BUYING a house is reputed to be one of life’s most stressful events.

It may not seem so bad when you first start looking for one and you’re optimistically trawling through property websites, but unless you are lucky enough to find your dream home straight away that initial hopefulness can soon turn into despair.

The last time we moved we must have visited around 20 houses over a period of about three months. When you have only weekends at your disposal, you meticulously plan your viewings. Some Saturdays we looked at three or four.

Some were lovely, but there was always something we didn’t like. One house we loved sat in a small walled garden surrounded by the car park of a working men’s club. A characterful cottage was too low-ceilinged for my 6ft 4in husband and another we fancied had clearly been some sort of cannabis farm - with dozens of electrical wires hanging from the ceiling and rows of sockets along downstairs walls.

Things like this are certainly not highlighted on the estate agent’s particulars.

Then there are those houses that, for various reasons, you don’t like even before you go in. At one I came clean on the doorstep, telling the owners that it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. They were very understanding and appreciated not having their time wasted in showing us around.

With all this in mind, I find it incredible that a couple made headlines for rejecting every house shown to them on Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. Viewers of the TV show labelled the house hunters ‘entitled toddlers’ and ‘time wasters’ after they decided not to buy one of the homes offered.

I like Location, Location, Location, but Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsop offer THREE choices. Not 20, not ten, but three. I don’t know many people who have found the right home after viewing so few properties.

For most people, buying a house is the biggest purchase they will ever make. It’s a huge investment - hundreds of thousands of pounds - which most of us take the best part of a lifetime to pay for. I’m nearly 60 and I’m still not mortgage-free.

It is ridiculous to expect people to make a snap decision on one of just three homes. The couple had a £500,000 budget, which they wanted to spend on their dream home. This was not presented to them so they didn’t sign on the dotted line. What’s wrong with that?

On average, a purchaser will visit eight homes before choosing, according to price comparison website mybigmove. To me, even that is a low number.

The process of buying a home is a very personal thing - made even more tricky when two people are involved in the decision making - and it is brave for anyone to have their search featured on TV.

Bizarrely, sometimes a home that does not tick your wish-list boxes will hit the spot. Property shows often feature people who buy a house that does not meet any of the criteria they put forward. They wanted old, they bought a new build, they wanted a big garden, they bought a flat…

That applied to us. When we were searching, we initially rejected the house we bought out of hand. Yet, after reluctantly having a look, the small, characterless 1920’s semi was the right choice. After 15 years, it still needs a lot of work but we love the location and friendly community.

The worst anyone can do when moving is make a quick decision. We did that with our previous house, feeling under pressure to buy before I went part-time at work. We moved in with heavy hearts and spent seven years regretting it.