Comment: The elusive X factor that gives certain properties the edge

Some properties have an X factor that's hard to explain. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Some properties have an X factor that's hard to explain. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s nothing like viewing a house, feeling overwhelmed by its awfulness and looking to leave – only to find that your other half has fallen in love with it.

This is what happened to us last week, on our first viewing since the doomed "don't bother bidding unless you're chain-free" situation of a couple of weeks ago.

We knew it was an ugly house before we went in, but the street and the size of the plot were good so we thought it was worth a look.

But while my instant reaction was that there was too much that needed fixing, my husband was instantly buzzing about all the changes we were going to make to transform it into our dream home.

Which was all rather surprising. Generally we like (and dislike) the same stuff. And generally we're equally well aware of our own limitations, which historically have stretched to a new kitchen and bathroom, the removal of some woodchip wallpaper and not a lot else.

He's walked away from viewings of perfectly nice houses before because he didn't like the windows, or the garden was a bit chintzy. Easy and relatively cheap things to fix, at least when seen within the context of a whole house overhaul. But there was something about this place he instantly loved.

It's long been my belief that you're either a fixer-upper type of person or you're not, be it in a hands-on way or simply in terms of being good at making decisions and managing the handiwork of others. I'd put us firmly in the non-fixer upper camp. While some people thrive on making a place their own regardless of the many decisions and vast amounts of cash required to reach that point, I believe we're better suited to just buying an OK place and living in it. So this potential new move is a bit of a curious one.

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For now, an enforced stalemate has occurred: it's at the top of our budget, and the owner isn't up for accepting an offer so all we can do is wait. If the price drops I'll be more open to exploring this option. And while we wait, I'll be hoping an easier option will come along.