At the last count, I’d moved home somewhere around 10 times, not including some short stays lodging with friends in between more permanent homes. It’s not something I particularly enjoy doing – the whole process of moving is fraught with stress and anxiety, and the logistics and physical activities are not exactly what I’d care to term as ‘enjoyable’, no matter how straightforward they might be.
Every time I’ve moved, I’ve made a solemn vow never to do it again, despite which, every time I’ve ended up breaking that vow. Yes, there have been occasions when I’ve done so willingly and completely by my own devices, but there have also been occasions – far too many – when circumstances have contrived to summarily uproot me, along with all the attendant hassle and pain associated with it. It’s something I try to avoid, but sometimes you can run, but you just can’t hide. This past five years, I’ve rented an apartment, knowing somewhere in the back of my mind that at some point I need to get my act together and once again buy my own place, but happy to skirt around the issue and pretend that things are just fine.
They weren’t really… The place is costing me a fortune, it’s tiny – really tiny – and throughout the time I’ve been here, half of my worldly goods have been languishing in storage, costing me a small fortune for the privilege. Even so, I’ve managed not to address the issue, until now. However, thanks to my landlord deciding to sell up, I now find my hand has been forced and the past few weeks have been a long round of begging for arranging mortgages, viewing properties and a whole load of disappointment and messing about. At some point I’ll find a property: A house that ticks all my boxes, ie:
☑ I can afford It!
☑ It’s not a new build
☑ It doesn’t need major surgery or renovation works to make it habitable
☑ It’s within reasonable travelling distance of where I need to be
☑ The neighbourhood isn’t a hotbed of thievery, drug dealing or other undesirables
☑ It has the requisite number of rooms (Yes, I fully intend converting one into a photographic studio, eventually)
Note the complete absence of swimming pools, luxury fittings, private rivers/forests or any other desirables on my wish list that would make the task particularly awkward… I just want a decent, ‘reasonably-priced’ place to live, that I can call my own!
Nevertheless, you’d think I was asking for the most exclusive address in the world! Somewhere out there, is the place for me, but at the moment it’s proving somewhat elusive, and the clock is ticking.**
If only securing a home in the real world was as simple as it is in SL. In comparison with RL, the virtual property market is a dream. Purchasing a house is as simple as trawling the MarketPlace until you find something that fits your budget, prim limits and taste – and it’s not as if your struggling when it comes to choice either. Whatever your preference, there’s almost certainly something out there to fit the bill… Castles, stately homes, tree houses, caves, underwater retreats, caravans, huts, tents and even houses. And, if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can even build your own, and without any of that messing about with building regulations, planning permission and standing waist-deep in muddy holes that you have to contend with in the real world.
Similarly, there’s no credit checks, mortgages to arrange, solicitors’ fees, conveyancing, tramping round other people’s bedrooms, smarmy estate agents, property chains, and the ever-present fear that something could go horribly wrong at any point in the process to contend with. All you have to do is find a bit of land, pay what’s due and plonk your property down on it. Welcome home!
Right now, that’s a model that I find hugely appealing and eminently sensible. I can’t help thinking that it’s just one more reason why living in a virtual world is so much more attractive than the real thing, particularly when there’s no reason to stop at just the home and garden; nothing to prevent us from altering the weather, the landscape or changing our residence as often as we change our socks – it’s easy peasy, and we can have exactly what we want, no matter how demanding we may be!
To tell the truth, if I had the option to move into my SL home tomorrow, I’d be there like a shot because it’s just perfect for me and I know, without a shadow of doubt, that no matter how long and hard I search, I could never find anything even half as good in the real world.
**So, since writing this post on 7th September, things have moved on apace! I found, my dream house – pretty much – and, thanks to some rather horrible property laws and a great deal of persistent pestering of estate agents and solicitors on my part, I’ve bought it… All in just under three weeks! All that’s left to do now, is move in.
Of all the properties I’ve bought, it’s been the most stressful – causing me to actually not sleep at night – and the actual move itself will be a doddle compared to the nightmare of the purchase, but all is well and I am extremely happy.
So, if you fancy lending a hand with shifting some furniture… Let me know. You’ll be more than welcome!
Our house, was our castle and our keep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, that was where we used to sleep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Madness – Our House