Sunday, July 25, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Some years ago I was looking at building a house. For a good nine months I searched the newspapers for the latest plans to get ideas for what I wanted. It didn't help - all I could find was things I didn't want. For a start the standard home consisted of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 3 living areas (family room, media room, activity room). Most had additional offices, studies and music rooms. And then there is the outdoor barbecue area, breakfast area and other such 'outside rooms'. There is only one of me and I don't want or need that much space. I can add that I am not sure the "average" family" needs that much space either - especially with the smaller block sizes available in cities.

Anyway, I ended up drawing up my own plans and life changed so they stay in a proverbial drawer. And yes it is made of straw bales.

So when I heard this week that Australian houses are bigger than everyone else in the world - including the Americans, well I wasn't surprised. Apparently our homes are close to three times the size of homes in the UK - although I am not sure if that is in total squares or just the land space (many of our homes are single storey).

So while our governments and communities and individuals struggle with the housing situation and search for a solution to very high prices, lack of land being released and general afford-ability, maybe we, as consumers, need to determine the difference between our wants and needs and stop trying to keep up with Jones, real or imagined. I mean how many of us grew up in homes with two bathrooms, or more than 1 lounge room. Yes there may have been periodic squabbles but was it really a problem?


kyles said...

I grew up in various different types of accommodation, everything from caravans (in Nanna and Poppy's backyard) to two different tiny housing commission houses, and a small unit that you could swing a cat in. You are of course absolutely right, how much room does one family need? We are lucky where we are now to be able to rent out the unit when the boys leave home, lucky to have the unit, otherwise we'd be two empty nesters living in a 4 bedroom house...come to think of it...I could have a sewing office...a reading room... ohhh the possibilities... just kidding!

pita-woman said...

Ironic, I was having a very similar conversation w/a friend yesterday about how todays families seem to require more space for all their STUFF! Yet my grandparents managed to raise 5 children in a 2-bedroom, 1 bathroom house and did just fine.

I like my 2-bed,2-bath house. Although honestly, I'd like to have another room, just for the dogs.