Reports are indicating that the property sector could be experiencing a ‘mini-boom’ as a result of coronavirus, as people start to consider selling up or buying a new property. But are these decisions well thought-out, or more of a knee-jerk reaction to the restrictions imposed on us during lockdown?
Now I agree that most people would take the decision to buy or sell a property quite seriously and not just make decisions on a whim, but hear me out for the few minutes it will take to read this article. You know what it’s like when you’ve been restricted from something for a particular period of time, it makes you want it all the more doesn’t it? When you’re on a diet and you want your favorite takeaway, or you’ve just completed Dry January and are sipping on your first glass of wine as the clock strikes February.
Being confined to the walls of your property for weeks on end does certainly highlight all of the aspects of your home that could be improved and for sure, there are people who have very valid reasons for wanting to move. But I do wonder how many are simply looking because they couldn’t do it for so long and now are taking advantage of their new found freedom?
During lockdown, I have been more aware of the size of my garden and how I wished I had a much bigger one. Many of the houses close by have much bigger gardens than ours, and I often feel that we perhaps jumped the gun with getting our current property rather than holding out for one with a bigger garden. But the reality is that our garden is a good size, and more than big enough for a family of six (and two dogs). We decided to invest in getting our garden more suited to lockdown life by finishing painting the fences we’d been meaning to do for months, buying some garden plants, investing in an outdoor seating area and generally making it a more pleasant and relaxing space to spend our time in.
And do you know what? I love my garden now. I’ve spent more time in it over the past few weeks than I have in the 16 years we’ve lived here. In fact, I’m writing this right now on said garden sofa. It’s become a haven of relaxation and pleasure in the midst of a crazy world, mounting deadlines for work and siblings who really have spent too much time together these past few months and just can’t help getting on each other’s nerves.
The point is that with a bit of reworking and remodelling, I’ve grown to love one of the things about my property that I hated the most. And it made me wonder whether others could do the same and uncover a newfound appreciation of the property they currently have. Moving house is expensive, stressful and always much less fun and exciting than your brain would have you think it would be. Except perhaps if you are buying your first home in which case it’s totally exciting, I remember that feeling all too well!
I wonder whether that tired old garden shed could be replaced with a smart garden office, or games room, or ‘man cave’? Perhaps that spot in the garden that catches the sun could become a little seating area where you can read, relax and unwind? Perhaps your ‘boring’ house front could be jazzed up with some plants, a fresh lick of paint or a new fence? Or perhaps you could complete a total internal makeover with new paint, upcycled furniture and some new artwork? One of my most treasured lockdown finds was spray paint for wood; I was able to upcycle a tired, old beach finish fitted wardrobe with an antique white wood spray paint. I added a few diamante handles to it and the finished article was honestly like you’d see in a show home property. It was unrecognizable to the horrid unit that has been staring at me for the past 10 years and making me wish I had a brand new house full of shiny new things.
Soon after my home decor delight, my brother in law and his partner moved into a new property which was completely run down when they got it. In just a few weeks they’ve totally transformed it into a modern, stylish looking property, simply by painting the walls, changing the flooring and generally giving it a bit of a spruce up. I was amazed at how different the place looked than when they were first handed the keys and it made me realize that our houses are just a shell really, and to some extent we can make them look however we want inside. We just need a bit of creativity and imagination!