do't just stand there

My partner and I are 28. We went to an open for inspection of a house we liked and thought we could afford. We turned up just before he closed. There was an older couple there in their 50-60’s.

The price was ‘from $600k+’ on the sign in sheet we left with him.  On it was just our names and presumably the other couple’s names. It was a four bedroom house on a main road near a school. My partner loved it. We put in an offer of $620k. Three days later we got the call: “sorry the house has sold… for $700k.”

Three weeks later, we got a phone call from the agent. “I know you guys really liked that house, it’s by a school and has room for kids… Well I’d like to offer it for you first.  It’s just come on the market.  To rent.” 

I hung up.

That night my partner cried. She cried and cried and cried, in front of the TV, reading a book, for about 2 hours. Nothing I could do or say would comfort her.  I felt utterly useless.

We knew that after the tax breaks and concessions available to investors they would be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars less than we would have for that house.

We went to bed. I could tell she wasn’t asleep in the dark. After about an hour she finally said something low and casual…

‘I hate Australia.’

It wasn’t loud or angry or anything. I like food. Today was hot. I hate Australia.

We are third and fourth generation Australian citizens.

We know nine people now who have left Australia in the last two years.  They just moved overseas and we’re joining them. 

Living in Australia is financial SUICIDE for anyone under 30. Every ‘grant’, concession, tax break, assistance program does nothing but increase the cost of housing by that much and more. The $500k Stamp Duty threshold just gave developers an excuse to say ‘$500k is what you should be spending on a first home’ even if it cost $130k to build.

There is no prospect of further interest rate falls to look forward to – quite the reverse as rates go back to normal sometime during the life of our mortgage.  Plus having to use between 40 and 50 per cent of TWO incomes to buy a house – on top of FALLING real incomes.

We have no desire to become slaves to the baby boomer generation and for them to suggest to us that we ‘sacrifice more’ when we already have to retire later, fund their retirements and our own, pay HELP debt when they get to enjoy a free carry, while we endure the highest living costs on earth.

Australia has broken my partner’s heart – all impersonal so everyone’s hands are clean, but the consequences are the same.  I cannot forgive you.

We are on our way to New Zealand for two weeks, the USA for a month then Europe for another month, to find a new home elsewhere.  We’re sad to leave but economic slavery is still slavery, just harder to recognise.


Nathan’s Story is part of Prosper’s irregular series of spontaneous, unsolicited contributions from disenchanted Australians.  How many of our best and brightest must leave to fulfill their dreams? 

See also:

Anthony’s Story

Goodbye to high land prices