Jimmy Thomson gives 15 reasons on why it’s better to live in a unit than a house.
Living in a house is so-o-o-o much better than living in an apartment. Or, at least, that’s what housies would have us believe. With rents and even the cost of a two-bedroom house and a two-bed unit almost on a par, it’s no longer just about the money – it’s a lifestyle choice.
Wheel the bins out, wheel them back in. Leave it too late and you have to wait another week, then they get too full for the automatic truck loader and the garbos tip half of it on the street. If only houses had garbage chutes.
2. The pool
Who knew that the kiddies paddling pool in your backyard was illegal? And to think you could have had an apartment with a lap pool, spa and kids paddling pool– and someone to look after them – for the same rent.
3. The lawn (1)
It’s a fact, grass grows whether you want it to or not. Get the lawnmower out and spend half an hour getting it to start before you give up and take a trip to Bunnings to buy a new one.
Every village has its idiot and the one in your street parks across your driveway meaning you can’t get out “Oh, sorry mate, it’s the weekend and I didn’t think you’d be going anywhere” or you can’t get in “Oh, sorry mate, I thought you’d gone away”.
Meanwhile chummy’s driveway is empty because he can’t be bothered reversing in or out. Try that in a unit block and see how far you get before you get fined or even towed.
There’s too much room. There’s an immutable law of the universe that the more room you have, the more crap you find to fill it. So although you may have plenty of space to begin with, even before you move in you have mentally filled every nook and cranny with stuff … and then you go shopping for more stuff because another part of your brain says the house is virtually empty.
Admit it, you have boxes in your basement, attic, garage and “spare room” that you can’t bear to throw out even though you don’t know what’s in them. And you have stuff cluttering up your living space because the “storage” is full of boxes.
6. The lawn (2)
You may cut your grass only when aliens start making crop circles in it, but the guy next door is fastidious. Every weekend it’s the lawnmower one day, then the leaf blower, edger, strimmer or hedge trimmer the next. Hasn’t this guy ever heard of hangovers?
7. Your neighbours
Speaking of neighbours, nobody told you next door was a party house. All night, every weekend, it’s AckaDacka at full blast and after a while the cops don’t come because they have better things to do. Shame there’s no building manager to come and cut the power when it all gets too much.
For about half of every year, you have to deal with leaves. They are on your porch, in your illegal paddling pool and in your gutter.
Get the ladder out and get up there, buddy, because as soon as you don’t, you’re going to get a tropical rainstorm with half of it ending up inside the house. Oh, and on the topic of leaves, did we mention the leaf blower next door?
9. The Views
It’s hardly what you’d call a “vista”. Basically it’s your lawn (heaven help you), your fence, some cars, at least one of which is on bricks, and another house just like yours but with a nicer garden. Enjoy.
10. The lawn (3)
Remember that rain that flooded the guttering? Well, the grass just grew again.
Where’s the nearest cosy little coffee shop that sells proper coffee rather than “mugaccinos” that are so weak they have to put flavouring in them? Right next to the wine bar, book shop, cinema that doesn’t only show movies for teenage boys, boutique clothes shop and restaurant with tablecloths – two bus rides and a train trip away.
No, we’re not talking about street noise. It’s that unidentifiable creak and squeak that you hear in the middle of the night that may be a) a burglar: b) something that requires oil – if you can ever find either the oil or the thing that needs oiling; c) something that requires another trip to Bunnings
13. The lawn (4)
Maybe you’re the fastidious gardener in item six but your neighbour is a back-to-nature (or back-to-bed) type who just lets the lawn grow wild. “Hey, man, weeds are just flowers that are free!” All that hard work means nothing if you have a wilderness next door.
Talking about burglars, what’s easier to break into, an old house with an unkempt lawn at the front and a largely unused (since the illegal paddling pool was removed) backyard, protected by a sagging fence? Or an apartment on the fifth floor with neighbours above, below and on either side, and electronic locks on the street door and lifts, before you even get to the front door of the unit? Yup, that’s why next door has a big dog that barks all night.
No matter how big or small your issues with your neighbours are, whether it’s the party boys or the parking idiot, or the backyard bonfire that has just covered your washing with soot, or the dog that craps on your lawn or barks all night, or their rattling windows and tiles, sooner or later you have to confront your neighbour and they are going to say “is it really that much of a problem?” This will quickly be followed by “it’s my house and I can do what I like” then “if you don’t like it here, that road will take you somewhere nicer.”
Apartment blocks have rules, most of them are sensible because they are there to deal with the morons who shouldn’t ever be allowed to live anywhere but in a house. And your neighbours need never know it was you who complained.
20th January, 2016
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