What do you look for in a house?

Everyone has their own list of “must-haves’ when it comes to house hunting, and everyones list is different. I’ve found that people tend to fall into two different categories – emotional house hunters and practical house hunters.

Without question I am an emotional house hunter. I cried whilst looking round both of the two houses my husband and I went on to buy. I had made my mind up within about a minute of stepping foot in the front door. In fact, my husband will tell you with our first house it was before I had even stepped foot inside. We did a little drive by just before our viewing and I saw the current owner lighting a candle in the front window. It looked like the cosiest, most inviting house I had ever seen. And I wanted it to be mine from that moment.

Today I am sharing what was on my list when we were house hunting the second time around. I had a sort of list…but I knew from the last time that really my decision would be made on the feeling I got from the house, and not how many of the boxes it ticked.

I have a real love for older properties, in particular Victorian or Edwardian houses packed with original features. I am a real sucker for a Victorian fireplace, high ceilings and coving. When I walk into a room that will be the first thing I notice, not the size of the room or whether it’s light and airy. The fireplaces are one of the main reasons that I fell in love with our house now. There’s almost one in every room – which to me is a big fat tick!

As number one on the list isn’t particularly sensible, I try to balance it out with a sensible number 2, which is location. Kirsty and Phil aren’t wrong – the location of your home is so important. We decided on the area we wanted to live in and refused to look elsewhere. We both commute into London every day so being within walking distance (which to me is no more than 10mins!) from a station has always been a must. If there’s a local pub and a bakery nearby by, it gets extra bonus points.

As long as the house ticked boxes 1 and 2, I was prepared to view it – there weren’t any other “must-haves” in my mind, although we had agreed that we would prefer somewhere that needed a bit of work doing to it.  We barely lifted a paintbrush in our old house, so this time we wanted somewhere we could put our stamp on.

There were a few other things down as ‘nice-to-haves’ – a drive (not something most Victorian or Edwardian houses have funnily enough) a secure garden (for the dog), a downstairs loo (so when people come round they don’t have to go upstairs and see how messy I really am!) – all the normal sort of things. But as I said, I know that really, I buy houses based on how I feel when I’m in them.

Both times, I could instantly imagine us living there, even if there were things about the houses that weren’t perhaps practical (our teeny Victorian cottage didn’t have a garden for example!) But they both definitely had the right feeling. I’ve rejected bigger, more sensible houses that tick more boxes just because I didn’t get “the feeling.”

I’m lucky that my husband is with me on this. My parents think I’m crazy! My dad can’t get his head around why a fireplace would be more important to me than an extra bedroom. But then that’s the great thing isn’t it – everyone is different – what a boring world it would be if we all had the same taste in houses :)

So what’s on your checklist? Are you an emotional house hunter like me, swayed by period charm or a sensible one like my dad who opts for space over ceiling roses? :)

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6 thoughts on “What do you look for in a house?

  1. I’m totally with you Kate. Period charm and the right feeling all the way. I was literally obsessed with Victorian fireplaces at the time before we moved. When we first viewed our house there was a good feeling and when we stepped into the lounge, there wasn’t a period fireplace but a open brick fireplace. My heart sunk but I thought ‘I can work with this’. Then when I walked through into the dining room with the original floorboards and doors, there was the fireplace I had been longing for, and a beauty it was too. Instantly I was like ‘YEP! Sold!’. Unfortunately there weren’t any upstairs but as with the lounge, the opportunities were there to easily install reclaimed fireplaces which was seriously great fun to shop for.
    Great blog as always.
    Darren xxx

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  2. If you can walk into a house and immediately decide where you’d put the Christmas tree, it’s the house for you 💗😄

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  3. I an emotional house hunter and with our current Victorian house and I knew it was the one before I even saw it. As it was our first house it was about the right area and we had very few boxes to tick – it just had to feel right. I’m ready to move again now but realistically we will be in the best financial position to move in five years. There are only two areas I will consider living but when I think about it I don’t have two many must haves – just a driveway and a proper hallway. Although when the time comes I’m sure the list will grow.

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