Just wondering…

What is it that estate agents really mean when they talk of a “deceptively spacious” property? It’s one of their favourite phrases, after all.

If I say that my wallet felt deceptively full before I left the house, doesn’t that suggest that later, at some inconvenient moment, I discovered I had less money than I thought? Still, perhaps the operative word there is felt, which implies that I was mistaken?

OK, then, so if a house actually is deceptively spacious, that must mean that it does have a lot of space, but for some reason that doesn’t bring with it the characteristics that you’d normally associate with spaciousness. It’s a very inconvenient shape, for example, so you can’t actually use it as you would expect.

Or there is occasionally some warping of the space-time continuum in that area, so that when you visit, it is spacious, but later on you’ll discover it’s only suitable for hobbits? As in, “it’s deceptively spacious at the moment”.

Yes, I guess that must be it. Good of them to warn you in advance.

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If it isn’t wooden, blue, with a flashing light on the top and a noise like an asthmatic elephant…they’re fibbing.

Perhaps it’s a house which appears spacious, but which is actually quite small (and therefor affordable).

Or perhaps ‘deceptive’ is a valid adjective before any phrase uttered by an estate agent.

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