TVNZ has created a show for our times, and I am excited that it may open serious discussion around our obsession with home ownership.
More interesting, though, is this show’s concept — that the parents are going to help their children ‘get into their first home’, a concept that I thought had died along with Zap milk.
The world my parents bought houses in was very different to now. Back then, first homes cost 1/8 th of a typical income. People with children had the ability to obtain an advance on their Family Benefit, which was pretty meagre, but if advanced in a lump sum, would give you the deposit needed.
My parents bought their first home in Bucklands Beach. Aucklanders will immediately laugh. If you hop onto any real estate website now and have a look at the pricing in this area, you will see why.
They were on one income, and had some savings. My father worked three jobs to make this all happen. Their great fear was two-fold. Firstly, that they didn’t want to put good money into a landlord’s pocket. Secondly, they wanted stability for us guys, because rental situations can be fluid, dependent on the market.
But for now, the show. It’s fairly lame. The young couples do not look like they will ever NOT own a home. Not an ‘other’ ethnicity in sight. This just confirms perhaps the viewing audience (boring white people like me) and the European obsession with owning land.
The dads happen to be builders and bankrollers. It’s going to be pretty straight forward, then, isn’t it?
It reminds me of The Great Food Race (a TV3 event) without food and moustaches. There are crude challenges, and the requisite person falling into some kind of creek.
Doesn’t feel real somehow. Well, it’s the tele, isnt it. But where is the reality?
I’d like some discourse on this. I think we are a bit sick to death of the baby boomers’ narratives about how hard life was with full employment and subsidized housing. But that they had to struggle too and so why should the next generation have it easy?
Collective misery I think it’s called.
Next time on The Sane Companion, man buns, with or without a neck beard. Just can’t get enough.