Over the years James and I have looked at a huge amount of houses. All with the intention to buy, or at least benchmark. However there’s a brand new estate not far from us and every time we drive past I’m always intrigued to have a neb at the showroom despite having no interest in moving whatsoever.

I’d like to think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to cover-ups and other misdemeanours during the house buying process, but I think we’ve all got carried away and made assumptions. We have had many a surprise discovery since living here. One of them being that we completely missed that it was an electrical stove in the living room and not a real one. I think we’d spent so long fawning over the cast iron one in the snug that we were a bit blasé about the one in the living room and instead spent most of the time gawping up at the skylights. Anyway, turns out it was a great mistake to make! Having a faux burner is fabulous for giving a quick burst of heat to the room and there’s far less mess too. (By the way this is a link to a similar burner if you’re interested. You’ll notice it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a real one, and even comes with a remote control which is very novel).

One of the very first houses we viewed was a Victorian terrace on a busy street. It was in desperate need of renovation and I think we’d decided we could do it all for a ridiculously low £20K. (Although it can be done if you look at SJ’s recent RMS feature). Anyway we got a builder round and he pointed out the whole of the upstairs only had two plug points. Obviously we’d have rectified that by having the electrics redone, but since then it’s made me like a hawk when it comes to the positioning and number of sockets.
Some friends of mine didn’t realise until they moving day that their bathroom suite was green not beige as they had originally thought, and I swear blind that from the time of accepting our offer to moving into our first house, the footprint of the building shrank by 25%. When we excitedly got the keys and flung open the front door the whole abode seemed so much smaller than we remembered.
It might be that you haven’t bought a house but have a rented nightmare. Our very own Alice mentioned she moved into a furnished garden flat, two weeks later while sunbathing in her new garden, the owner of the upstairs flat came down to announce the garden wasn’t Alice’s, it was hers. Awkward.

I also can’t end this post without mentioning some unusual possessions that have been left behind when occupants have relocated. In our first rented flat James found every back issue of Smash Hits in the loft, complete with all song lyrics still in tact. Some friends of ours found, let’s call it, a ‘fetish mask’ in their kitchen cupboard as an unexpected moving in present. Now that was a surprise…

Over to you. What were the foibles and cover ups you didn’t notice when you bought your house? Did you have any revelations on moving day that you can share?

For tips on buying and selling do check out our archive features.