The housing seek

by Dang Vu Hoai Nam on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 08:30am

In such a hustle and bustle city as Hanoi, residents have diverse preferences for their dwellings. While the majority prefers the downtown or the Old Quarter where they could enjoy an authentic life of a Hanoian, the glitterati rush to the West Lake area. Residential areas and skyscrapers are crowded with youngsters, immigrants, or on-budget residents. It is commonly argued that buying a townhouse is a good investment. Meanwhile, the old seeks for tranquil farmhouses in the suburbs. As real estate remains a prominently hot debate in this city, everyone shows off as an expert when they come to advise you on buying a house. Nevertheless, the determinant factor is your disposable income.

Tradeoffs are also parts of the housing deal. Conservatives and populists insist on a “piece of land.” They want to be masters of their own spaces, doing whatever they like from renovation and re-constructing the whole house. They don’t want to be bound by rules and regulations. So, are such bindings not good? There is a trade-off between their own freedom and freedom of their surroundings. The possibility of doing whatever they want is universal for their neighbors. If they could irk their neighbors by noises from their construction work or smells from their kitchen, what they should expect in return? It seems that freedom is not the “no-rules” rhetoric. No pain. No gain.

People often ignore the fact that we are living in a communist regime that claims ownership of all land. This is a totalitarian regime and feudal in its conception but not like any inherited state with a monarch at its head, such as the UK. We should be noted that those countries that allow private ownership of land are amongst the most developed ones, given the US, France, and Germany as some examples.

I am quite complacent with my choice of a large enough apartment in a bourgeois community. My residential area consists of five buildings. It boasts a manicured garden, a playground for the kids, two private swimming pools, a gym, a multi-purposed stadium, a kindergarten, a square, some coffee shops and restaurants. I find it enough for a so-called “downtown resort.”

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