I didn’t plan to grow up to be thirty-five, single and living in a share house. Like many kids growing up in the suburbs I assumed I would grow up and buy my own home. That was before property prices went insane, the GFC happened and my long-term boyfriend turned into an ex. Things did not turn out how I had hoped they might but for years I lived in rented share houses stroking the remnants of my childhood assumptions.
It wasn’t until my last landlord defaulted on his mortgage, and the sheriff showed up on my front door, that I said to hell with it and made the decision to kill the great Australian dream of a house, a car and a spouse.
After my landlord’s house was repossessed by the bank I was thrust back into the madness of the inner city rental market and hating every second of it. And it is madness. Don’t let anyone ever try to tell you that paying over fifty percent of your salary for a room in a share is a good idea.
It wasn’t just the obscene cost of sharing with two other people I objected to. Renting always feels temporary, no matter how long you stay in one place. The house is not your own and there is never a moment you are allowed to forget it. Seeking permission to hang pictures, plant vegetables and even keep a bike in the shed, being subjected to quarterly inspections and knowing at any moment a letter could arrive asking me to leave was daily reinforcing the place I called home was not my own. I needed to find a way to get out of the rental market.
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