Sunday, February 14, 2010

Game of Pricks

I might complain about this for a while. Get ready.

I recently got approval for a loan to buy a small property in Sydney. My plan was to buy a small one bedroom flat in the area where I live. The idea is based on a) spending a lot of money on rent that could be put towards my own mortgage and b) the joyous notion that I'd never, ever have to deal with a real estate agent again. I'm sorry but after eighteen years of renting and being treated like shit consistently by these super villains of commerce has made me extremely bitter. I have long held belief that if there was a nuclear war, the only things which would survive would be cockroaches and real estate agents - cockroaches being the more evolved of the two. This shiny suited pricks would rise from the ashes of humanity's destruction and immediately start talking about a nuclear ravaged landscape as a 'fixer-upper.'

Things have been harder than I expected. Firstly, Sydney is not only suffering from a rental crisis but a home shortage too so the hundreds of people attending a house showing is no different than the hundreds of people attending a rental showing. Secondly, real estate agents knowing someone will buy even the most derelict of shit-holes don't have to pretend to be nice so the difference between a renter and a buyer is no different - they're just pricks to everyone.

Next up, three days after I receive loan approval, this news article appears in the paper. Probably written by some Marrickville real estate agent, it starts trumpeting my suburb will be the next Paddington and invest there NOW! So that plan of sneaking onto the property ladder in sleepy old Marrickville has been destroyed. Thanks corporate media for that! No doubt this will add another 20% to prices in Marrickville as ALL the real estate agents in the area have the article in their front window.

Further, all the houses/flats are now online which is great but often they won't tell you how much they cost. You ring the real estate agency - "I'm sorry I don't know how much that is, it's best to ask the agent at the showing." You turn up to the showing and it's $100,000 more than you can afford. Thanks for wasting my time. They also do that thing where they list studios as one bedroom flats (I'm not going to sleep next to my fridge - it's not going to happen people) and generally misrepresent everything about the residence. Fixer-upper is new code for crack den.

Anyhow, this will teach me for getting involved in this fiasco called home ownership. A recent study found that all property in Sydney is 50% over valued compared to it's international counterparts. I can by a shit hole in Marrickville got $290,000 or an apartment in Berlin for $90,000. What am I doing here, it's madness...

Anyhow, I'll keep you informed of my progress, if any is made...



  1. Oh gawd that's hideous JH. In the words of The Village People, you may have to Go West. I mean further west. Although, slightly further than you (Summer Hill) is Baby Town and any further becomes Bogan Town.
    That's really tough.
    My vote's for Berlin.
    But I would just like to commend you on being hell of grown up. Nothing says "adult" like mortgage. So the upside is you rock.
    You can do this, JH. Don't let The Pricks win.

    x K

  2. I'd be tempted to move back home. Renting has its drawbacks, but buying is just insane at the moment. But then again... Marikaville is nice. It has the amazing Huong Huong restaurant, which I'd happily beat a footpath to. Maybe Dulwich Hill? It can't see the sense in these inflated values... if there wasn't so much demand, it'd all come crashing down. Fingers crossed.

  3. Yeah, the 'ville is filled with great food. My scope extends as far as Summer Hill but that's getting on the cusp of where the inner-west turns into the west and they don't like my kind out that way. Yes, it is ridiculous but I said two years ago, surely the arse will fall out of the market eventually and it just gets worse and worse. Bring on the great collapse I say!