park with a lake we could see from the road and the original blocks of land were sold for $29,000. It is quite unlikely that you could buy a property there now for less than $500,000, perhaps a lot more. (I just checked and you can buy 3 bedrooms for less than $500,000)

One argument for outer suburban living is that the kids have space to play. Well, generally they don't have a lot at home. Housing blocks are now very small and large homes are built to the edges. They do possibly have quiet streets where they can hit a cricket ball or kick a footy, but will they? They are more content inside with their phone type devices.

R is a culprit of saying, well you can't bring up kids in a high rise apartment building, yet for nearly the last ten years he has seen kids (Asian and shorter term Anglo children) grow up in this very building and they seem to cope with the horror of not having a back yard or a quiet street for cricket that those gifted with such spaces now ignore as they play on their devices.

You may or may not believe me when I say there is nothing wrong with a quite new suburb west of Melbourne called Tarneit. I want to Google Tarneit to check the spelling but if I do, I know for the next week I will be bombarded with ads on the www offering land and house packages in Tarneit. However, a mobile billboard trailer promoting an open display house in Tarneit around the streets of South Yarra, is probably poor marketing, as would be targeting me to buy a house and land package in Tarneit. I am sure if I even use google maps to check the spelling of Tarneit, I will still get ads.

All around the world kids grow up in apartments. There is no reason why Australian kids cannot and the more kids who live in apartments, the better it will be for kids who live in apartments.

As for me at my age, I'd rather live in a public housing bedsit in St Kilda than an outer suburban house.

25 comments:

  1. Housing in London is a nightmare. The cost of buying and indeed renting a property is out of reach of so many. There doesn't seem to be any affordable housing for our nurses, teachers, fire brigade workers, police etc. I am glad I live in a house with a garden, although these last two weeks I have been digging up all the old shrubs in the back garden which has been a bit of a 'mare. But we are fortunate here to have so many parks and playgrounds for the children so whether they live in an apartment or house they have access to some open space. Not so in other cities though.

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    1. Marie, it really is absurd, much driven by foreign money. Like in Tokyo, it is long commute for many workers in London. Now the shrubs are up, what goes in?

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  2. I can see a lot of sense to apartment living. It isn't for me though. Yet.

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    1. Agreed. I lived in hospital flats in Britain for a few years. Living in the centre of town was exciting and convenient, but having neighbours in VERY close proximity was not good at all.

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    2. I know EC, you love your garden and why shouldn't you.

      Hels, we have always been fortunate with neighbours and noise. Our building here is well soundproofed.

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  3. I've Googled it for you and Tarneit is the correct spelling if you mean the locality next to Hoppers Crossing. If would make even less sense to market it to me living in a highrise in Darlinghurst, Sydney. I never notice ads anyway.

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    1. Thanks Belle, I did mean there. A highrise in Darlo? How brilliant.

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  4. To each his own I grew up in the suburbs lots of kid around, my children grew up in a flat and a house near the city again lots of kids around but where I live now not many kids are ever outside they must be there but not in such big numbers but they are not outside much.
    Merle..............

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    1. Merle, suburbs go like that. It is generational thing. Often young couples move into an area where there are other young couples, the kids grow up and the couples move on, to care or elsewhere, and a whole new generation appears.

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  5. I wasn't going to say anything political on my blog. But here I can...We have a housing shortage for low income people. We have quite a few people move into our area from like California and bring there large pension with them. Build huge homes and seem like they don't want to support our local schools, fire department and such.
    Then comes people like my client. There income is about $760 a month and they pay about $400 in rent plus ulties.
    There is some subsuties housing here but there is quite a few on the list. In my area they need to built more low income housing unit or apartments.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Feel free, Dora. It is good to learn about other countries. I heard Ronald Reagan did something positive for housing lower income people, but I've forgotten what it was now. It has lasted until now.

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  6. I like the idea of an apartment, but actually living in one and not having a bit of grass or trees would be too hard for me. Probably an apartment complex with a central garden area or two would be okay.

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    1. River, we have trees all around us. There is decorative garden on the third level where the pool is and we have terrific parks, formal, informal and in between. A central garden within an apartment building would be very nice, though.

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  7. We live since 41 years in a Bungalow in Waterloo which is 15 km from Brussels. At that time we moved to the country !! Now Waterloo has become a small city with horrendous house and apartment prices. Impossible to afford for a young couple unless they make a heritage ! For the moment we are still happy here, I had the garden transformed into low maintenance and as there are no steps it's not difficult too for old people ! So we may stay here for another long while !

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    1. Gattina, you have done the right thing in making sure your house is set up for your old age.

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  8. I wouldn't prefer to live in a separate house as I do now...but then again I have never lived in anything else.
    Amazing how expensive land packages are, it's unreal. No wonder the younger ones are having problems buying a house.
    I have been told that in many high risers there is a playground outside on the ground with grass and a garden sometimes, so the children are able to get outside downstairs and 'play'.
    All the young children in our street used to play cricket in the middle of the street - but now there are no young ones to do that anymore, and if there were they would be watching TV or playing with their electronic stuff....gone are the good old day.

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    1. Margaret, at least in your city property prices aren't at the absurd level ours are. I have not seen any highrise apartment buildings that cater for children as you describe but I haven't seen many brand new ones of late.

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  9. I lived in the projects for 13 years. No car, teensy icky apartments, seedy halls and an elevator that often didn't work. Then I was homeless awhile, then lived in a duplex with a leaky roof and many other problems, then a shack that was vile and without real heat, and now here, a house, first time, the last 9 years. It's a lot of work and the space so vast I feel embarrassed to take up so much space. (1100 sq ft) and no doubt I will live other places too by the time I croak. The projects were not for me and horrid places, dank, moldy, dripping with drama from bored people and old people, outcasts all.

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    1. Strayer, was it Ru Paul who sang about the projects. It is not a word we use, but we know about them. I hope you can stay where you are for a good while and the eventual neighbours will be nice.

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  10. I love my tiny apartment. I'm surrounded by communal gardens and have a great park over the road. There's work arounds for most things I think. Kids are so adaptable anyway.

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    1. Fen, you really are in a nice spot, so nice that the traffic is hideous as it is a popular place. Kids are adaptable but they also feel envy at a young age. Some kids will envy those with houses in outer areas. Some will envy kids who live in the inner city. It always interests me as to what their take is on life of a 14 year old private school kid who lives in St Kilda. Or, they could be a child from the highrise public housing in Inkerman Street. How does both the rich and the poor kids in the inner burbs view life and compare to outer suburban kids? This sort of thing fascinates me.

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  11. David and Aimee grew up in the house we're still in Andrew and all those years ago I guess it was considered out in the burbs, but we're only 14 miles from the city with both train and freeway two minutes away. Suburban Perth has grown out so far now I think it won't be long before we're classified inner city ☺ I must agree though, now that they've both left home, maintaining a huge garden and pool is so time consuming.. I would quite like to not have the bother.. every time I mentioned to the kids we might sell up they are horrified ☺☺ I do think kids can live quite happily anywhere as long as family life is peaceful and stimulating!

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    1. Grace, you are right about kids adapting to anyway. Horrified they both may well be about you thinking of any option aside from where you are, but it is up to you. If you do think you might downsize, don't leave it too late. What does P think about this?

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  12. Thanks, Andrew, for the shout out! We have lots of kids growing up in our building and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. We have a large outside area and are next to the lake so they have lots of room to run around.

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    1. Jackie, that is important about the play space and it needs to be safe too. I guess naturally because of your colder climate, kids are used to being indoors more.

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