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The addiction Amanda Blair may not be able to kick in the new year

As 2016 is fast approaching, there is one addiction Amanda Blair knows she won't be able to add to the resolution list.

I need to confess. I have a terrible addiction. It keeps me up at night. It sucks hours of my life away. It distracts me from my other tasks. When I’m doing it I can think of nothing else. Worst though, is the fact that I have to move house. Repeatedly.

See, I’m addicted to realestate.com.au. I found it quite by accident. A friend was looking at buying a house and sent me a “link” to the website. Oh my. The house she liked was quite awful (which just confirmed the fact that her penchant for pelmets threatens to shake the very foundations of our relationship), but the website was all that the voyeur in me dreamed of.

From the comfort of my vegemite smeared modular lounge-suite, and without getting out of my flannelette PJ’s, I could take a wander through the homes of everyday Australians. At the click of a mouse, I was inspecting plans, considering soft furnishing choices and questioning what sort of delusional clearly-they-have-no-children architect thought it a smart move to place a laundry in a cupboard when it is the most important room in the house?

I found myself in bathrooms pondering the point of a corner shaped bath? (Unless of course you only want to bathe a corner of your body) In those same rooms I developed an intense hatred for the overuse of pebble tile strips that run vertically down shower cubicles. I know that like brown Laminex benches and “the conversation pit”, the owner will will eventually rue the day they thought them fashionable.

Considering we are the second fattest nation on earth seeing large bold lettering spelling out “EAT” on every second kitchen bench makes me realise there’s money to be made in producing one that says “DIET” and I decided that like Scandinavian crime stories – brown and white kitchens are so yesterday.

Amanda Blair.

I drew conclusions about the owners too. If a “media room” was featured – clearly watching too much television and needed to find some new hobbies/interests.

Excessive down-lights in a family room – man bling due to insecurity about extension size. Monochrome bedroom story – single and looking. Stuffed toys and pictures of cats in bedroom – single, stopped looking, preferring to stay home on Saturday nights listening to Kenny Rodgers. Topiary in the garden – a little tense? Double headed shower cubicle – newlyweds with no cellulite. Porsche in garage – tosser. More bathrooms than bedrooms – incontinent. Mirrored wardrobe in bedroom – ambitious. Bidet – just plain weird.

No suburb was safe from my prying eyes. Like Lucky Starr I went to Tullamore, Seymour, Lismore, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Maroochydore, Kilmore, Murwillumbah, Birdsville, Emmaville, Wallaville, Cunnamulla, Condamine, Strathpine, Proserpine, Ulladulla, Darwin, Deniliquin, Muckadilla, Wallumbilla, Boggabilla and Kumbarilla.

Once when I developed a huge crush on Firass Dirani (when he was playing John Ibrahim in Underbelly) I even realestate dot com’d Werrington where he grew up to try and find us a 4brm love shack (ok…I did get a little “stalky” there for a while – apologies to Firass and his family. I’m extremely sorry for putting a deposit down in your name and for standing outside your house for a week with googly love eyes. Forgive me. I know it was wrong).

So what did I learn in my nationwide house-porn search? I learned that it is the best type of internet shopping because unlike shoes, a house can’t be wrapped, shipped and delivered in a beautiful box within 24 hours. I also learned that many of my girlfriends share this secret obsession. I’m forming a support group where we can discuss our latest real estate discoveries (particularly the house I found last night with shag-pile walls and 70’s wallpaper – magnificent).

I also learned that no matter where you live, how messy and noisy it gets and how many kids crowd into your “space” there is no escape from reality. Virtual moves get you nowhere. There really is no place like your own home…or is there?

Hang on. I’ll just check. Now where is that computer?

This article originally appeared in The Australian Women’s Weekly

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