Literary House Hunters
I have a well-developed obsession with House Hunters International—you know, that show where people move to exotic locales and see three houses or apartments, eventually picking the only one you as a viewer think is a terrible choice. I watch this show nearly every day, indulging in escapist fantasies while eating my lunch. Sure, I could move to Paris someday. It could happen. Anyway, one day as I was munching on my sandwich, I started wondering what some of my favorite literary characters would be like as house hunters, as you do.
Darcy and Lizzie from Pride & Prejudice
Why they’re moving: Gotta be closer to the fam.
The deal: In every house hunting relationship there’s one person who’s easy going and another person who is so picky you don’t know how they manage to make ANY DECISION IN LIFE. Guess who’s going to be the picky one in this relationship? Yup, Darcy. Plus he doesn’t really want to be closer to Lizzie’s family, so he’s going to make this as difficult as possible.
House #1, a well-appointed house in Meryton
- Positive side–Great walking score.
- Negative side–Darcy kind of had his heart set on a large estate with sporting opportunities.
House #2, a well-situated estate in a neighboring county
- Positive side–Great sport available, plus still a day’s ride away from Longbourn!
- Negative side–Lizzie’s not too thrilled with the location, since being close to her family was THE ENTIRE POINT of the move.
House #3, some other estate slightly closer to Longbourne
- Positive side–Basically the same as the last estate, but closer and slightly smaller.
- Negative side–Darcy hates the views and there’s no proper place for his study. Also, NO POOL, and the bedrooms are too small, and…
You think they’re going to pick: Either House #1 or House #3, since Lizzie’s right, being close to her parents WAS the entire point.
They end up choosing: House #2, because let’s face it, the views are really awesome.
Bond, James Bond
Why he’s moving: Last place explodeded.
The deal: James is one of those creepy older bachelors who wants “modern furnishings” and has a fantasy of his new pad being a chick magnet even though it’s one step above a dorm room. He’s bringing along Miss Moneypenny because NO ONE CAN EVER HOUSE HUNT ALONE.
- Positive side–At 1.3 million, significantly under budget!
- Negative side–Needs some restoration and isn’t in an easily defensible location. Moneypenny doesn’t like the kitchen, which leads to a quip from James about her being barefoot and pregnant.
House #2, 1 bed/1 bath in Knightsbridge
- Positive side–Moneypenny LOVES the location. So close to posh shops and restaurants! Also, at 1.7 mil, it’s right on budget.
- Negative side–It’s also SMALL. James dislikes the fact that it’s not easily defensible because it’s on the ground floor.
House #3, 2 bed/1 bath detached house in St. John’s Wood
- Positive side–Well, it’s a house! A small house.
- Negative side–At 1.8 mil, slightly over budget. James is also concerned about security with two levels and easy street access.
You think he’s going to pick: House #1, because it’s under budget, the largest of the three, and pretty nice.
He ends up choosing: House #2, because it’s the smallest. He can shoot any intruder from his bed, which takes up nearly half the apartment, and there are only 3 entry points.
Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter
Why they’re moving: Want a holiday home in Spain. The catch is they want to live among Muggles so their kids can “experience a different culture.”
The deal: The dreaded doubly-picky-couple-that-wants-completely-opposite-things! Hermione would like a library, lots of space, four bedrooms, and a garden. Ron would like to be at the center of town. They both want a beach view. Budget is 150k, but Ron really wants to keep it closer to 100. The Real Estate agent is trying not to cry.
House #1, small flat in downton Ibiza that needs work
- Positive side–Close to all those bars, nightclubs, and drunken college students.
- Negative side–Not very practical for a five-person family, and Hermione hates the noise. There’s NO TUB and the views bite.
House #2, 4 bed/1 bath away from town
- Positive side–Plenty of room, privacy, and really quiet for Hermione.
- Negative side–Plenty boring, if you ask Ron. Also, Hermione finds out it comes with a house elf. She was looking forward to making the kids do chores.
House #3, 2 bed/1 bath cottage on the beach
- Positive side–It’s right on the beach.
- Negative side–Where to start? It’s tiny, it’s run down, it’s overbudget. Ron points out they did live in a tent for six months before. “And look how that went,” Hermione says.
You think they’re going to pick: House #2, because Hermione clearly has the power in this relationship.
They end up choosing: House #3. NO house hunter can resist the power of the beach!
What do you think some of your favorite literary characters would be like as house hunters?