Racist or realist?

This is a touchy topic. I expect some will disagree, that’s fine to do, but please keep your comments civil or they will simply not be approved.

Your typical "Sardine house"

Yesterday, myself and Felix’s father went to view the block of land we would potentially build our house on. Now, we are on a low budget, and it’s a small block on a “Sardine estate” as I like to call them. Even for this tiny block, the closest to the city we can afford is a town 40 mins away, at the very end of the train line.  Basically, there’s little to no choice if we want to get anything at all.

So here we are, brum brumming down in our car, full of optimism. Yes, it’s small, but we were assured by Homestart that it was a nice new suburb close to amenities and a primary school – sounds good enough for us! As we draw closer, we drive through Armadale, a town notorious for outbreaks of violence, petty crime and a high population of Aboriginal people. Sure enough, we drive through graffitied houses, bus stations buried with litter, and large groups of Aboriginals gathered outside of shops and parks drinking from paper bags.

Myself, Felix’s father, and of course Felix, are incredibly white. Me and Felix are both natural blondes, his father is a chestnut-brown, and we are all very pale skinned.We look to many as your stereotypical white Australian  family, in a work car which is a Triton (A ute with a cab on it).

A group of Aboriginals drinking

We felt uneasy driving through these sorts of scenes, with many of the Aboriginal groups making unfriendly gestures; be it flipping the bird, spitting on the path, or simply snarling. So we look for an alternative route to our new suburb, however unless we want to add another 20 mins to the drive and come from the south, there isn’t one. We pass a small piece of bushland and a railway line, and on the other side is our suburb, just as we expected it to look – Small, new, quiet. We hadn’t anticipated it being quite so close to Armadale. We drive around it a little, and yes, there is a little shop close by, a primary school, and some farm houses on the outskirts.  Its all rather nice.

Some Aboriginal people walking along the roadside, one spat at us as we drove past.

However, on our way back home (The same route we would have to drive every time we entered or exited our home) we again pass these collections of Aboriginal people, and again feel a little threatened and uneasy by the unwanted attention. And we begin thinking, do we really want this every day? Do we want to have this hostility at the local shop, do we want our son to eventually go to a school with this sort of locale? And the answer is simply no. I have no problem with races, but the atmosphere created by the sheer number of Aboriginals in this area who are generally very poor, compared to the white folk who are not so poor, just makes the place very unappealing. As such, we are looking to build in another area.

This raises some questions for me… How does this sort of attitude begin? And how can it stop? The reason the house prices are so cheap in that area is more than likely because many people don’t wan’t to buy there with it being so hostile, and that just leads to a bigger and bigger gap between the percentage of black/white, which I assume simply amplifies the attitude over time. However, many people who are looking for cheap houses are those like us who are starting families, they won’t want their children growing up next to a rough neighbourhood.

It’s all a bit of a pickle, isn’t it?


The Woes of the First-Home-Buyer

I apologize for the sudden end to my postings. Unfortunately, in the last fortnight, life got horrendously busy. 

How this happened is a little confusing to me, but here goes;

  1. December 2011, our lease ran out.
  2. January 2012, we get an offer to renew our lease. We accept, and sign a form declaring our interest in renewing our lease. Done and dusted.
  3. February 2012, we complain about the huge water bill we were given. This bill was upwards of $1000 for one year – way too much for two adults and a baby to consume, and according to our water corporation, “enough to fill a swimming pool every day”. Our previous rentals water bill for 1 year was $200.
  4. March 2012, a plumber is sent out. He gives the OK to the property, declaring there are no leaks. We persist, calling the water corp and complaining. After nothing further can done by the real estate, we notify them of our intent to call Tenant Aid as we are not convinced the bill is correct.
  5. April 2012, we get a notice to terminate our residency here. Upon my calling and asking – WTF? – we are told that the form we signed was not in fact the lease, but just a piece of paper to say we WANTED to renew the lease. The owner had since changed his mind, and not given us a lease. We had been – unknowingly – living on a periodical lease which he had then terminated with the reason “The owner has chosen not to specify a reason”.

"I smell a rat..."

Now, to me, this seems all a little sus. We had called many many times for the water bill to be looked at over the last 6 months, and this was ignored up until we called the Water Corp ourselves. Then, upon mention of Tenant Aid, we get a residency termination notice? Also, noone ever called to tell us the owner had changed his mind. As far as we were concerned, we had a lease up until July this year. I smell a rat.

And so, with our trust in rentals diminished, the mortgage hunt has begun. “We” being  myself, 20, my son’s father, 27, and my son. We are a single income family as I stay home to look after my son and study. Unfortunately, we can’t get anything better on our wages than a 3 x 1 house built 40 years ago. Which is oh so depressing.

Which leaves us with several options:

1) Save more and get a better job, and continue renting.This is a last resort option.

2) Buy a house and land package, build, and rent for the  year it will take. Better, but still involving the rent rat.

3) Group together with some friends in similarly sticky situations, and see what we can do. Aha!

So that is now the  goal. We have two potential friends who may be interested, and we could just about gather enough income to get a 4 bedroom house to share.Income wise – Done! However, the two potentials have debts which could harm their credit rating… Saga, to be continued!

The moral of this blog….. Gee whizz but buying a first home is difficult!!