We bought a cheaper, basic house with nothing in the back yard. We thought we wanted to garden, and that we could save some money on the house itself by doing up the yard ourselves. I was sure I wanted to be a gardener. We’ve put in a small shed, a little patio to sit on to watch the kids play, and a garden bed. And hardly use the back yard. We also hate general maintenance, so it seems. We had some minor flooding during the cyclone, because of a problem that probably should have been fixed a long time ago. Now we really had better fix it.
But then it dawned on me today: I don’t want to own a house.
We bought a house because, well, that’s what you do. Isn’t that what everyone with a family does? I live in regional Australia, where everyone I know, have ever known, lives in a house with a yard. If they live in a townhouse or a unit it is just until they can move into a proper house. Every weekend you have to mow the lawn, and, at least at my house, most of the time we can’t even use the yard because it is so stinking hot. I’ve been telling my husband for as long as we’ve lived here that I wish we didn’t have so much front yard because we don’t use it for anything but keeping the letterbox on.
I still want to own a house rather than rent it - our mortgage repayments are far lower than rent, but now I’m wondering whether my family’s lifestyle is more suited to a 3-bedroom unit in a small complex. Somewhere we we can still have people over (which is something we do actually do), and maybe a couple of pots of tomatoes and things on the verandah, and then be able to walk to the park to play cricket or ride bikes. Maybe a courtyard or a large verandah where the kids can get out and run around and where we can spend all our time outside (hey, I live in the tropics!).
The funny thing is that I’ve been attracted to that style of housing for so long. Maybe my subconscious has been trying to tell me something. I think we probably should have known that we don’t like maintenance, because we aren’t exactly handy people. I’d much rather read a book, and my husband would much rather kick a football, than prune trees or paint walls. Really.
The toughest thing now will be to convince my husband that we should even consider it.