Maria (not her real name) went shopping for a house. Nothing fancy, just a decent middle class home to meet the needs of her family of four. With two working adults in the family,she figured they could afford a house costing RM 700,000.
A double-storey link house in the suburbs was what she had in mind. It would take her and hubby about 30 minutes to commute to their place of work. The children could go to the neighborhood school. A baby sitter could be arranged for after school hours until the parents got home.
So every weekend they would bundle into their car and go house hunting. Here is what they found out:
1) You can find a landed 2 storey house in the region of RM700,000
2) The houses are located a good distance away from any big city.There are small towns located nearby
3) The sizes of these houses are 20×70 or smaller
4) The conditions of these houses are not always good
5) The surroundings are not always pleasant
6) There is insufficient space to store things ie books,toys,bicycles,suitcases etc.
7) Just not suitable for a middle class family
The typical houses had 3 bedrooms and 2 bath rooms on the top floor. There is usually one bedroom and bathroom on the ground floors with hardly a patch of land to call a garden.
In Maria’s words, “In few of the newer houses I looked at, the bedroom downstairs was the size of a broom closet without space to place a bed. Where should my relatives or friends stay when they visit? I can’t make my mother-in-law sleep on the couch when she visits!
As for the bathrooms,there is hardly room to move in it. The kitchen is small and narrow and just not big enough for a family.”
I have met others who share Maria’s lamentations. So what do they do? Well, Maria decided to move even further away from her place of work in order to afford living in a decent sized house.”If I am going to spend my hard earned money paying for a house for the next 25 years, I should be happy and comfortable with my choice”. She does not see a way out of the long commute and the fact that she will hardly see her kids except on weekends.
She accepts things as they are.
My question to you is do you accept this? Is your life about making long commutes in order to own a home and decorate it as you please? Is the middle class being short changed by property developers and the government that does not regulate the housing needs of the people enough?
I would like to see decent housing for all levels of society. I understand that property developers are in the business to make money but there is a fine line between running a business and being greedy. Government regulation is needed not just for low income housing but also for the middle class. Really it is a win-win situation for all, not just for property developers.