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Looking for houses is like looking at men on Tinder | #tinder | #pof | romancescams | #scams



‘We are all worried that you don’t have a boyfriend,’ a friend texts. I wish people were as worried about my living situation. At this point I am seriously considering moving into a camper van.

In fact, looking at houses on Rightmove and looking at men on Tinder is remarkably similar. With both homes and dating we talk about things being ‘on the market’. And both Rightmove and Tinder promise to match you with your dream – based solely on location and a few pictures. Although the first thing you learn from both sites is that anything can be made to look good in photographs.

I go to view houses that turn out to be in terrible areas, right next to busy roads or loud pubs, and match with men who have posted pictures of themselves that are a decade old. Until you see something IRL you can’t see the cracks or smell the damp. On closer inspection there is always less garden, or hair, than you were led to expect.

I lie in bed scrolling through men and houses wondering why I keep seeing the same ones. Is there a reason they’ve been left on the market? Perhaps all of the good ones have already gone?

I think one problem is that both property and dating offer that classic modern conundrum: the paradox of choice. There are so many options it is hard to stick to one when there’s always the temptation to keep scrolling again, and rolling the dice.

Now on Rightmove – in response to the pandemic – you can take 3D virtual tours, walking around people’s kitchens, past their laundry baskets and into their bedrooms, all from the comfort of your own bed. Similarly, I find myself arranging Tinder dates to ‘go’ for virtual drinks. I spend Friday night Zooming with a maths teacher in Truro, which is not as depressing as it sounds. I put on some make-up, drink a bottle of champagne, and flirtily suggest he teaches me fractions, which turns out to be less sexy than I hoped when I realise how bad I am at maths.

With both men and houses, I get bored of looking and start offering on ones I’m not even that interested in – perhaps afraid that otherwise I’ll end up with nothing. Still, even as I put in offers, I also reserve the right to keep my options open, and see other houses.

I try combining my problems – and start using the men of Tinder as estate agents – asking them the most fun places in Cornwall to live. At least their answers are honest. They tell me about secret coves, and the best pubs.

In the end I seem to have some success when I meet a farmer who lives as rurally as I want to be. He sends me voice messages at 6am from his barn of bleating sheep, and WhatsApp videos of newly born lambs covered in gunk and curled up in the straw. I talk to him about my housing crisis and he listens sympathetically. And then he tells me he has a spare room on the farm – and suggests I move in. Perhaps that would be the solution to all my problems. For a week I consider it. He is funny and hot, he has 400 acres skipping with lambs, and a quad bike to mess around on… and yet…

I am learning another way in which looking for a house is like looking for men. When you have loved and lost it is really hard to move on. You always want what you can’t have. I find myself daydreaming of the farmhouse, and the ex. The only things I cannot have.

You can read Katie Glass’s column, What Katie did next, every Saturday from 6am on telegraph.co.uk.

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