Tuesday 18 February 2003

shhh be vewwy vewwy quiet...we're hunting houses

We saw two houses in my village recently, both on the same overcrowded estate. The developers decided to shoehorn in as many houses into the plot of land as possible, without actually stacking the houses on top of each other. The first house wasn't too bad and it did have a large garden, but again, it was another house with a pokey little kitchen and that just browns me off to no end. House number two was slightly frightening. It's currently a rental (and I do not have anything against rented properties as I happen to live in one myself) which hasn't been taken care of with a few alarming (and amusing) characteristics. For example, let me tell you about the ensuite shower room. I never would have imagined it to be a closet that had been replaced by a shower stall, but there it was. It was literally shoved into the wall like a recessed shelf, so you could roll out of bed and directly through the wall into the shower. I'm sure some would find this unbelievably handy, but Paul and I thought it was a bit odd. The floor upstairs felt like it had been patched with cardboard at various points, as we could feel our feet sink into the floor as we walked around. All I'll say about the bathroom is that a line from the Simpsons sprang to mind as we opened the door: "This place smells like tinkle."

We visited another house today in the village next to me called Over (yes, we have hours of amusement telling people to go over to Over), which was really nicely situated in a quiet cul de sac. The garden backed out to a field and it was a fairly new house, but again, it had a pokey kitchen and even pokier bedrooms. I would say though that it's probably the second best house we've seen so far. It was bright, clean, had a decent ensuite, was in a nice neighbourhood, and only really needed to be redecorated. The thing is, for the price range we've been looking in, we want something roomy that feels like we're moving up from Paul's semi-detached 2 bedroom house. The rooms in these houses seem almost the same size (Paul's bedrooms are often bigger) with just a couple of extra small rooms tacked on one end, and feel no wider.

Maybe it's just me being North American and expecting things to be bigger and more open. I still can't get over the little fridge thing, so I guess I am still in Canadian mode. There are things that people keep pointing out to me (for example, every time we look at a garage, the person showing us the house always points out how funny it is that people never keep cars in the garage and tend to use them like big sheds), and I think I do need to switch to UK mode when I'm evaluating these houses.

Although I don't think I will ever understand why people carpet their bathrooms here.

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