City Standard

Paying for it: In hock to the greatly outdated Australian dream

Farrin Foster
Jessica Clark
Lauren Bezzina
Greg Bond
Connie De Crea

Forget negative gearing, Gen Y’s entitlement, the Baby Boomers’ greed, property bubbles and foreign investment. The biggest thing stopping people buying homes in South Australia is that – while the calendars read 2016 – when it comes to housing, it’s definitely still 1956.

It was a good time for South Australia after World War Two. Industry boomed, citizens bred prolifically, state coffers filled and overflowed, and houses – built often by Government for workers – sprung up across the state.

People got married (with no thought for marriage equality at all), they bought a house, had kids (who were raised by Mum, of course, with little more than the occasional harsh word from Dad), and Dad went to work every day, for the same company, for the next 40 (give or take) years.

In completely unsurprising news, six decades later – in 2016 – things are different.

Now, people don’t always get married – they don’t always want to, and some people who want to aren’t allowed.

Meet the cover heroes: Olivia Watson, Amy Joy Watson and Wally Watson the Whippet.

Couples sometimes don’t have kids, or they have a lot of them. Or they adopt. Or they try IVF. Or they have partial custody of children from an old relationship. Or they look after their grandchildren. Or they have a dog.

Some people still do the nine to five, but there’s less and less of them and most don’t think they’ll be in that job for more than a few years. Some people are self-employed. An increasing amount of people can’t get work at all. A startling amount of people own small bars. A lot of the people referenced in this section are women, certainly more than anyone from 1956 would have imagined.

But despite these wholesale changes, when we close our eyes and think of what our home should look like, more often than not we think of an updated, Miele-appointed version of what the generations before us wanted.

The three-bedroom home with a backyard still holds great allure in the minds of South Australians and that’s because our understanding of a “home” is inherited.

“It’s a picture of a home,” says Søren Kristensen, who bought a three-bedroom house with a backyard in Rostrevor with his wife Jane while they were expecting their second child. “What does a home look like? It’s what you grew up with.”

Say cheese
The family fridge and blackboard

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