Want one? Your classic house with a white picket fence.

A LOT of people my age are buying their first houses or saving like mad to do so. I used to think about this a lot more before I started travelling. I was working pretty hard and living with the folks so I was watching my bank account swell considerably. I could easily have scrapped together more for a house deposit but instead I went and spent it all on a year of traveling. I’m currently mid-way through my second cycle of this – I’ll go home pretty close to being broke in December, thus squandering another hefty chunk of money I could’ve put towards a quality domicile. Coupled with the fact I’m probably going to be studying for my second degree and renting next year, I don’t really think too much about the whole saving for a house thing much these days. It’s just not feasible. But I’ve mellowed – learnt not to care. The scraps of money I am able to save if I stick out the study for another three years, I’ll still be putting towards an annual overseas trip = no housey for Jakey for a long time.

If I'd kept saving my money I wouldn't have been to places such as this. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, 2009.

Many peeps my age think it’s the be all and end all of their existence. You must buy a place, because that’s just what you do, and that’s what people have always done – their mothers and fathers and their mothers and fathers before them. I’m still on the fence about the whole thing. One the one hand, I can see why you’d want to buy a house. Its something you worked hard for and can be proud to call your own. It feels like home and it’s in a town/city/suburb you have a deep connection with – where you want to while away your days. You can do sweet mods to it or rent it out or sell it at a good time and make a bunch of cash from it, it’s up to you. It’s yours. One the other hand, when you buy a house you’re locked in. Times is tight yo. Forget about long-term travel and make sure you buy the home brand peanut butter instead of the Kraft one because every penny counts Timmy. That scares the shit out of me. Anyways I flicked some questions via the interweb over to a couple of mates regarding the issue. Joe, 26, is a bodyboarder and all-round good guy who’s just purchased his first home not far from where I live. Stubs, 24, is a travelling surfer and punk-rock enthusiast who can’t stand the thought of buying a house. Both were brought up in the same neighbourhood as me, their respective folks’ places mere minutes from each other. Here are their responses:

Joe (via Facebook message)

In terms of buying a place, I’ve always wanted a place near the beach and would much rather a smaller place in a good location than a larger house down south or up north, especially for a first home. We chose a place that we can add some value to with a few renos, which will be fun. I guess I feel it’s good to get into the property market and that’s the choice I’ve made. I’ve sacrificed overseas travel and those sorts of things to save cash. It’s a tough one and I get jealous of you and Sammy’s travel stories, but it’s all good. I’ve chosen to live with the folks up until now and that’s a good way to save money and would rather be living with them than paying rent somewhere else and paying off someone else’s mortgage. I like the idea of owning my own place, something to be proud of and now is as good a time as any to buy, as the real estate market has dropped a fair bit. Hope that helps bro. Go get some foreign tubes, I’ll settle for a Brighton stormy haha.

Spending more time back home does have its perks. Empty SA keg, Sammy Gigs pic.

Stubs (via Facebook chat)

Stubs: ill prob stay here for a while then go up to north nicaragua later in the month and surf that spot the boom

Stubs: spose to be sick barrels

Jake: no shit, i havent looked in to much of the waves there. oi u gotta describe to me why you’re not saving up for a house for my blog

Stubs: haha right now

Stubs: mmmmm

Jake: yep. why do u think it’s a bad idea to save for a house? what should u be spending your money on instead?

Stubs: things more important like living your life instead of thinking its a thing u have to do, as long as u dont starve and are doing fun shit then fuck that right off

Jake: do u reckon you’ll wanna buy one one day?

Stubs: atm id say nahh but who knows what age can do to ya mind.. but i reckon ill just keep living the dream

Stubs would rather do airs off yachts in the Caribbean than buy a house. Pic stolen from his Facebook.

Both men make some valid points, eloquent in their own way. What are your thoughts?



Filed under Travel, Travel vs Career

13 responses to “Houses

  1. Same dilemah all over the globe… Wondering if I am living my life the ‘right’ way. Yet each person finds their own way and no path is the wrong or right one.

    Just have to figure out what works for you i guess…

  2. stephen hansen

    currently 8 grand in debt form 3 month roud trip round USA last year. A few boys from footy club (all recently single, including myself) planning a trip overseas somewhere at end of season. I thought i was gunna pay off my debt and start saving for a house this year. But it then occured to me you only get one chance to be young dumb and have the oppurtunity to hit south america with 5 mates for 2 months. That 8 grand is about to turn into 20 grand of debt. oh well chances like this dont come around very often, houses will always be there.

  3. Daws

    Buying a house hasn’t been on my agenda at all, but after uni and working a dece jobby for a while, I could see myself buying a block of land somewhere in an attempt to get out of the burbs.

  4. dawse

    I’ve had my eye on a cute little bungalow in Muno Para West, not really bruz uni’s killing me.

  5. Gemma Farrow

    Havin a house is sweet, but can hold ya back a fair bit. Still managed to save and travel os for almost 3 months, so it’s not all bad. Back home now and gonna start saving my pennies for the next holiday.

    • For sure Gem, you managed that pretty well! Where you gonna go next? I met an Aussie dude last week, who without fail manages to save up for a month-long overseas trip every year and the list of places he’s been is huge. Think when I get home I’m gonna try do this instead of go away for 9-12 months every time haha.

  6. Just coming off 5 months travel then 12 months studying abroad. Wrecked my bank balance, now in debt to the folks, and like you prob could have used what I had before this for a deposit, but worth it. The travel gave memories for life and so has living in London, its a crazy place and has changed my perspective on lots of things.

    I am going nuts without surf and sometimes wonder if the $20K tuition fees I paid would have better been spent on a trip to Patagonia or Madagascar or both, but, well, no regrets! I have no plans to settle down any time soon either, looking at the future with shaky economies and climate change and stuff, we’d best make the most of the world while we can and settle down when we have to!

    • Very true mate! Yeah the tuition fees will be worth it in the long run for sure, and I dare say you’ll get to those places soon enough. Now I’ve just got to get my head around what to do re: study next year, it’s doing my head in!

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