Saturday, March 7, 2009

house hunting

It's interesting house shopping.

You read the ad, which you know is full of very flowery language and decide on properties to view according to a set list of criteria.

Walking into the house you are greeted by an amazingly cheerful agent who takes your details. Here I have encountered the first play. I won't give my mobile number as I am not yet ready to purchase - I am gauging the market. When you offer your email address two reactions are offered. "Excellent/No problem" - in which case you realise they understand your position about purchasing (or that's me just reading what I want to read).

The other is much more aggressive and makes me wary of the company...."Why can't you give me a number?" "I won't be able to contact you easily" (my point exactly). "It's not really convenient for us." (again this is in my favor)

I haven't even looked in the house yet and I am feeling harassed. I like my policy of not giving my mobile until the point that I am ready to really purchase. I won't be changing it. I don't have a message service because you pay for someone to leave a message and then pay to retrieve it. It it is that important they'll call me back. Add into this the fact that I don't take my phone into the classroom - you see my point.

Once I am in the house I look around, up, down, under. Doing all the good things that I should. I have learnt to listen to a few conversations people have as they wander. "Cupboards are small" - type conversations point out to me that I already can see these things. Today I learnt to look for bubbles in the eaves and ceiling line. A building man was telling his client that that was a sign of serious damage. Water sitting in the roof......Glad I listened.

I have started getting good at looking at the pictures of the places before I get there and picking up what type of lens the photographer has used. This makes it easier to see that the place is small when it looks HUGE in the pictures. I am still amazed at the difference of perspective though.

Then there is the issue of renovations. What some people consider to be good taste really is extraordinary. My favourite today was the HOT HOT pink feature wall in the bedroom. It was not a very large room and the wall almost burnt the retinas. I also love the inappropriate coloured floating floor. Dark, dark brown that looks so obviously fake it is not funny.....sounds crap too when you walk on it. Sound is an important element for me as a purchaser.

The asking price is fascinating. Some I have nodded - after I have left the building and I am safely in my car. Others I have almost laughed outright at the thought of it. At one place a couple started asking the agent the asking price - he gave them the printed version and they both asked "Why?" His answer was to do with land value. Hey! These are units I am looking at......What land?

Moral of the story, so far. Keeping looking. Don't purchase yet! Listen to all conversations that take place in the residence on show. Offer very little of yourself to the agent. They are sneaky buggers and could use your information for evil.

Any suggestions from out there?

1 comment:

River said...

I'm not in any position to buy a house, but I used to go along to open inspections just to get a look at other peoples decorating ideas. Sometimes I'd go to really fancy "rich" houses to see how "the other half" lives. Since they started taking names and phone numbers though I've had to stop going, because of course they'd ring to see if you were making an offer etc. Now, I just look at the website photos and dream.