Sunday, October 15, 2006

Home Ownership Aboutface

Since I sold the one house I've owned (Dunedin, fifteen years ago) and blew the profit on travelling, I've been a strong advocate of renting (or recently, house sitting). My antipathy to homeownership is the daughter of my financial situation and my priorities. And for various reasons my priority of late has been to not work full time, a lifestyle I have funded with savings that might have been a house deposit in other circumstances.

I recently helped to convince a friend that she shouldn't get over her head into debt to buy her first house in a town where she doesn't really want to live. I dusted off all my excellent reasons to not buy a house. I summoned rationales based on widely known economic discourses such as 'home-ownership is out of the reach of most NZers not already in the market' and 'the bubble must burst, leaving heavily indebted owners with no equity' etc.

But since then I've become slightly obsessed with wanting my own home. It's something to do with the transience of my past couple of years, with finally getting to live in the part of the country I've longed to live in while quixotically* falling in love with a long distance sweetheart, with rediscovering the pleasure of gardening and with a year of living in other people's homes. How often do I aboutface on my strongly expressed positions? Pretty often but don't rub it in. I like to think that I am a flexible, agile, dynamic and responsive Sagittarian Firehorse (thanks, E) rather than a fickle, unstable, unreliable, untrustworthy dilettante.

*I intuitively wanted to use this word here even though I've never used it before, didn't know how to spell it and wasn't sure enough what it meant to publish without double checking. The Consice Oxford definition is such a good description of what I wanted to express that I feel my intuitive vocabulary vindicated. It means (like an) "enthusiastic visionary, pursuer of lofty but impracticable ideals, person utterly regardless of his (sic) material interests in comparison with honour or devotion" (after Don Quixote).

1 comment:

E said...

lol - funny how our intuition picks out the right word. I did this recently when describing something as piquant, which also turned out to be the perfect word.

I don't think it's the Sagittarius in you Meliors - I sincerely believe it is the Fire Horse. We don't like to be fenced in but we have to have our pasture or warm stable to come back to.

Of course I relate to everything you say, hence coining a phrase I remind myself of often...
Never say Never and Never say Forever