I am, I suppose, in a way, a bit of a record keeper… this isn’t as hard as it sounds, in the digital age, you just need regular backups to some location or device.
So I was able to look at what I was paying to rent a 3 bedroom property 6 years ago, and a 2 bedroom property 8 years ago, and compare it to what I am paying today.
Which brings us to the definition of “property”… you can go to the rightmove website and browse to your heart’s content, and most of the housing stock consists of places with main rooms that are each 100 square feet or less and bedrooms that are much smaller, and if they have gardens they are what we used to call “the size of a postage stamp” or “too small to swing a cat”… basically, literally just enough room for one of those pop up rotary clothes line things that my mum used to call a “whirly”
Of garages and outbuildings and such like, there are none.
But then this is what happens when you start cramming 12 or 15 or 17 “houses” together per acre, minus roads, pavements and services.
There isn’t even enough room in them to live, much less enough room to DO anything that might earn you a living, or save you money, or give you space to adapt.
My current pad does not have a garden, or exterior courtyard, or much of anything outside, but, what I class as my workshop is by far the biggest room in the house.
The other thing the workshop has that none of the rest of the place, and no other houses have, is level and easy access with wide doors… I used to do furniture removals many years back during a quiet spell, and I look at 99.99% of housing today and thank god I am not the poor bastard who has to maneouver a 3 seater sofa and king size bed from the wagon to the appropriate interior rooms… there is a reason self assembly furniture is so fucking popular here.
There is now a sufficient level of disconnect between what people actually need to live in to make a house a home, and those that build and design and approve them, that nobody even knows what a proper family home is any more.
I cannot stress the sheer convenience of being able to walk from the lounge to my workshop in less than 60 seconds, quite apart from the extra expense and lack of security, having to rent a workshop space a ten minute drive away just kills all sorts of productivity and time management, jobs that now are no more complex than going into the kitchen to make a meal take on the complexity of going camping, and if you forget anything, you got another round trip back to home and back to get it.
I’m reminded of old Stan, I haven’t even thought of the guy for years, but back in the seventies Stan bought an old (steam) traction engine for 500 quid.
It didn’t run, and even back then it would have cost 20,000 to fix up, but it moved if you towed it. I saw Stan move house twice, and it was always a major problem finding a place with a shed big enough to take his old engine, Stan used to grin, much to his wife’s chagrin, saying that this was the whole fucking point, any house that did not have a shed big enough for his engine would also be inadequate in many other ways…
My dad used to build boats for a hobby, all sorts between 15 and 30 feet, looking back he fucked up on the 30 footer, because he didn’t have his own land big enough to build it on, and they *could* have afforded it, a third of an acre would have done, and they later bought places with that, but at the time they were in places that had the “old” standard building plot of an eighth of an acre per house.
Stan bought an old worn out traction engine because he couldn’t afford an army surplus tank, that’s what he really wanted, a WWII Tiger tank… there used to be a guy about 6 miles from here that had an old Sherman in his front yard.
Today we live in a world where a guy who builds a wooden tree house in his own tree in his own back garden gets taken to the cleaners for violating planning permission, because some neighbour complained that it somehow affected the value of their home, shades of American style community laws about what you must and must not do with your own fucking property… how dare you wish to paint your own fucking front door cardinal red…
Of course, like everything else in modern life, it isn’t one size fits all so much as whatever you do, there better be a fucking form for it that you can fill in, that way, whatever you do, it is fucking guaranteed to generate ongoing revenue and employment for some other fucker in the state apparatchik.
I semi-permanently moved to a foreign country some years ago, there was an higher supra national hierarchy rule in place, to do or be X, you had to have completed Form ABC123, of course, nobody, not even the locals, had any interest in anyone *officially* being X, if you wanted to do it, just do it, and as long as you kept your nose clean and formed part of the community, nobody gave a shit… so they figured out that you weren’t in violation of this rule that you *must* complete and submit Form ABC123 if nobody in the town hall had any copies of Form ABC123 to give you, and, there were no specific rules in places to say that the town hall always had to have on hand a sufficient number of Form ABC123, so what they did was order 1,000 printed, and accidentally left the whole two reams on the loading dock in the rain.
It worked for several years, then eventually the hierarchy came down on the town hall, and me and a lot of others upped sticks and left… to be replaced by people who DID complete Form ABC123, but who, having done so and thus obtained their legal status, felt no need whatsoever to be a part of the local community, or to spend any of their income in the local community, or employ them.
I’ve got relatives trying this shit now in eastern Europe, sadly my relatives are complete shits who see the current anarchic state as a way of making money by getting bits of paper entitling them to do X, via possession of Form ABC123, thus far, despite all the talk of “this time next year we will be millionaires” and despite driving around in fairly new Mercs and suchlike, they are thankfully getting stonewalled and fucked over by the very communities they were attempting to helicopter in and exploit for their own personal gain…
The bottom line is this, even if you choose to be a 9 to 5 wage slave, you really do need a “home” that has enough room, and freedom, should you so choose, to put a tank on the front lawn.
This goes ten times as strong should you wish to have any sort of second string to your bow, or run a business from your own home.
Sadly, 99.999% of current housing stock makes such things impossible, which is not just fatal for the economy and freedom and liberty, it also means that those of us who do not WANT to live in a fucking shoebox or rabbit hutch, have to work with the remaining 0.0001% of housing stock, because buying say 3 acres of land to redevelop for your own purposes is also pretty nigh on impossible, one because people are either only selling tenth of an acre plots with outline planning permission for two rabbit hutches for enough money to buy a new top of the range Ferrari, or they are selling 20 acres of rough pasture with no possibility of any change of use from the planning department.
All that is left is my way, choosing one of the crap 0.0001% of housing stock that nobody else wants, and running my own small business ventures off the fucking radar with kit that I own outright with no leasing or loans or HP, if I make 200 bucks this week I do, if I don’t I don’t, buy hey, at least I don’t fucking pay tax on it.