The search for a place to start marriage in a private way is not a situation peculiar only to present-day circumstances. I started married life in one furnished room – but we were private.
I am glad now I started that way. I soon found it is not the size of a home that counts or makes a home. Home is in a woman’s heart. Give her privacy, the right to work things out her way in her own home, no matter how small, and she will be a proud homemaker.
One good thing today compared with the days when I started married life is that you cannot judge people’s positions by the home they live in. There is no longer the smug necessity to keep up appearances or to live in a district that is beyond one’s means.
It is amazing the dilapidated places which can be turned into livable homes if the couple are willing to spend a little time and backache on renovating a place on their own initiative.
Don’t despair because newspaper advertisements never suit your needs or house agents have nothing to offer – look around on your own – you may find a home in the most unexpected places.
The back premises of an unrestricted shop, for example. Many shopkeepers use only the front shop and would be willing to let the back shop with a back entrance. The perhaps seldom-used flat or part of a flat above a shop may be let to a couple willing to keep an eye on the shop premises or take phone messages. And there are many people living alone who might be persuaded to let part of their homes if they were approached privately. The home-maker should search and make discreet inquiries in a district, as well as have her name down with estate agents.
A start is all the newly-weds need – a place to call their own. Progress after that is up to the homemaker.
The length of time spent in the first home need never trouble a young couple, for the longer they wait and save for a real home of their own the better chance they will have of getting a modern place at a reasonable price.
Were I a young woman starting off in marriage today I should never pay the ridiculous prices asked for pre-war homes with no modern appliances. When we think of the compact little prefabs with their most modern equipment, and the fact that they are considered to be only temporary homes, we have an inkling as to what the semi-detached houses of the future will be like. Why, the houses which will be put up to suit the average working-class family in the years to come will be miraculously equipped dream-places. Why tie yourself to paying a mortgage over the best part of your life on a pre-war home?
Unless the husband is fortunate enough to be in a safe position of employment, it is unwise to incur the responsibilities of a mortgage. Much better wait until his job is secure and both he and his wife are sure they like a district, its people, and its social amenities.
The wise couple will settle down to their marriage first in a ‘To Let’ home, learn how to run it successfully on their income, and keep making and storing household items. And busy, too, with the saving campaign towards their dream-home.