Monday, May 29, 2006

Estate Agent - A Different Language.

As some of you will know his Lordship and I are again house hunting. This time for our permanent abode. So far we have searched over Dale and down valley for this elusive beast. The beast in question is by nature quite secretive and solitary, occasionally found in small groups. Unlike the city dwelling type, which likes to congregate in large herds and enjoys proximity with it's neighbours.

Now you can call me picky, but I prefer to have a little space to myself, I can't honestly get on with this whole estate living thing. We spent last weekend looking at new build homes, we thought in the interests of fairness that we would give them a go. So armed with brochures, maps, wellies and umbrellas, this is England remember and it was raining, we set off. The brochures have lovely pictures of each of the house styles, plus little maps of the siteplans. They wax lyrical about the 'lifestyle', the quality, the furnishings, etc. What they all forget to mention is that although you may fall in love with one of their houses, you most certainly will not fall in love with the garden, or should I say lack of one. And you had better hope that you love your neighbours, believe me you'll get to know them pretty well. Not one of the houses we saw had any garden to speak of. In all fairness I do have to say that some of the houses we saw were lovely and very spacious. But why the hell build a large family home and then give it fifteen feet of garden?

So fairplay over, we gave it a look and decided it is not for us. Now we are back on the trail. However we are now armed with the Estate Agents dictionary;

Neat gardens - don't turn around with your arms ourstretched, you'll scrape your knuckles on the fence.

Neat enclosed rear garden - it is completely overlooked by the neighbouring houses or the neighbours have planted a nice conifer hedge which is now twenty feet high. Scraped knuckles and absolutely no privacy,

Low maintainance garden - it's a back yard completely concreted.

Deceptively spacious accomodation - deception is the correct term. It's so deceptive it's completely hidden.

Characterful - the present owners have done their own house 'make over', look out for country cottage meets victorian gothic with plenty of personal little touches, ahh!

Cottage retaining period features, but updated with a contemporary twist - they've ripped the heart out of the place painted it white, put in a belfast sink and hey presto... boring.

Far reaching views - of the derelict pub, the chippy, or you have to lean out of the bedroom window and twist round the corner of the neighbouring house so that you can see the old gasworks.

Rarely does a property of this nature come onto the market - that's because it would usually have a sign outside with the word 'condemned' on it.

Security System - They've put an extra bolt on the back door.

Quiet Aspect - it faces the cemetary.

Friendly Neighbours - they're into wifeswapping.

Split level garden sweeping down to the river - the garden is actually falling into the river, but it's ok, in five years time you'll have the same fifteen feet that everyone else has.

Occasional water feature - the garden is subject to flooding when it rains hard.

And my personal favourite:

May require some minor cosmetic work -

18 at confession:

Attila The Mom said...

"Far reaching views - of the derelict pub, the chippy, or you have to lean out of the bedroom window and twist round the corner of the neighbouring house so that you can see the old gasworks."

Snerk. Our house was advertised as having a "Pike's Peak View!"

Yeah, 3rd stair down from the top of the loft, looking out the windows over the garage. ;-)

Kate said...

"Quiet Aspect - it faces the cemetary."

That sounds like the house we rented when we first moved here, except it wasn't a cemetary, it was an undertakers.

WBS said...

Don't start me off! Any reference to the word compact means to small to be of any use - we saw a living room (sorry, drawing room) that you could only fit on chair into.

"Original Features" means that the place hasn't been touched for 80 years and would need, running water, electricity, heating other than the "Inglenook" fireplace installing - the last place also needed doors!

We made a mistake and looked at a barn conversion. You could have got one hay bale and a spade into the barn thats before they put in the fake beams and stall dividers.

Ah, thanks for letting me rant, I'm starting to feel better already. Back to the brochures and internet sites.

joss said...

A tip for you St Jude. Do not buy new unless you have built it your self. I am afraid to say the standards of new builds are appalling to say the least.Poor design and privacy and lack of any garden. Poor workmanship and poor materials, not forgetting the hundreds of snags. Personal I would like to live near Pickering or Hebden bridge. Good luck with the hunting..

kim said...

I love it! May require some minor cosmetic work!!!! YA THINK ?? Im surprised they didnt list that as having a sky light or view of the stars lol

St Jude said...

We have just got back from another day of hunting. We managed to find a house with 'integral' garage, unfortunately the garage door was so small they had to admit that they hadn't ever managed to get a car in there. A lovely cottage with stunning views, however the public right of way used by many walkers, passed right through the middle of the garden and past the living room window. Several passed as we were visiting!!!
Onwards ever onwards.

Nikki said...

St Jude, I'm so sorry. It is awful finding the place that is just right. Hubby and I looked for 2 years and then just decided to build. We were very lucky that we found 3.5 acres and put our house on that.

I can tell you with all honesty: I will never move again. I will never buy another house.

It was all way to stressful.

Beki said...

I wonder how an estate agent would describe me??!!

Good luck with the hunting - I don't envy you!

Kim Ayres said...

My favourite from Estate Agents has always been "Ideal for the DIY enthusiast"

frankengirl said...

Ha! I love your EA dictionary! The whole list had me laughing, but I particularly enjoyed the wonderfully morbid: Quiet Aspect.

Charlie said...

How in the world have I gotten so behind with your posts? And why am I asking YOU, since you haven't a clue?

Our real estate agents have a similar jargon, but the one Martha likes most is "new carpeting throughout." Translated into human-speak, that means the previous tenant had 10 animals who peed at will. She actually gagged at one "home" when we were house-hunting.

She also likes "spacious kitchen." For mice, perhaps.

I, on the other hand, don't listen to any of their BS. I know that, as salespeople, they would just as soon sell me a place in the Quiet Aspect.

a.c.t said...

My parents' neighbours are a bit too friendly - as soon as the weather gets hot they start parading around the garden in skimpy beachwear. My Dad thought it would be funny to take a photo of *Roger in a thong - I am not joking! We occassionally come across it wilst perusing the family snaps, it sure does bring a smile to our faces.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of all thong wearers.

Cherrypie said...

I'm assuming that like all those young folk on TV Property Shows, you have at least half a million to spend on your main home with another 200K available for a city crash pad. No?

Oh dear! You'll have had your fill of Estate Agents' Commercial Real-Estate Advertising Promotional Brochures (C.R.A.P.) before long. Good luck.

Your dream home will be waiting for you somewhere, you just have to be looking in the right place at the right time.

St Jude said...

Beki: I'd be essentially sound but could do with some updating!!

Kim: There are a lot of them about. I'm shocked at how many people put their house on the market 'half finished'.

Frankengirl: Thank you. At least the neighbours won't be having any loud parties.

Admiral: It's nice to hear from you again. You're right about the new carpeting, there are some houses where you wipe your feet on the way out.

A.C.T.: Thank you for visiting, you're always welcome. Roger the thong wearing neighbour. Urm not an image to be taken lightly. LOL

Cherrypie: C.R.A.P. that's great!

Pete said...

What I want to know is what these young couples do for a living to afford a 500k main home and a 200k city place. Is everyone on location location a city banker or solictor or something.

Only ever moved twice. Left home bought flat, pxed it to a new build house. Totally agree with you on lack of garden mine isn't too bad got a decent frontage - or front window not by road - but compared to my folks part of town properties totally scrunched in.

Oh new builds have one advantage - no estate agents!!

St Jude said...

Pete: Oh I dream of settling down somewhere, but I have lost count of the moves I've had in my life. This year there will be two, who knows what or even where then!!

Miss Keeks said...

I'm still picturing Roger in a thong. ACT, please get that picture--I could do with a laugh!

Personally, I'll take the quiet aspect anyday. More cemetaries mean less noisy neighbors.

Sven said...

I was recently look at the house ads (my sister is selling hers and I wanted to know what she is asking) and I found one that simply listed, "Fresh Paint!".

Really? Is that it? I mean, if that's the best you can come up with your house must really be in trouble.

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