A new message bursts into my email inbox. Claim my attention in bold and, after the word ‘Alert’, I continue reading: ‘New chalet in your search!’ I am not currently considering acquiring a chalet, in fact, I am not considering acquiring anything, nor do I just want to move from the modest apartment of the 70s in which I live in my town since I bought it in 2005, but I like to see what moves in the real estate market and under what conditions.
Naive of me, I click on the ‘new chalet’ that a well-known real estate portal offers me in a rainfed area near my town and the image hits me squarely: the supposed chalet is, without misleading you, something similar to a tool house of the field on rustic land of 49 square meters with two rooms. And a fireplace, sorry. Price, 99,000 euros (for not reaching six figures, I say).
But the thing is going to more. Surrounded by fruit trees, it is reached through a rough stone path and it has, yes, an irrigation pond. Aware of the product they sell as a chalet, those responsible for the portal add suggestive phrases such as “Would you like to have your own garden?” (Of course, there is nothing but a garden, I think) and “have a family gathering place, where you can get together with your friends to have a meal?” In the open air, of course, because inside the hut and with the COVID measures few can fit, I wonder, astonished.
Although they acknowledge that the house is “modest”, they openly add that, after paying 99,000 euros for it (the most important thing “it has electricity and water!”) “With your touch you could make it very very flirtatious”. “Your own ranch,” they end. Come on!
This, as there are a thousand on social networks every day, is just a mere example of the constant real estate violence that has been established among us almost without realizing it, giving for good prices and offensive and unaffordable conditions not only for the pocket but also for the common sense. It is a matter of respect. In big cities we can attend, dumbfounded, to the sale or rental of authentic zulos of less than 30 square meters without anyone kicking the game board that has been implanted in us and saying: «No, look, this is not worth it. What you are doing is not only a lack of respect and a gesture of violence towards a large part of the population, but it is also illegal.
I know dozens of people, the vast majority of them young, who lose half of their precarious salary, if not more, in the rent of their home, after having ruled out the near possibility of acquire something of your own. Half the salary if they want to live on their own, of course, and not share a roof and toilets with other people for decades. A legitimate desire and, furthermore, recognized in the Constitution.
For this reason, when I receive this type of mail with offers of non-existent chalets, corrals, half-ruined town houses that are an «excellent option» and flats that doubtfully have a habitability certificate, I cannot help wondering how it is possible that there is whoever opposes regulating and establishing economic and moral maximums and minimums to guarantee that its people —vote those who vote and live where they live— can develop a dignified life plan.
Notably irritated, I close the email after sending the message where it deserves, the recycling bin, but with the sadness of knowing that, despite everything, that tool house that they sell as a chalet will be even better than many of the houses in the that thousands of citizens are living poorly today. To make him look at it.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.