I’m fucking over house-hunting. All over it. I’m tired of looking at shitty houses with insane price tags, whilst lusting over a house I can never have. (It’s not for sale).
I’m tired of worrying about damp and electrical compliance certificates and crime rates and trying to decipher realtor-ese in property listings. Honestly. It’s like they have their own fucking language consisting entirely of euphemisms designed to make something sound like something it’s not. (Example: one house we looked at had something called a ‘Hollywood garage’. Wtf is a Hollywood garage? I’ll tell you. It’s certainly not a secure place to park your car and keep your lawnmower. It’s merely the facade of a garage – i.e a wall holding up garage doors. There’s no actual garage, just garage doors.)
Phrases like “situated in a light industrial area” (translation: you’re right next to a huge bunch of ugly-ass, smoke-belching factories) and “excellent security” (translation: expect armed robbers any day now/sellers are desperate to move because they’ve been hijacked too many times) and “golden oldie” (translation: old as ass, you’ll basically have to rip out everything. Especially the tiles and bathtub in that puke-green bathroom) make me want to die. Littered with spelling and grammar errors (my favourite: ‘inter-whining balconies’), neither the digital nor print property listings are any indication of what a property is really like. I totally get that the point is to get you to look at the property, and if you’ve actually physically looked, maybe the estate agent can talk you into buying that house.
Poor grammar and spelling aside, property listings are an absolute joke. One real estate website I came across had ZERO pictures on it. Plenty houses listed, but no pictures. How do you expect to sell these houses with no pictures?
We’ve come close to buying a house, in the three years that we’ve been actively hunting. We even put in an offer on a house – a house that seemed perfect, both on paper and when we went to look at it. It even had a decent price tag. We thought we’d struck it lucky, until The Fiance went and pulled the police reports on the street that this house was situated on, and we were horrified. An old man across the road was murdered, dead before the paramedics and police arrived. Numerous armed robberies and countless hijackings. All on what appeared, during the day, to be a quiet and tranquil street. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to our dreams of building a new family and life in this house and it broke my heart completely. I had to kiss that gorgeous walk-in closet, amazing rosewood kitchen with gas stove and TWO ovens goodbye.
We were disheartened for a few months after this – we’d come so close to finding the perfect house – something that we both agreed on and we took a break from house-hunting for a while. But once again, we’ve reached that point where it’s impossible to ignore that what we currently have, is too small and is no longer meeting our needs the way it did when we first moved in, with a new baby on the way. We now have a four-year-old with an enormous amount of energy. He needs space to play and run and to be a boy. He needs a garden and a pool, and we need an additional bedroom for guests. And if that guest happens to be another child, it wouldn’t be the end of the world either.
So we’re looking again. And I can’t tell you how tiresome it has become – explaining my needs over and over again to a score of different estate agents, only to have them show me something that I DO NOT FUCKING WANT. Also, house-hunting for us is a little different than for most people – my fiance’s family business is in the construction industry – he can spot all the imperfections – minor and significant – a mile away. He can see when there will be problems with the electrical compliance certificate/the roofing/plumbing etc – and his standards are very high. As a result of being in the construction industry, we’re also not looking for a fixer-upper. We’re looking for something pretty much perfect. He’s out at construction sites all day long, why would he want to come home from working on some other building site and continue working on his own house?
What we need is an estate agent that’s psychic. One that can tell what we need, without us elaborating. How perfect would that be? Until that psychic estate agent finds us – I’ll still be here. Trawling through the property listings, trying to find that ever-elusive needle in the haystack. Sigh.
Hold thumbs for us, please! (If our hunt doesn’t end soon, and I have to suffer through many more listings littered with spelling errors and grammar fuck-ups, I might just spontaneously explode)