Houses and Homes

The system of living in a home in New Zealand is likely the same as elsewhere in the world. On my recent trip to Germany and the USA I realised, yes, it’s the same:

One rents a house and fills it up with stuff. Or one buys a house and fills it up with stuff. Then there’s always the option to extend the mortgage and buy more stuff. Hopefully the market has gone up by the time we like to upgrade the house so the capital gain will pay for the new pad. The question in the back of my mind has always been: for how long can this go on?

My home town in New Zealand is a holiday destination and the prices have skyrocketed, the property median for the whole area was lifted in big jumps. Great for the ones who bought at a crazy low price, no capital gains tax, the gain made is now free for a bigger better property. Or move to a cheap area and have some change.

For me, a few curveballs have contributed to not having a property to own at this point in time. My answer to the living hell as a tenant under a property manager, was to build a tiny house on a trailer. It’s 22 square meters living area and a very comfortable home for me and my 10 year old son. The land use is a bit of a tricky situation, but it works well with my desire to let go of needing clarity and certainty. I’ve developed the attitude of Wait and See… and if all fails move to the campground until something comes up, and it usually does. The house is solar & water off-grid, well insulated and it tows well by a truck. We are loving our own space and use it well. It’s a big part of our happy memories from past and being made now.

It’s the family life that’s taking place in a safe and warm house, aka the home. House letting as a business is fine, done by landlords who see that they are being the provider for people’s homes, and not just own houses as investments. Our society relies on solid homes, more in the metaphorical sense because the smallest shack can provide a stable home and upbringing. But society also relies on community. The have and have not’s (or the tenant vs mortgagor) gap is increasing due to the unproportional rise in property prices vs income. Some have not’s hope the government steps in with affordable housing solutions. Some work and save harder to get on the property ladder. Some buy lotto tickets. Maybe some people put their thinking caps on together and look for different ideas. Co-housing is one of my favourites, I like to learn more about. It makes me think of the tribe living situations humans survived in for a long time. With a modern twist, like sharing of key items such as big appliances, vehicles, vegetable gardens, unlimited Wi-Fi.

Published by Anja O'Connor

Small business & system sympathiser, healthy business advocate.

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