Quality of Life and the Home Owners Dream, a Paradoxical Paradigm.
One of the most common pursuits of our modern society is independence through home ownership. The commonly held belief is that somehow through this ownership financial independence will prosper and consequently the quality of life will increase. However far few people understand the sacrifices they commit to in pursuit of this reality. Australians will compromise many different facets of their life to secure their ‘dream’ home. From more impoverished living conditions to compromised access to community facilities, many individuals may find themselves geographically limited in their choices.
The stark reality of the quixotic dream
Costs, both anticipated and unforeseen, start accumulating alongside rising levels of stress. Access to transportation modes dwindles as budget-target home hunting drives the search into outer, less accessible suburbs. Due to this, the need for one, possibly two cars arises, leading to more financial stress. Time better spent elsewhere is wasted commuting between work, home and community facilities. Additionally, the environment also suffers as unnecessary pollution is discharged into the atmosphere, further hurdling our planet towards a concerning future.
The solution to all this? Shift current thinking patterns from ‘find a house that fulfils my homeownership dreams while remaining within my restrictive budget targets’ to ‘find living conditions that support and bolster my quality of life.’ Why live in a home that stifles your lifestyle when a more modest apartment or unit in a better geographical location will nurture your quality of life?
To live holistically is to live as a cog within a well-oiled machine, and to become part of that machine one must be within close vicinity of the other parts. Instead of being detached in a prison-like home one should aim to live within a community centre. By moving within walking distance of your daily needs many positive consequences, both for the individual and the nation will occur. As travel time dwindles opportunity costs decrease, resulting in additional time and resources to spend on increasing quality of life. Additionally, health benefits to the individual appear, with real effects on Australia’s health as a whole. As evidenced by the 2011-2012 Australian Health survey, if all Australians did between 15-30 additional minutes of brisk walking, the Australian healthcare system would have a 13 to 26 per cent burden of disease decrease.
Possible opportunities for social involvement within the community will become more reasonable with decreasing travel times. Involvement in community activities can help foster meaningful connections as well as a feeling of belonging, rather than feelings of detachment in a home where your lifestyle restricts your involvement with those around you. Humans are all social beings who want to feel a sense of community with a fulfilling lifestyle to accompany it and the notion of shackling oneself with restrictive home-ownership dreams is not the way to achieve this.