Upstairs and Downstairs

In my first 35 years living in England I always lived in 2 storey homes. I was never that keen for the following reasons:

  • During that time I thought that the worst job around the house, when helping my mother, and later my wife, was cleaning the stairs!
  • When we had young children there was always the worry about them falling downstairs.
  • If you got a leg injury you could be forced to stay on the ground floor until you recovered.
  • As you got older, if you didn’t want too move, you be forced to buy a stair lift.
  • Moving new furniture is also a problem with 2 storey houses particularly when the stairs have a bend in them. The ones that double back are the worst!

Most people in Britain aspired to living in a single storey house, or as they call them in England ‘a Bungalow’.

Imagine my surprise when we moved to Australia and found that two storey houses were seen as the premium end of the market. I quickly said there was no way I would be living in a 2 storey house again.

If I was starting out again with the current problems of urban sprawl and housing affordability I might be forced to think again.

Perhaps the developers and builders also need to think again and start offering designs and subdivisions that are aimed at smaller two storey houses.

You do see a few smaller houses but they tend to be in body corporate infill developments as these are generally built closer to the city there isn’t the same saving for the first time buyer compared with newer subdivisions. There are also often issues of limited parking.

Two of the first three houses I lived in were two bedroom terraced homes on blocks around 5m x 15m 175m2. Some of the houses being built today in my home town are on smaller blocks than that!

Would you be happy to get a start in the housing market by buying a smaller 2 storey house, and then moving up to a larger two storey house as your family grow?