When Houda, a Sydney girl loyal to her south-west, married her dream man a few years ago, the last place she imaged herself to be in a year’s time is back living with her mother. Not alone. But, with her husband.
To find a house she and her husband could afford when they wed in 2006, they hiked up to Prestons, travelling a few extra kilometres to work and university each day. Although they both were born and raised in the South West—Houda in Liverpool and her husband in Bankstown, Prestons– a fairly new development area, seemed out of their way, but affordable.
“At that time it took me an hour just to get to college or work. It was time consuming. But…it was the only place I could find rent [property]. Both me and my husband had to work. I stayed there for six or seven months. Then, the guy that owed it put up the rent, which was very very difficult for us because we were just affording $320. To go up to $375 we found it very difficult”, said Houda.
With the dream of buying their own home lingering in the back of their mind, Houda accepted her mother’s offer to move in with her. “We wanted to save”, said Houda.
“We wanted to eventually buy our own home”.
Saving towards that dream home meant Houda had to forgo her privacy as a newly-wed, sharing her mother’s house with other siblings.
“Of course the privacy. And you needed freedom. And just the space as well. We had all our furniture as well and couldn’t afford storage too”, Houda said.
After two years, Houda and her husband decided to do it alone again. She searched real estate agents in Liverpool, Bankstown and all surrounding suburbs for an affordable and liveable place to rent.
“It took us forever to find a home. It was very hard to find a rental property because you needed a good rental history. It had to be clean. But, because we didn’t have a long rental history, there was no way we could get it [property]”, Houda said.
That search ended a year ago at a two bedroom apartment in Bankstown where she pays $350 a week.
“Yeh, we had to pay a bit more. But we found that a bargain compared to what we were finding for $400, $450, maybe $380”, said Houda who is also dreading having to move again.
“We have to move out soon. And again we have to look for rent, which is again extremely hard. Right now we’re seeing places that are $400 or $450 a week”, she said.
“We want to save…we want to buy our own house. But we can’t. So what we might have to do is live with my brother. That way we can share the rent”.
Houda, who’s a qualified teacher now, works part-time while her husband sometimes works two jobs, to save and “hopefully” provide the baby on the way with more stable accommodation.
However, for Houda, the future in terms of accomodations, remains unpredictable as she plays it day by day.
“I thought…get married, have a husband, have our own home… then it’s kind of you have to move back in with your family. It’s kind of a shock…but you have to do what you have to do”, she said.