Buying a house is arguably the most important purchase you will ever make. It is a huge commitment and largely a terrifying, lip nibbling experience. I can say this with such confidence as I have just purchased my own little plot of land with my boyfriend. Leading up to this we were discussing about what sort of house we would want.
Multiple toilets for simultaneous bowel movements?
A large garden that gives the option to extend in 15 years so that our kids have somewhere to hang out?
Somehow, we had jumped ahead a decade and a half and were deliberating if this would be the kind of house our (non-existent) children would want to live in. This was one of many occasions where my inner Kirstie Alsopp took over and I threw my inhibitions out the window and embraced house buying to a rather ridiculous level.
I began laying on floors, rolling from wall to wall to see how many ‘Sarah’s wide’ the room is. I tested to see if the banisters on the stairs would take my full weight if I swung around the supporting post at the bottom. I got into the shower in one property to measure if I would fit inside (I’m not that tall, it just looked and WAS a very low head, so to speak).
This prompted the estate agent to demonstrate the shower height against himself, casually slipping off his loafers and replacing me in the cubicle to measure. He stepped out and began turning the largest knob in the room (sorry Paul!) which in turn squirted a powerful blast of water straight past his head and onto the opposing (thankfully tiled) wall. He was only a young lad so I felt a bit sorry for him as he mopped his brow with his neckerchief (he was young but very, very well dressed).
I started to overthink every decision to do with buying a house. What if the trees are too close so all we hear is birds singing all day and night? What if too much sun shines into the garden and kills all the begonias?
I was resenting the natural world because it might be slightly inconvenient for me and my living arrangements. I felt myself wanting to portray the character of ‘the perfect homebuyer’ to try and win over the sellers. I befriended a particularly vicious looking Parrot called Captain (original) to strike up a friendship with the seller. I said how mesmerising the colbat blue walls, carpet, ceiling and accessories were in a bedroom (it was awful, like being trapped inside a glacier mint).
It’s dog eat dog out there and I would have eaten a dog for the right house (I’m joking).
I’ll tell you what though.
The hardest thing was deciding what shoes to wear when going to view other people’s properties. My god the dilemmas.
It can’t be anything with too many laces (converse, Victorian style ankle boots) as they take way too long to get on and off. You’re then stuck bent over in a hallway flashing the estate agent your Primark brassiere as you lean forward and hop around trying to free your foot.
It definitely can’t be heels in case you trip over a ‘KEEP CALM AND WIPE YOUR FEET’ doormat and end up squashing a cat and letting a parp out at the same time (it could happen!).
Then there is the GOLDEN rule.
This could cost you the house.
You must always ensure you have your good socks on (no holes, no silly prints/embroidery) and under no circumstances can you wear pop socks. Especially when a feature of the house is under floor heating, which when combined with a cold foot in a pop-sock, results in big, moist, highly visible footprints throughout the foyer.
If you must wear them, then ensure the elastic is still strong in them. Yeah, you really don’t want to walk around with a sheath of hosiery poking out the bottom of your jean ankle, believe me. You catch sight of the owner looking at your ankle and thinking ‘ooh no not in my house’.
But then we found the right house. As soon as I walked in I knew. I was wearing my super comfortable leather boots, with the long zip for easy release. I had my favourite socks on. What are they I hear you ask? Leopard print men’s ankle socks from River Island. You get an extra 3cm or so with a mens S-M than a ladies M-L and it really makes all the difference in terms of toe to sock ratio. As I paced around the rooms and grounds (I’m making it sound much grander than it is) I realised I wanted the house. Perhaps it was the utterly mind blowing level of comfort my feet were feeling, or it could have been the estate agent tentatively glancing at me to see what crazy move I was going to pull out next, but at that moment I knew the hunt was over and the madness had to end. I could finally hang up my ‘crazy house hunting lady’ hat and don the much more respectable ‘homeowner hat’. Hooray!