lifestyle

The 9 people you'll meet at open-house inspections.

Was Saturday a big day for you?

If you’re looking for somewhere to live, we bet it was.

Because it’s inspection day. And you have morphed into one of the desperate people who willingly and legally creep through strangers’ homes, peering through their cupboards, looking under their storage units and checking out their furniture.

It’s an odd procession of people. Strangers in the most intimate setting. None of whom know each other. None of whom actually know the OWNER.

I’ve become one of those people who file in and out of homes on a Saturday. Like an ant, looking for some crumbs, then retreating back to my own humble nest.

So the only fun part of this experience is the people-watching. And what people – this is who I spend part of my weekend with:

1. The Saturday morning sport family.

My idea of hell is lugging my family of five through a perfect home where nothing can be moved, touched or broken. But some parents take their school-aged kids through open houses like puppies through the park. Covered in mud, mouthguards still in, shin pads still stuck on their legs – these kids trample on freshly vaccummed carpet with their spikey shoes and hands full of the hot chips they bought at the chicken shop across the road. The house suddenly stinks like chicken salt and sweaty children. Their parents are, um, somewhere.

2. The novices.

Usually a couple. Sometimes they hold a cute, well-behaved baby and they politely look at rooms from the doorway.

3. The knockers.

These are the complete opposite of the novices. These are the professional-ordinary-inspectors. These people walk in with no kids. Ever. They have a tape measure in hand and they do it as a team. They look in cupboards, they rub plaster with their fingers, they look for clotheslines and vents. The best way to pick them? They knock. On everything. Door frames. Walls. Everything.

4. The fixer-uppers.

They’re either looking to renovate or they’re having a sticky-beak to look at someone else’s furnishings. They swivel taps, they turn on showers, flush toilets and spend an inordinate amount of time looking at the alarm and A/C systems.

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5. The no keys/ bags people.

These are also known as ‘neighbours’. The give away? They don’t hold bags. They don’t even have keys. They have walked about 10 metres to have a good ol’ fashioned sticky beak. Because for the past week, they’ve smelt the chlorine on the footpath, they’ve heard the guerney spray the driveway, they’ve seen the hedges being trimmed. These people are here for two reasons: they’re nosey and they want to know how much their own house is worth. That’s all.

6. The bank-roller.

Also known as Dad. There’s bound to always be someone walking around with their father. Make no mistake, 50% of the time this bloke is bank-rolling the purchase. Once you see these two, you may as well kiss your dream house good-bye.

7. The poolies.

These are the people who are at a house with NO pool and desperately want one. They seek out the agent and ask questions about sewer lines, gas connections and council approved fencing.

8. The random.

At some point, you’ll bump into someone you went to primary school with. Or someone you worked with at Wendy’s. Guaranteed.

9. The dealers.

The most cryptic bunch of people are the agents. The most non-trustworthy people you so desperately WANT to trust. The people who will help you make the biggest purchase of your life a reality. And they give nothing away. Ever.

And there’s me. Me and my husband. We consider ourselves pretty normal but that’s the thing. We are skating a fine line on ANY OF THE ABOVE groups. It’s surprisingly easy to become one of THOSE people. Any of them. All of them.

The Open Home is a permissible zone, full of emotion, confusion, anxiety and PEOPLE.

By the time we’re outta there, I realise …

I forgot to look at the house.

Did I leave anyone off this list?

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