According to Alexa, a leading analytics corporation, the maximum visited web sites closing year had been those you’ll assume: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon. (Alexa is owned via Amazon, utilizing the way, which makes sense: Amazon owns the whole thing). But I understand I am a part of a devoted institution of folks who spend a giant quantity of time at the internet, now not watching at the back of the scenes clips of Broad City – although there’s that – however, surfing belongings web sites. This is not due to the fact I am an investor (cue hysterical laughter) or that I am shopping for a house. This is natural escapism.
Sites such as Rightmove, Zoopla, and Purple Bricks are my weak point; I’m afraid I have a passionate dislike of estate sellers – due to the fact fool me as soon as, shame on you; fool me ninety times, and I will despise you for existence – and a key bonus of escapist browsing is not having to cope with them. The residences I am looking at are £2m townhouses in London, good-sized open-plan warehouses in Glasgow, or cute bungalows in Pembrokeshire. I can also bypass hours on The Modern House and WowHaus, which each advertise places to live. Recently, I actually have branched out into stalking lofts in New York and Berlin stroll-united states on Google Street View.
My obsession predates the net. Whenever I turned into in a medical doctor’s ready room, I might dive into the dog-eared copies of Country Life, and even though I become 16 with much less than £a hundred in an ISA, might take within the Knight Frank manor houses for sale (two tennis courts, stables, a lake). Despite my later realization that sellers are essentially awful, I wanted to be one as a kid. I even made promotional brochures for my nonexistent agency using perfunctory Microsoft software. I played The Sim’s existence-simulation video game to construct the homes. I labored out a way to game it to want to upload basements and double-top ceilings.
I actually have written before in this column approximately my passion for tiles, and these are a huge factor in terms of the homes that make me swoon. But so are chunky beams and stained-glass home windows in church conversions. So I refuse to be shamed for recognizing online that one of the pastel-colored houses on my dream road has come onto the marketplace, after which changing my route to work to walk by way of it, like a pining lover. Lustily having a pipe dream after layout works as a stress release, a plaster of aesthetics on news wounds. I suppose one might argue that downloading PDFs of the homes – as though I had been simply going to install an offer on Toddington Manor before Damien Hirst sold it (close up) – might be taking it to some distance. But you have to excuse me: I even have a video tour of a Barbican penthouse to revel in.