House envy is like pe*is envy, only bigger

Thursday, April 08, 2010 by Ed Mead

I was on my way to work this morning hammering round Hyde Park Corner on my sixteen year old BMW when I happened upon something called a Kawasaki ZX10. Now this is one of the fastest bikes in the world, vivid green and a quite a handful, but the rider was wobbling about all over the place and I made short work of riding round him on the bend. As soon as we got to the straight he opened the throttle and left me for dead with a glance in his mirror. I drove away with my wife swatting me about the head having forgotten momentarily she was there.

How many times do you drive past a house and think to yourself, how come that plonker is living in a house like that, only to see him turn and push his chest out a little as he sees he’s been spotted. Like penis envy you’ll deny it of course but most will secretly be wishing they could live in a better gaff and the modern way is to plot how to do it without having to actually do any work.

Three years ago you could have simply swerved into your local bank or building society branch office, talked a load of cobblers, and pretty much walked out with the keys to your dream house. These days, unless you have rich parents you can blag you’re stuck with the old fashioned idea of saving up and having just passed 50 no apologies needed for sounding like my father. Having banged on about global issues for the last decade it’s only now that politicians are starting to focus on home grown ones; the family, ASBO kids, drinking and immigration. About flipping time and perhaps just soon enough to rescue us from a generation of kids obsessed with non entity celebs and shoving their way to the front by getting famous, pregnant, ill, or beating someone up to get attention and/or housing.

I used to tell my half brothers and sisters that they shouldn’t get serious about life until they’re 30, but I think I’m going to start altering that advice and being more grown up, telling them instead to do all they can to buy their first property as soon as they can as it’ll set them up for life and they’ll have a mortgage free property to live in by the time they’re 40 odd. A by product of that is that they’ll have to work to pay the mortgage, a virtuous circle if ever there was one. Current received wisdom is that seeing lovely houses on TV and in Hello means we should all have them without the need to anything in order to have one. Those who live in bigger/better houses are targeted as posh, but why do people assume that posh people are rich. Most aren’t and their life is simply a bigger hamster wheel than their accusers.

Integral to any life changing view of society is more and better planned housing. None of the political parties are alluding to this obvious course of action it appears. Having missed the chance to bail out the house builders and impose their will on them to build houses people could actually afford Gordon and his cronies were too busy opening their wallets up to the bankers to look left and see the opportunities. It would have been pennies rather than pounds too.