The word ‘mortgage', as I've already said, means ‘an agreement till death'.
And make no mistake, the entire universe is conspiring against you ever being mortgage-free.
It happens when you watch shows like The Block.
It happens when you type ‘How much can I borrow?' into a bank's website calculator.
It happens when your friends buy a house in a nicer suburb than yours, and you get a jitter of jealousy.
A side-effect of living through the biggest debt boom in history is that some people view a house like a chess piece: you hold onto it long enough for the equity to rise — and then you trade up to a newer, flashier suburb with newer, flashier neighbours.
I've got a name for people who do this: I call them ‘postcode povvos' — people who hock themselves to the hilt so they can live in a fancy suburb, but end up living lives of quiet desperation in the process.
Let me introduce you to one such couple … they're friends of ours, although I've changed their details. Obviously.
This couple has been married for about nine years. Two squids. They work in the same skyscraper in the city where they met. They earn decent — but not great — dough.
When they first got married all they could afford to buy was a poky little joint in the meat-and-potatoes suburb of Reservoir, in Melbourne's north.
The day they bought it they didn't celebrate. ...