The ‘New’ Estate

You know that type of house that was super commonplace when you were a kid, to the point that you can’t help but turn your nose up at it design-wise? This doesn’t really rely on you being born at any particular time, by the way. I’ve no doubt that people of all generations can relate to this; it’s just that the type of house in question looks different depending on when you grew up. 

For me, it’s these faux-fancy homes that were built en masse in my suburb in the mid-nineties. The area where they were built was referred to as ‘the new estate’, and continues to be called that despite the houses having been around for a good 25 years now. They’re all made of multicoloured brick. Not multicoloured in a fun way, mind you – just that classic nineties thing of having blonde, red and dark bricks all mixed together. And they all have ‘unique’ flourishes, such as unnecessary gables or weather vanes, which are usually painted dark green. Don’t even get me started on the identical ‘turfed front lawn with a palm tree’ business.

Anyway, you get the idea. I’ll get to my point. Basically, I’ve just found out that these are becoming quite sought after, two decades having afforded them borderline ‘period’ status. They’re calling it ‘90s individualism’ or something. If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone in real estate. My friend Theresa heard it from her parents, who have friends whose friends are professional property advocates. For Melbourne buyers, claims Theresa, this type of house is starting to become valued as the ideal family home with character, and they’re generally in quite good condition because they’re not actually that old. 

It’s weird, you know, but it kind of makes sense. I mean, it’s not that these houses are inherently terrible or anything; they were just a bit try-hard at the time. Like, people wanted their home to look rustic and fancy at the same time without it actually being either of those things. In retrospect, it’s kind of charming. I get it.