Why do we need a house – in Melbourne?

As the kids grew older, the questions would start when we went to Australia to visit.

“Why do we rent and they don’t?” “How come they own a car and we don’t?” “Will we ever have our own house?”

Our little global citizens were starting to realise they were a bit different from their friends back in Oz. They knew our life was transient and suddenly owning something more than furniture seemed to become quite important to them. Perhaps they were craving stability, something concrete? Or a more normal way of life? I still don’t have the answer to that but three years ago, when we bought our first car in a decade, they were ecstatic. We owned something!

So when we told them we were buying a house, they were very excited. And so was I! The thought of having a permanent, fixed address was very appealing.

“But why do we need a house now…in Melbourne?”

Great question and one I wasn’t quite ready to answer until we had a property. So I dodged around the issue with a mostly truthful answer of “Well, when we do move back to Melbourne, we’ll need somewhere to live, won’t we?”

They agreed so off we went, they (happily) and me (frantically) trawling the internet for a suitable house, in a suitable area with suitable schools. We were pretty excited when the planets aligned and we got the house we wanted.

The search process provided a great opportunity to calculate things like the proximity of the house to the local school, for example. And then I could throw in a few comments to get them thinking about the benefits of being back home…

“Did you know school starts at 9.00 a.m. in Australia?”

It took some convincing to get them to believe me! Currently my kids are dragged out of bed at 6.30 in order to get them to school on time. A 9.00 o’clock start sounded like heaven.

I casually mentioned that “By the way, the school’s only a 10-minute walk from the house…” in stark contrast to the 20-30 minute commute in heavy traffic we currently endure.

It didn’t take them long to figure out that they could sleep in, eat their breakfast without me shovelling it into them, bounce on the trampoline, finish their homework (my wishful thinking)  and still get to school on time.

But once the initial excitement wore off, they did of course realise what a move would really mean.

They’d have to leave their friends behind and start over…again.

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