blenheim palace, castle, cramped, property, property porn, houses for sale, not enough space

Are you a property porn addict?

I have a problem with porn. If you were to look at my internet history you would know, no word of a lie, that I am obsessed. I have apps. I have magazines. A day never passes without my craving – and getting – my fix. My search terms are personal. Private. And depend entirely on my state of mind at any particular moment.

Property porn holds me well and truly in its thrall. Zoopla, Rightmove, the property sections of the weekend papers, Country Life, local magazines, estate agent websites – I’m on it like a bonnet. There are certain areas of the country on which I would confidently pronounce myself an absolute expert in terms of what you can get for your money. “Well,” I might say, “that price will get you the third bedroom but forget about more than one bathroom” or, “Railway line. Not good. Right out the back. Noise. Dirt. There’s a reason why it’s 100k less…”

I’m not moving. I have neither the money – unless I were cursed/blessed with a profound change of circumstance – nor the inclination. But I want to know what I can afford. What’s out there. Once I have taken into account removal costs and stamp duty (it’s extraordinary, my brain can do the maths in nanoseconds), what is available?  On a good day I look at houses that cost a third more than my property would sell for, on bad days I look at flats for half the price. Occasionally it’s a vast Bordeaux chateau or a rambling Devonian farmhouse but mostly it’s grubby places rather bigger or smaller than mine within a five mile radius. Though some days – those days when anything seems possible – I type ‘no max price’ into the search bar and really roll around in the mud. Am I alone?

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