The government will tax you on that too.
Australia “a nation of hard-working individuals”. We’ve heard that a lot haven’t we? How hard Australians work.
In the modern era, we have to. In the earlier years when Australia was still booming, people worked hard because they wanted to. To get the things they wanted with money they had earned.
We work hard now to have a comfortable life because we have to, but we do that because Australia, and mostly the government look like they took advantage of that hard work ethic Australia is known for and used to build a system that is full of corrupt, money-hungry individuals. A System that in its current state feels like it is only set up so those who are already rich, can get richer without needing to lift a finger, and for those who are hardworking. Work even harder just to get by. It’s a system set up to fail those that need it the most.
When I was 6 years old, my parents had divorced. My dad and I lived in a car and had only the clothes on our backs. I lived in caravans, couch surfed, stayed in peoples spare rooms for years until finally, we had our own rental. Even then, we still had to work hard. Clothes and furniture came from places like St Vincent De Paul’s and the Salvation Army.
Between now and then, there’s been more rentals with my Dad and then on my own. Decisions I’ve had to make that no one at their age should have to make.
But at the age of 38, I finally felt like I could afford to buy a house, or build one. Given the government had a lot of grants available to help boost the housing industry and keep tradies in work.
The first thing for me was to see how much I could borrow, and if I could make payments, and also in the event of losing my job or an accident I was covered. I started looking into managing my money better by getting the 2020 updated version of Barefoot Investor. I changed banks, set up accounts for places for money to go. I looked into my superannuation because it can come with income protection and life insurance. Check and check.
I looked into building companies, house and land packages, places to build. I spoke to friends in the industry on things to look for when building, things that can go wrong. I looked at several display homes in different places and spoke to a lot of people.
And I came to the conclusion that the housing industry is just corrupt and full of bullshit, with peoples hands in each others pockets. That in no way benefits anyone who is trying to get a house.
When I got a bit closer and I looked at more plans and lots of land, I stopped into a builder and asked some questions. I knew what I wanted in my head, a 12.5m wide block that would allow me to have 3 bedrooms, living, study or second living room, and a double car garage. After going through the process of picking a floor plan, adding in the requirements, it blew my budget well out of the water. I knew there would be hidden costs, but there just seems to be a lot more that you never hear about, and most of it is pointless bullshit.
So I cut my size down, the larger the block of land the more costs. So down to a 10m wide frontage, which drops the price by $25,000, and down to 1 car garage. Still, I struggled to get it under the budget for a tiny place with no yard. I only came in under budget because I had to remove the air conditioning unit.
But there was all these extras, because it was inside an estate you have to choose a facade from the ones that are approved. But for some reason the basic one couldn’t be used at $0 extra. So bang, add on $3500, need some cupboards in your laundry to go along with that sink? Bang $800. Want to have solar panels? Bang, $600 to reinforce the roof so they don’t get ripped off during a strong wind. But wait, there’s the recycled water that has to be connected, NBN to go in costs another $1400. But wait, there’s more! Because it’s an estate they have other requirements, like that the roof gable is a 25 degree angle and not 22 like most, so this adds more costs into the house. It adds up, and continues to add up until you walk out, just like I did. Feeling flat and depressed.
It hit pretty hard for a few days that it’s just not a great idea to build a house, it’s more expensive than buying one. So I spent a couple days wallowing around with the feeling that I’m not going to go anywhere, or have a place to call my own. Until I started looking at already established houses.
After looking, if my budget is right I can look at something on twice the landsize with plenty of bedrooms, living area and garaging. I’m hoping I can get that far, as I’d like to get away from renting and have my own place.