House-hunting is so much fun when you first start out. The excitement of putting down roots; making the single biggest purchase of your life; a whole new set of rooms to decorate and fill with beautiful things. On top of that is the fun that comes with that brief period when it becomes socially acceptable to nose around other peoples houses and cupboards and pass judgement on their taste (or more often lack of it!).
So why is it then, that pretty soon after you start, house-hunting becomes more stressful than enjoyable?
I, like most people looking to buy their first house, massively idealise the whole thing. I want perfect, and i’m not denying that that roll top baths and open fires are probably unnecessary, but I want them anyway. I’ve been to see around 30 houses over the last 6 months or so. I’ve seen terraced, semi and detached. I’ve seen relatively modern builds, houses that haven’t been touched since the 70s or 80s (including this monstrosity that I like to call the ‘angry vagina bath’)
I’ve seen plenty of lovely (and not so lovely) Victorian Semis, and even a few Grade II listed buildings as old as 14th Century!
The problem we have is that we like what is the same as all the other 20-30 something, first time buyers looking for houses in the London commuter belt like. And even though we’ve now put in 2 offers, in excess of the asking price, within a few hours of having our first viewing, we’ve still been beaten to it.
And so the hunt starts again, and every time you find your ‘dream house’ and mentally move in, and decide ‘ooh that colour would look good in that room’, and then see it get sold to someone else, a little piece of that enthusiasm and joy you started out with gets sold along with it.
So what is the answer? Do we settle and buy a house that is ‘just ok’, or should we wait, stick to our guns and hold out for a house that we’re excited to get the keys for, and fill with all those pretty things I find on Pinterest while i’m supposed to be working?
I can’t tell you how it’s going to work out, but at the moment, I’m firmly sticking with the latter. If i’m going to spend that much money on somewhere to hang my coat, I want it to be somewhere that i’m excited to come home to after a long day of being shouted at by clinicians and trying not to kill anything.
In the mean time, here are some more photos of the house with the angry vagina bath…