If you’re in a committed relationship and you’re looking to buy a house I suggest one of you picks it while the other plays golf. Ok that’s playing to stereotypes to subtly suggest HE should not be allowed to pick the house. BUT HE SHOULD NOT BE. Finding our seventh home since 2014 has been hectic, made more difficult by the fact we were trying to find something whilst living abroad, and we were sending my parents to view houses. Just take a moment to dwell on that for a second, would you let your parents spend hundreds of thousands of your money picking you a house? I am sure you can understand why my head has been pickled and why I have hid from this blog. I had nothing coherent to say because life is confusing me.
New builds, renovation projects, villages, towns, near schools and parks or farms and fields. The trouble with moving to a city you know nothing about is that you have to much choice. No wonder the tens of estate agents I called couldn’t help me:
ME: “Hello I am looking for a house,,,,”
Estate Agent: “Ok whereabouts?”
ME: “Errr Leeds…..I don’t know where really…..”
Estate Agent: “What type of property?”
ME: “I don’t know really, I like old. He likes new.”
Estate Agent: “Have you sold your property?”
ME: “Errrr we can’t decide whether to or not….we might not live there that long….”
Estate Agent: “Would you like some viewings?”
ME: “Errr we can’t, we’re driving across France and I don’t know when we’re coming back.”
THEY HANG UP
You can’t blame them really.
I love old houses on leafy lanes, hubby likes new, clean and modern things and with two children under three he has a point, renovation projects are not great playgrounds. We saw great houses on busy roads, in awful neighbourhoods. Houses that smelled like a dog was dying under the floorboards and one with a teenager unwilling to leave the bedroom. Another down a lane so full of pot holes my toddler bounced out of his car seat on the way there and another so popular people were making cash offers as we walked through the door. We found a dream property with the perfect garden and ample potential but were cash buyers pipped us to the post and so we settled on the first house we looked at, only 16 houses later.
It’s new so he’s smug as a bug in a shiny new IKEA rug because it’s straight forward. There are no walls to knock down, no bi fold doors to add or iron fire places to dust off. Having only ever lived in character filled old houses I am sad about the lack of potential this has and I won’t let him forget that this was his pick, so I get to pick the furniture, the really old vintage stuff he hates from random reclaim yards. He owes me, well that’s what I will let him think. The truth is, he was right, this is so straightforward we can enjoy our babies while they are babies. We can spend our weekends in the park rather than a DIY shop, our kids love the neighbours and the street is safe. The house is easy and consequently domestic life is. As someone who grew up in a superb but old old house, the best thing of all, it’s warm. Never take a functioning boiler with a good warranty for granted. Oh, and never take that partner who wants to share the house shopping with you for granted. There’s a fair chance they know what you really need and how to help you get it. If I was to go back and time and do this current house buying again I would get my head out of instagram interior design accounts and listen to my hubby about what our family needs. Many arguments could have been avoided. Ps if you witnessed our disagreements over FaceTime about flooring in various flooring depots I can only apologise.