Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Following a link from James Lileks and grubbing around a bit, I made an interesting discovery about comparative budget housing in the US and Australia.

In the US, $50,000 (Australian) will buy you a five bedroom, two bathroom house in Belle Plaine, a little farming town in Iowa.

The house is over a hundred years old, but needing a fair bit of work to recapture that turn-of-the-century charm. It's only a half hour drive up the interstate to Iowa City or Cedar Rapids, or a little further in the opposite direction to Des Moines.

By contrast, $50,0000 (Australian) will buy you a two bedroom, one bathroom house in Mt Magnet, a wretched, dusty hole of a mining town in Western Australia.

The house probably dates back to the 1980s, and as such has no charm whatsoever. It's about a seven hour drive to Perth, and probably a three or four hour drive down a corrugated dirt road to Geraldton, the closest town of any size.

If that's not quite close enough to the action, $50,000 would also buy you a beachside home in the tourist town of Albany (population 30,000, five hours from Perth). This would be rather nice, if not for the fact that your "home" is actually an on-site caravan. If you're an American and don't know what an on-site caravan is, think trailer park trailer, only without the roominess or the classy interior design.


Blogger Iris Flavia said...

I´ve never been to the US, but would feel way safer near Geralton than there. Did they have a Pizza Hut there, I guess so?
Take Brunswick, Germany: 98.000,00 Euros for a house of 75m².

Aw, well. Will never have the money for a house of my own anyway ;-)

You don´t like on-site-caravans? They´re pretty cool and you get to know so many people in the toilets/shower-rooms! ;-)

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your information about Mt Magnet is sadly outdated.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

The above comment was made four years and three months after the original post.

3:32 PM  

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