Searching property apps like Rightmove and Zoopla and having a browse in the property section of my local newspaper are some of my favourite past times. I used to look at beautiful houses with five bedrooms and gravel drives, dreaming about the day I would be able to call one of them home. Now, I look at dream homes which are a little more within my reach.
Myself and G are looking to get our own place this year. After a year or so of umming and ahhing over whether we should buy or rent, we've settled on renting. We want to be able to try out a few places before we even consider getting a mortgage (or until I become super rich and can buy one of those 5 bedroom mansions outright).
I've been browsing various websites and my trusty property search apps for a while and I've noticed a few things about properties on the rent market which are really starting to grind those gears of mine. Using my very small, intimate online presence, I want to send a message to those involved in renting out properties, in the very acceptable and well loved form of a list...
Have you ever heard of the term 'Plain Jane'? When browsing Dulux's vast range of colours, did you happen to spy with your little eye magnolia or off-white? No of course you didn't, you decided to opt for the bright lime green paint and the psychedelic wallpaper. Considering that when renting out a property, you are *limited* to what you can change, it would be a lot easier if the decor was plain, modern and NOT lime green. Less is more people!
Notice the 's' on pictures, it's plural and means MORE than one. When looking for a property, people actually want to see what the property looks like. Surprisingly, us humans can't see through walls. Just because you've posted a picture of the front door, doesn't mean we're going to be able to magically open it with our eyes and explore each room. Less is more may be the rule for the decor but it certainly does not apply to pictures. I'm not asking for a slide show, with funky transitions and background music, just a photo of each room will suffice, maybe from two different angles? Work that camera baby!
Whilst we're on the topic of pictures, please grab yourself a decent camera with at least 5 megapixels or above. This is 2017 now guys, you can do better than a little grainy image of the bathroom. Or wait, is that the kitchen sink? I can't tell.
Imagine this, you've just spotted the perfect property. There is a high quality picture of every room, the decor is simple and you think you might want to contact the estate agent but wait, is it a kitchen/lounge? Or is the kitchen separate? Even though the photos are superb in quality, you can't quite tell. You say a little prayer and fill your heart with hope, scrolling down to view that almighty floorplan, only to discover that the section is greyed out. DAMN, just when you thought you'd found the perfect property.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where you craft beautiful, delicious dishes, where most people gather at parties, and where children help their mothers bake cakes. So why is it, that the heart of the home, this beautiful room in which food dreams come true, looks like something off of the first episode of Emmerdale? ENOUGH with the rusty hobs and cupboards that look like a filing cabinet, ENOUGH with the granny kitchens.
I hope those of you involved in properties, whether you are a landlord, estate agent or developer, will take my feedback on board. Maybe, the next time you are putting a property on the rent market, you can ask yourself - what would Blooming El want?
Have you found yourself getting frustrated with the above? Do you peruse property search apps in your spare time? What message would you give to those in the property industry?