READER REPORT:

Fixing the economy: Imagine if buying a house was trivial

CARL TIMMS
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013
house
PRICEY: At present, should you choose to buy residential property it will almost certainly be the most expensive thing you ever buy.

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Here's a thought. Your home should be a trivial purchase.

At present, should you choose to buy residential property it will almost certainly be the most expensive thing you ever buy, and you will spend a vast chunk of your income for the majority of your working life paying it off.

But for what? The most basic, fundamental thing there is for life in a civilised society: a roof over your head. We're cave-dwelling hominids without homes.

I've often heard how home-ownership is not a human right. Perhaps. I'm not interested in debating that point, but it is a necessity. 

I can't help but wonder how our modern society might be had we grown with a different attitude. We seem irreversibly addicted to the somewhat archaic concept of land and housing as a commodity and status symbol. You can have your McMansion if you fancy, but it could simply be priced at material value.

The ramifications of such an attitude would certainly be interesting. Imagine if you could pay off the mortgage in a third of the time, or at a third of what you're paying now? Would you put the kids through university without loans? Start your own business? Retire rather early? Invest, invest, invest?

The economic and social benefits could be staggering. We'll never know.


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