When Sydney woman Caroline Davies and her husband Pete first toyed with the idea of buying a home together, the most realistic option looked like a sea-change on the NSW Central Coast.

That was before her in-laws intervened, and pointed out they just couldn’t possible bare the idea of their new grandson Levi being raised alongside kids with names like Tyson and Mikaeylah.

After months of guilt-tripping and other forms of emotional blackmail, before Pete’s parents made the offer of a bit of financial help.

This 3% contribution to their $120,000 deposit quickly altered their dream of a backyard and exciting regional career-change, to a shared laundry and a four suburb-detour for childcare.

For just $1.2 million, in the peak of the property boom, Caroline and her young family were able to buy their own slice of the Australian Dream, just 9 storeys above one of South Sydney’s most congested airport arterials.

And after 18 months in the echoey skybox, Caroline is now facing the stark reality of a lifetime of debt, to both the bank and her husband’s family – she’s still a firm believer that this area is going to get trendy once the council figures out the issue with on-street parking.

However, despite the manic positivity, one issue that she’s not ready to confront is the fact that this one-coat-of-paint high-rise development could be evacuated at any second.

This comes as engineers condemn another high-rise unit block in South Sydney, that was evacuated this week after cracks were found in the building’s car park.

Hundreds of residents had to find alternative accommodation, with many landlords forced to pay for their tenants to live in hotels indefinitely.

This is one of many apartment blocks that have met the same fait in the two years since the Homebush Opal Tower was evacuated for the same reason.

Despite the fact that their building has only ever seen a 60% of occupancy and the builder that rushed it through council is now at the bottom of the Harbour, Caroline and Pete remain confident that their building isn’t built on a sinking foundation of Botany Bay sand and landfill.

“Those cracking sounds are just the shutters expanding in the May sun” says a flustered Caroline, who has just found out she’s pregnant again.

“We’ll be able to flip this unit and move to Terrigal when the market corrects itself”


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