Ian Ugarte was once a property developer creating the stock standard large home that is perceived to be the great Australian dream, despite the fact few people can afford them.
But after dealing with his own personal crisis, he and his wife Christine Ugarte pivoted their business to a more community-minded approach, aiming to offer better diversity in the housing market, particularly in providing more affordable housing. They created Small Is The New Big, which retrofits existing houses into smaller properties, among other projects that aim to help more people afford their own home.
Ugarte believes Australia has an oversupply of large, four-bedroom plus houses that fail to meet the needs of singles and couples – and come with a price tag that’s simply out of reach for most people. There are endless bedrooms sitting empty in Australia. We continue to build the largest houses in the world and in turn then push for high-rise living in some areas that don’t necessarily fit with the desires and needs of the demographics.
Ugarte believes the Small Is the New Big approach can help ease pressure on housing waiting lists – in that more people currently renting will be able to afford houses sooner.
In the above video, he speaks with Edwina Batholomew for The Carousel’s Game Changers about the approach he has developed with Christine to provide more affordable housing. They have also developed an investment system which teaches others how to invest in the affordable housing market segment, including by retrofitting their existing home — you can check out more on that system here.
This content is published in partnership with The Carousel’s Game Changers Video and Podcast series.