Bricks and mortals

I have developed a friend crush. And rather alarmingly it is on a new client. We toured and chatted our way through what I thought was a rather lovely property when she commented, “I’m poor, this is all I can afford and I don’t love it.” It’s true that she does mix with the private jet set, and by their standards her property choices are limited.

The crush developed on E almost instantly. As Virginia Woolf once wrote, some people are radiators and others drains – E exudes warmth. She’s looking for a home that can accommodate a family but also has that “wow” factor. She desires something kooky that can blend into many different roles: mother, wife, daughter, creative, muse and lover of people.

I realise, as we talk, that she’s describing a place that is a reflection of her own character but also malleable enough to incorporate all her family’s needs. I need a converted church, an artist’s studio, a Queen Anne gem on the Chiswick Mall – something a little unconventional but perfect, and within budget.

Buyers’ attitudes fall into two categories – those who exhaust every option before being satisfied and those who go with their gut. As a finder my job is to offer knowledge of the market – to help deliberate whether the compromises can be bettered or whether they’ve hit the jackpot.

My platonic crush is “gut” rather than “process” and as I tried to come up with a property that would suit her, I started to think of friendships. There are those of old that are gelled by shared experience and the passage of time; those that you let drift; those you wonder why you still pursue; and those that are (dare I write it) somewhat self-serving.

So perhaps the way we choose our home is the way we choose our friends – some of us strive for something different, while others, the lucky ones, are truly happy with what they have.

More columns at

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.