How NOT to buy houses.

(Entry I)

I am the first to admit that my husband and I are terrible decision-makers when it comes to house purchases. We choose heart over head every time and have spent more time considering which shoes to buy than whether or not a house is right for us. We really have made every mistake in the book, but luckily for you, that means you can now sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy my cautionary tale, hopefully learning a thing or two on the way, and not make the same mistakes yourself.

But before you settle down to enjoy a good old laugh at my past mistakes, I think it’s important to take a moment to recognise the world we live in now is quite different from the one where these mistakes were made and it’s been quite a game changer for everyone. No one likes a time-waster, but in this post COVID world where greater thought goes into the places we visit on a day to day basis, and the people we allow into our own private spaces, it is even more important than ever – not just to buy the right house, but to see the right houses during your search. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking around other people’s houses, I find it quite addictive and utterly fascinating. 

COVID has (in some ways) been AWESOME for me to get my fix as I’ve gazed into, and judged, countless homes from the comfort of my sofa, but at the same time, I have to put my hands up and say that on several occasions in the past, I’ve viewed houses that I had no business viewing because they should have been dismissed without my ever seeing them. On occasion, they have actually muddied the water of my search and made everything a great deal more confusing. There is a balance to be struck here, you don’t want to be SO strict with your search criteria that you have no true yardstick for when the right house does come around, but you also need to avoid the temptation to see everything out there, where certain things are and always will be, wrong for you. 

It’s all about quality over quantity. Spend some time working out which criteria are fixed in stone and which are up for debate. This will make things a whole lot easier – because unfortunately, it is always the case that houses 50 mins outside your search area are cheaper, and therefore nicer. So just don’t go there… you’ll save yourself and their owners, a great deal of heartache. Every house search is unique, so unfortunately there is no definitive shopping list I can give you, but to slightly misquote Ron Weasley “you really need to look at your priorities”. 

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