Fantasy house buying, escapism in the age of coronavirus

Being cooped up at home has been the perfect excuse to browse property portals.

The summer holidays may have come and gone, or for many people, been unceremoniously cancelled because of lockdowns and quarantines; but there’s still one form of all year round escapism available to all comers – fantasy house buying.

Don’t tell your friendly local estate agent, but many punters who play this compelling online game have no real intention of moving house. Why? Too skint! Too scared! Too set in their ways!

But that doesn’t stop people fantasizing or turning to Google with their property queries.

Like ‘What could I buy in Swindon for the price of a one bedroom flat in North London?’ (Answer: a large detached house in the swankiest part of town with more bedrooms than you can shake a duvet at.)

When you’ve spent months cooped up in your own home confronted by all its limitations – too big, too small, too big a project, too small a project, too shabby, too shabby chic - you can be excused when your thoughts turn to dream houses as your saved properties on Rightmove increase from the dozens (casual fantasist) to the hundreds (serious fantasy house buyer).

Me, I’m a sucker for any house that has a grand library. One of my colleagues at Wigwam wants a place with a fishing lake, another covets a property with garage space for a collection of classic cars. Another wants to move to Iceland!

Currently, I have my eye on a refurbished one-bedroom flat in Hartington Court, an Art Deco gated building next to the River Thames in Chiswick. The second-floor apartment faces the river with great views from the large reception room. It’s being sold with a share of the freehold and no onward chain. A snip at half a million (yes, that’s right, for one whole bedroom).

I’d also like a townhouse in Manhattan, a canal side mansion in Amsterdam, and a penthouse apartment overlooking the Med in Barcelona.

More realistically – if you can call a fantasy realistic – I wouldn’t mind one of the brand-new 4-bed homes at Canalside @ Wichelstowe. I’d have room for an office, so at least I’d get some work done rather than browsing Rightmove all day.

So where’s your fantasy house?


Jeff King

Editor, Wigwam