"Metricon's signature brand "Monarch" has a floor area of 456 square metres with a starting price of $477,000. Photo: Angela Wylie"
Here's an article that we stumbled across a few days ago, while going through The Age - Room to Move, but is a bigger house better?
Now the article is a decent read - of course, we tend to read everything about homes and housing, having gone through the process. However the real reading is in the 100+ comments left after the article; if you half an hour free, have a read through yourself!
* warning rant begins *
It seems pretty much all the comments have been left by people who have not had first hand experience of building their dream house - let's summarise their small-minded negativity here:
- Big houses = "McMansions", unpayable massive mortgages, huge utility bills, no backyards, too much cleaning, too many unused rooms, too far from the city, self-indulgent, consumerist... the list of whinging goes on and on.
#2: Affordability of mortgages are relative to the position of the mortgage payer. No doubt many of the comments on The Age are from those unable to fund any kind of mortgage for any sized property, so naturally there is an assumption that "bigger house = bigger mortgage" and the jealous green dragon rears its ugly, bitchy head. Any smart home owner has worked out their own personal level of mortgage affordability risk.
#3: Utility bills? Our first house was a 12 square cottage in Mitcham. We cooked in the summer, despite 2 airconditioners, and froze in the winter despite central heating and a log fire. Our utility bills were all higher in that cottage compared to our new house, which is far more comfortable in all seasons. Our new place has a 5.5 star energy rating, solar hot water, better orientation, better layout... the list goes on.
#4: No backyard: OK, this is one thing we could probably have more of. From our outdoor room to the back fence is about 7 metres. However, we tend not to spend much time in the backyard and have no want for a pool. My parents had a massive backyard in Templestowe which again was never used. Other people may have different priorities. Plus we have a beautiful huge park 2 streets away, the Eastlink bike trail is 3 streets away and a fantastic ride, and the dog loves going for long walks around the area.
#5: Cleaning? Rooms we don't currently use don't need much cleaning - we have a couple of rooms reserved for kids when they arrive, at the moment they're used for drying clothes (no need for a clothes dryer). We don't do any more cleaning than we used to.
#6: Unused rooms: We certainly use all the rooms we need to at the moment! The home theatre gets a workout frequently (and all our extended family loves it for movies, Rock Band/Guitar Hero sessions etc), our study is home to 3 computers and a mountain of paperwork, another spare bedroom is used for a home business, and everything is efficiently laid out as we have the space to do so.
#7: Too far from the city: Not an issue for us as neither of us need to go to the city. And when we do, it's a 20 minute drive on the Eastern Freeway. Plus the city sucks anyway - parking is hard to find and expensive, there's too many d!ckheads on the streets and everything we need isn't in the city anyway.
#8: Self indulgent/consumerist: Well, all people have different goals in life. Our goal was to have a comfortable, modern house for us and our future family, with a little bit of luxury to enjoy coming home to every night, and that's what we've achieved. We love cooking in our big kitchen. We love (or maybe it's me) playing video games, watching TV shows and movies in the home theatre. We love our massive bedroom and its ensuite - it's like being in a 5 star hotel every day, without the minibar and pay-per-view fees. Since we spend a lot of time at home, why not make it something you love?
Anyway, my final view is that there's a small subsection of the community out there who feel they need to mask their inferiority complex by being overly critical of other people, other people's choices and strangely enough, other people's homes. Give these people the attention and respect they deserve, which (no surprise), is zero on both counts.
*end rant *
Edit/postscript: Looks like the first article was so popular,an opinion piece was published afterwards. Let the fun continue!
Days of the humble home at an end as goliaths invade suburbia