Is 'home ownership' a dubious concept?
I feel that maybe it could be.
You spend twenty-five years or longer ‘paying up’ a house which, when the mortgage is discharged, you notionally ‘own’. But if any things of value, like oil or precious metals, are found within the curtilage, and which you also notionally ‘own’, judging by most of the house deeds I’ve seen, these valuables revert to somebody else – not you.
Also, if you want to make alterations to your home, ‘permission’ is often required before carrying out such alterations. In most cases ‘permission’ is obtained from your local authority. But in Scotland, also from your ‘superior’, the person who owned the land before houses were built on it. He or she is typically a member of the aristocracy whose estates office acts on his/her behalf. For normal ‘alterations’, like garages and extensions, superior permission is seldom withheld, provided the council is happy. But superiors can refuse permissions, and in those cases, long, costly and nerve-wracking appeals typically ensue, mainly benefitting the legal profession of course.
Then, throughout your ownership of a home you must keep both it and its grounds in good condition, all of which is laborious and/or costly. Competent gardeners are rare and expensive.
Furthermore, if your bought home finds itself unfortunate enough to be positioned in a spot that politicians earmark for ‘development’, you can be served with a compulsory purchase order. The council values your home and there’s normally no choice but to accept that valuation, sell up and move out in line with a strict pre-determined timetable. Yes! Move out of your home – the one you’ve assiduously paid for and lavished love and attention on for years - just to suit ‘society’.
In addition, there are ‘leaseholds’.
But those apart, on the ‘upside’ – if you can call it that – most well-behaved home ‘owners’ end up with a nice place to stay, in an area that suits them, and have something to sell for (usually) a handsome profit or to pass on to their children after their deaths. However, because by this stage ‘the children’ usually have their own homes, and often ‘better’ ones than those in which they were raised (at least they think so), they sell the home that you bought by ‘paying up’ for years (and which has probably been ‘paid up’ by others several times in the past) to some young working person who starts ‘paying it up’ all over again. And so the process meanders on until your house reaches the end of its serviceable life, or the developers move in and knock it down to make way for a new bypass or whatever. After all, land takes precedence over any house built on it.
Consequently, can you blame me for suspecting that ‘home ownership’ is an idea far more designed to serve the state than individuals, not least given the enormous amounts of cash that local authorities extract annually from homeowners in the form of council tax and the vast fortunes made by those in the financial world from mortgages?
By and large, buildings outlast people by a considerable margin. ‘Society’ needs real estate, but doesn’t like paying for it. So did ‘society’ devise a scheme that was mainly designed to make ‘the people’ pay for it instead – indefinitely?
I cannot help wondering...
Last edited by teddy4paws; 19-05-2012 at 01:20 PM.