Daily Archives: October 11, 2010

House hunting again

I’ve just viewed another two houses.  Between them, they seem to sum up a whole lot of what’s wrong in mid-market UK property.

House 1: 1930s (I think) 3 bed semi.  Has potential to be a nice house: decent amount of space, small front garden and larger, very nice back garden, big round bay window in sitting room and front bedroom.  Clearly hadn’t been decorated for some time, with walls quite marked, but the carpets (and glossed-up wood in the sitting room) were in good nick.  But horribly let down by the kitchen and, to a lesser extent, bathroom.  The kitchen was a showstopper: far too small, greasy, smelly, and with a floorboard quite rotted away in the recess where a washing machine should stand.  OK if I were buying and could replace the whole thing, but not to rent.

House 2: modern.  A development called Heritage Park, built around an old foundry which is a beautiful building.  But the greed of the developer glares through this house, which is not part of the old building.  In the pursuit of profits it’s been positioned just a patio’s width from a high wall, and the back rooms on all three floors were very dark (on a bright sunny and amazingly warm day).  No outdoor space in front (just the dark patio behind), and the indoor space is cramped, without even the hallway space for a bike.  Note to developers – if you want to build at that kind of density, build flats not oppressively-cramped houses!  The kitchen and two bathrooms are nice – all that was missing in the other place – but they don’t make up the defects, nor the cheap and tacky feel common to most UK houses built since 1945, or the clouds of flies that emerged when I opened a window.

There are houses that look altogether better than either of those.  They just have a nasty tendency to be in places where broadband connectivity is at best uncertain.  Ho hum.