The Housing Dilemma

Before Eizwan and I got married, Eizwan’s parents cornered (in a good way of course, not in a rattlesnake in the bedroom and all the doors and windows are locked kinda way) and asked us where we were planning to live. As with all parents, the most harmless of questions usually lay a TEH SERIUZ issue underneath.

TEH SERIUZ issue was of course the issue about buying a house. They were concerned that we were not intending to buy a house – and although they did not want to convince us either way, they wanted to understand our thoughts about the future.

Granted, I must come across as an oddity. While I may consider myself as a real goofball, apparently, in real life, I come across as TEH SERIUZ person. Like very serious. The sort that has steel in her eyes, the one that will stop at nothing to pursue her goals.

Now, if only those goals weren’t as, well….weird. At that point, buying a house was really out of order. Because at that point, I was more than convinced that in a few years time, one way or another, I’d be on the Tardis and so, a mortgage would be an impractical burden when you’re off in space.

We told them that we would like to rent first. Of course, we left out the bit about me wanting to be with an alien out, that would just be awkward conversation. Regardless, I knew they were not particularly happy with that decision – a house is an important asset to have.

I kid. Inasmuch as I’d like to pretend I’m a goofy bunny, I’m really not. The decision not to buy came after a long thoughtful discussion and lots of research, consulting with esteemed economists and investment bankers (although post 2008, no one wanted to be friends with I-bankers, so this had to be done on the sly). It did not seem logical then, and with a huge investment already in place between the two of us, we opted not to buy a house of our own. We explained and our parents accepted.

That kind of bliss lasted only for so long. It’s the same like getting married, everyone’s single for so long until, wham! Everyone’s married. Sure, everyone was happy, single and renting and then bam, you’re married, bam, you’re pregnant and wham, you’re a house owner! And all eyes are on you. Like when is it your turn?

The worse thing about this house ownership pressure is that, fuck, it comes from all sides. Not just from them smug marrieds. It’s from them singletons as well. Three of my single friends bought homes this year – and despite pretending to be all bohemian and mystery writer and all, where nothing can hold me down – I can’t help but feel the pressure.

There are pros and cons to living in a rental. But one of the biggest cons, is well, it’s not your own home. There are little things about our current house that we wish we could fix. Like have an uber-fantastic kitchen when I can be mad scientist all day. Or a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling shelves of books made from oak wood, one where I can get a ladder to slide from end to end.

Granted, if I have a house of my own, I might not actually have this from the lack of funds but hey, it’s nice to dream.

But mostly, and shock horrors, I don’t want to feel irresponsible. I feel irresponsible not having a house, as though should we ever have a baby, I’d have to do the dastardly deed of telling my kid that, ‘Darling, I know we’ve already failed you as parents. Your parents have a rental. No, darling, we don’t rent out to people. We live in a rented property. I know. For shame.’ It makes me feel like I’m not taking control of my future, like we’re leaving it up to chance as opposed to carpe diem.

And if you know me, this is very, very hard. I. Hate. Not. Being. In. Control.

The competitive person in me is starting to feel as though I’m falling behind. Which is just as bad because making an investment decision by keeping up with the Jones? Poor show, Adlina, poor show.

Will we make an impractical decision and just jump into the property world? Unlikely. This feeling in me, it’ll come to pass. I know I have to be patient, that I’d have to wait before experiencing the joys of being home owner (and after today, whereby I’ve spent 5 hours of scrubbing walls, painting, putting putty on the walls, oh, I think I can wait a little longer)

And it’s okay.

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3 comments on “The Housing Dilemma

  1. raihanaaaa says:

    Great post. I started working full-time in 2008, and the intake of graduates I started out with? They’re all homeowners now, or are looking for a place to buy. One of them is now looking for a second property, this time to live in with her boyfriend because the first property was for investment.

    Me? Still renting. Still in no position AT ALL to buy a place. Still thinking that any money I make is going towards funding awesome annual vacations and eventually, a wedding I don’t even really want to have because I think it’s more practical to elope, because weddings cost a bomb and I’d rather use the money to travel or put towards a house, but no, Boyfriend isn’t as willing to piss his family off as I am willing to piss mine off. Bah, humbug. Sorry, it’s still a sore point.

    But yeah, I do have a point and it’s this: it’s fine to not keep up with the Joneses. You’ll buy a place when you’re ready. In the meantime, just, er, ignore everyone else.

    • Adlina says:

      Tell me about it! What happened to the time in university where everyone talks about climbing the Machu Picchu and doing fantastic things? Nowadays all our earnings go towards buying a house, making the house appreciates in value and then we sit around discussing the best value for money diapers.

      It is a bit lonely though, isn’t it? Not keeping up with the Joneses. People start thinking you’re weird and don’t really want to associate with you.

      But it’s all good 😀 It’s much easier when you have friends out there thinking the same way you do.

  2. raihanaaaa says:

    People sit around discussing the best value for money diapers? o_0

    Please slap me if I ever start doing this (assuming Boyfriend manages to convince me that us having a kid is a good idea!).

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