6 must-have characteristics to look for when buying a home

6 must-have characteristics to look for when buying a home

With home prices down, foreclosures up, there's an influx of great homes on the market with less competition vying for them. The next year or so may present some prime buying opportunities for those willing to do some homework, and who meet the prerequisites of home ownership. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the most important things to ask yourself when you start looking for a house is: “How easy will it be to sell this thing?”

Sound personal-finance decisions usually involve thinking one step ahead. You should not be content just to get into a house that you emotionally fall in love with; rather, you should be looking to buy a house that you can get out of quickly, easily, and at a profit should life happen to throw you a curveball that will force you to move.

What characteristics lead to a house being highly “marketable”? Granted, there's not an exact set of criteria that will be ideal for all people in all situations and markets, but the more factors you have working in your favor the better. We're not talking about buying a house for the purpose of flipping it. We're simply talking about buying a house that you can live in, put some sweat equity into over time, and then sell for a profit.

Unexpected Moves Can Happen to Anyone

When I purchased my first home 3-1/2 years ago, I was thinking I would be in it until I was able to pay off my mortgage. I loved the location, the house, and the neighbors. My wife and I both had solid jobs. It was also a house that we could grow into: 3 bed, 1.5 bath, 1,500 finished square feet, full basement, and a nice yard — all in an area with a low cost-of-living and high quality-of-life.

Fast-forward 2-1/2 years: a fantastic job opportunity presented itself. We decided it would be best for us to sell and move two hours away. Thanks to some smart thinking before we bought the house and some elbow grease, we were not only able to sell the house in just three months, but make a 10% gain on it in a horrible market. Additionally, we were able to do this via “for sale by owner”.

As you shop for a home, keep in mind these characteristics that not only make it appealing to live in now, but will make it have greater equity in the future (thus making it easier to sell).

The Right Size

You need to not only look for a house that fits for you, but also that fits for the majority of the population. Here's what the majority of households are looking for or are able to adapt to:

  • Look for a minimum of three bedrooms and a maximum of four. Two bedroom homes mostly cater to single people or couples that do not or will not have children (and aren't concerned with selling their house). At the same time, homes with five bedrooms or more cater to those who have a healthy number of children, or plan on having them in the near future. That makes three- and four-bedroom homes the perfect size for the majority of the population, with three bedrooms being ideal. If you haven't noticed, large suburban homes that are energy drainers are quickly going out of style.
  • In terms of number of bathrooms, 1-1/2 or 2 will make the home more desirable than just one. If you're looking at a house that could cheaply add another half or full bath, you might have a good find.
  • Square footage is important, but not quite as much as the number of bedrooms. Typically, you'll want more than 1,000 (with room to expand) and less than 2,000 for a home to be comfortable and efficient for the majority of the home-buying population.

Curb Appeal That is Ripe For Improvement

When it comes to selling a house, the biggest challenge is getting people in it. The key is to find an attractive home from an architectural perspective that needs aesthetic upgrades. Consider yourself lucky to find a home with an ugly paint color and really poor landscaping. These are two things that you can spruce up on the cheap with a little sweat equity.

If you're willing to get up on the roof, a home with a poor roof may present an opportunity to get a credit during the bidding process (with a recommendation from an inspector) that is worth the price of a professional doing the job. You can then turn around and buy the materials and do it yourself, while pocketing the remainder of the money to apply towards your loan or other projects. Our current home has an older roof with a few warped pieces of wood sheathing. We were able to get a $6,500 credit for a project that is costing just $2,000 to do on our own.

On the extreme end of things, our current house had an ugly asphalt driveway that was falling apart. What was attractive about this is that the driveway is only about 25 feet in length so tearing it out and replacing it only cost us $1,700. Now, it looks great!

Here are some other cheap ways to improve a home's curb appeal before you sell it:

  • Paint the shutters
  • Power wash everything
  • Refinish the porch
  • Add landscaping that looks great year-round
  • Water the grass until it's the greenest on the block
  • Add a nice new mailbox and address numbers

Good Structure

When it comes to buying a home, you want to avoid major structural issues that will cost you big money to fix or will diminish your leverage when it's time to sell if you haven't fixed them. Here are a few of the biggest culprits:

  • Do not buy a house that has issues with the foundation. If you see large cracks in the foundation outside or on the basement walls, or the walls look like they are caving in some spots, kindly leave the house and look elsewhere.
  • Termite or carpenter ant damage is common in some locales, and it may be hard to find an older home that hasn't had a little damage at one point or another. The key here is to find a home that does not have major structural damage and has no signs of current issues. Some home inspectors will actually insure for a year or more that there are no current signs of infestation, and if they appear, they will cover the costs to terminate.
  • Have you ever walked through a house that makes you feel claustrophobic or just didn't feel right? Odds are that other people feel that way in the same homes. Don't buy them. This may be remedied by knocking down a wall or two in some homes, but that can be an expensive project and you may be risking structural damage.
  • Avoid buying a house that has signs of mold or water damage. They can be very expensive to fix and usually are signs of larger foundational or roof issues. Here again, a good home inspector will be able to test or look for both.
  • Beware problems with the electrical and plumbing systems. These are a home's lifeblood, and replacements are costly.
  • If you buy a home with an ancient furnace, you may want to have it checked out beforehand. Any home with steam radiant heating may cost you a pretty penny to heat or replace.

Easy-to-Improve Internal Aesthetics

As with structure, making major changes to the interior of a home can be costly, but there are some cheap projects that can really change the perceived value and quality of a home. One summer's worth of weekends spent on the following projects can not only improve the marketability of your home, but make it much more enjoyable for you to live in. Look for a house that will allow you to do most of the following, as one with all of them done already will probably be selling for a premium:

  • Add nice, modern-looking light fixtures
  • Add fresh earth-tone paint
  • Replace beat-up light switch covers
  • Re-finish hardwood floors
  • Replace linoleum with tile
  • Add a backsplash in the kitchen

Here are some of the features most people want, but won't be cost effective for you to add:

  • Central air conditioning
  • Nice kitchen cabinets (or cabinets that will be nice when refinished)
  • Fireplace
  • Garage
  • Energy-efficient windows

An Under-Priced Location

It seems that more people are looking to purchase in nice urban areas that are close to work versus suburban McMansions. Not only do these homes save commuting time and money, but they almost always have a lot more character and are much more structurally sound. In my most recent home-purchasing experience, I looked at a few houses built after 1999. All had large foundational cracks and cheap materials throughout.

Another bonus to purchasing a home in a more densely populated area is foot and car traffic. My first home was located just off the corner of a highly trafficked street. Because of this, I could put up a ‘for sale' sign pointing towards my house. I ran through 20+ flyers a day and ended up selling the house to someone who drove by it. You don't get this kind of exposure in the ‘burbs.

Highly desirable locales are going to cost you a premium, but you may be able to sell a home quicker. What I have searched for in my first two home purchases are areas that are relatively cheap compared to highly desired areas, yet have most or all of the same features. Others will realize the same thing when searching for a home.

Good School District

Even if you never plan on having children, it is important to look within areas that have a reputation for having good schools. Do it for the kids. If not yours, for the kids of the people buying your house from you.

The more desirable characteristics you're able to find or add to through inexpensive sweat equity will improve your chances of not only selling your home, but selling it quickly and for a premium.

What characteristics and specifications would make a house more appealing to you?

Photo by Nate Steiner.

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Wise Money Matters
Wise Money Matters
11 years ago

Great tips. I recently purchased a new home and it would appear my home fits all of those requirements.

Aman
Aman
11 years ago

That is a perfect and essential list when looking for a home. I am a regular property investor and when I’m hunting for a property for myself, a friend, or even a client, I always first ask what the pre-approved budget/mortgage is. Knowing what your limit of affordability can eliminate time wasted looking at homes you will be unable to afford. You need to be realistic on your monthly mortgage payments too. I had one client this summer that was trying to convince her husband that they would “stop going out for dinner” and “skip the vacation” so they could… Read more »

squished18
squished18
11 years ago

In areas that geat snow sidewalks are good for the neighbours, but not so good for the owners. Cities often insist on a clear sidewalk. A house without a sidewalk means not having to worry about shovelling immediately after a snow fall.

JACK
JACK
8 years ago
Reply to  squished18

No sidewalks? You would rather walk in the middle of a snowy street against traffic? Seems dangerous.

-a Michigander

dogatemyfinances
dogatemyfinances
11 years ago

I have never heard of this “healthy number of children.” I don’t want to have an unhealthy number of children….

Cory
Cory
11 years ago

I recently purchased a new construction home, and about 6 months later an elementary school started going up on the end of the block ~4 houses away. I think I got pretty lucky here.

EscapeVelocity
EscapeVelocity
11 years ago

All of the smaller houses are getting torn down to stick McMansions on tiny city lots, so they won’t even be an option for the next generation of home buyers. I’m glad to have gotten in on the window of time when single people weren’t condemned to condos for life.

MissyP
MissyP
11 years ago

We purchased our first home 3 years ago and the main factors in buying it were that it was built in the mid-90’s, was in good condition, and it had a lot of square footage (1600 on the main level). We are now trying to infuse some charm into the house, charm that they just didn’t build in the 90’s—and buying a large house has made these improvements extremely expensive. We are 30 with no children and it’s much more space than we will ever need. If I were buying now I would look at the quality of floor coverings,… Read more »

Edictus
Edictus
11 years ago

My wife and I looked at 50+ houses before we purchased. Our realtor really took the time that was needed to get us into the ‘right’ house. In the end, we were desiding between 2 homes – both built in 1950 as paart of ‘returning GI’ neighborhoods. Our realtor really pushed us toward one of the 2 (we bought that one) and I didn’t really know why because it was 20k less (i.e. lower commission for him.) He later told us that because one of our main criteria was ‘resale factor,’ we needed to purchase the home which appeared less… Read more »

Jackie
Jackie
8 years ago
Reply to  Edictus

Thats a great realtor. He looked out for his buyers interest and not his. Would love to find someone like that now that i have been looking for a new home.

Emily H.
Emily H.
11 years ago

I don’t want to buy a house that someone else wants, I want to buy a house that I want! Different people are going to have different lifestyles – not everybody is going to need to get out of a house quickly. I will probably end up buying a condo, but a very small 2-bedroom house has more charm, and if I could have a really good house I wouldn’t mind waiting longer for it to sell – and my career is stable enough that this would be OK. I’m also going to be careful to save enough as a… Read more »

Mary
Mary
11 years ago

@Emily H. It’s all very well and good to buy the house you want without worrying too much about resale value. As long as you walk into the situation knowing that a 2 BR home is likely to take longer to sell than a comparable 3 BR home, it’s fine. The main point of the article was only that sometimes your situation can change suddenly, which can really make you think you thought of these things before. Before I actually bought a house, I never thought I’d think about resale value myself. Looking at real estate in this market, however,… Read more »

HollyP
HollyP
11 years ago

Those looking at antique homes should check the structural integrity of the foundation and the sill. This can be done fairly easily using a screwdriver and a hammer, but takes a while. You point the screwdriver towards the sill, joists and beams and gently tap with the hammer. If the screwdriver penetrates the wood, RUN don’t walk away from the house. Foundation work is very expensive. Another thing that is fairly easy to do yourself is to insulate the attic and basement crawlspaces. It adds some value, has a quick payback if you do it yourself, and makes the home… Read more »

Chicago Gal
Chicago Gal
11 years ago

From my experience using a steam radiator heating system does not cost a lot of money to heat a house.

It actually uses less energy than central duct heating and is more cost efficient because large metal radiators stay warm for a long time after the heat cycle is off.

Replacing a boiler for a ratiator heating system isn’t cheap, but then a central heat furnace isn’t either.

Moneyblogga
Moneyblogga
11 years ago

Very informative article. Here in Los Angeles, we’ve gone through a cycle of fleeing the city for the ‘burbs. Now it seems that everyone is fleeing the ‘burbs for the city … and the prices reflect it.

Jason
Jason
11 years ago

I fundamentally disagree with this poster’s theme, “one of the most important things to ask yourself when you start looking for a house is: “How easy will it be to sell this thing?”” If that’s the most important thing to you, then you shouldn’t be buying. Rent a small space that you like, close to your work if you can, and invest the difference between a mortgage payment and your rent in a balanced mutual fund. The costs of owning a home for a few years – fees, taxes, insurance, interest, improvements, TIME, UNCERTAINTY, and the likely increase in commuting… Read more »

Funny about Money
Funny about Money
11 years ago

This is one of the smartest posts I’ve seen at any site. One of the things that’s hard to get around, when the place is your home, is the fact that real estate is an investment. It’s a financial instrument. It’s wonderful to find a house that’s beautiful, charming, and perfect for you and your family. But it’s ideal to find one that’s beautiful, charming, perfect for you and your family, and a smart investment. If you can’t find the ideal, go for the one that has good resale potential and then fix it up the way you want it.… Read more »

Steph
Steph
11 years ago

Very nice points made in the article. We had two additional criteria: First, we wanted to be able to afford the payment on one income because my boyfriend’s industry is unstable. We survived his company’s bankruptcy and return to school with this strategy. Second, we wanted to make sure that we could rent it for more than the payments, insurance and taxes. We could have purchased a much nicer house in a town about 15 miles away for the same price, but we bought in a college town with a strong rental market. If we ever have to leave while… Read more »

Lynb
Lynb
11 years ago

I agree with HollyP regarding house size. 1600sqft here in Texas would be considered tiny. Our house is 2500sqft and is considered ‘average’. Also, MissyP is right on about charm. Ugly tile is expensive to replace – as are cabinets that you tell yourself you can live with – trust me, you can’t! Landscaping is another expensive fix-up when it’s non-existent. Half of our backyard was lost to a slope – which cost us $3000 to add a retaining wall and replace the fence – but we now have full use of almost 1/4 acre! This spring I’ll start adding… Read more »

Bill M
Bill M
11 years ago

When I was looking, I looked at all those plus close to my job, since I drive all day, i do not want to commute to work 1 hr each way like most people do. sometimes you need to buy something a little smaller than you would if you were in the suburbs. but its worth it.

Carla
Carla
11 years ago

Great list! We are looking to buy in ’09 and needed some additional advice when it comes to what to look for in a house.

Some of our factors include close or a reasonable walking distance to public transit, walking distance to shops, restaurants, cafes, etc (since we will be down to one car) 3 bedrooms, one and a half or two bathrooms, hardwood floors, built before the ’50s and so on.

The problem is, everybody seems to have this criteria.

little living
little living
11 years ago

I am so SICK of the advice to buy a 3 bedroom home. All my young single friends now have 2 extra bedrooms to heat/cool/clean.

I think that the only thing that keeps demand for 3 bedrooms high is the idea that “no one else will want a 1 or 2 bedroom”. It is just self-prepetuating nonsense, and causes an enormous waste of resources.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
11 years ago

This advice is all probably good if you’re in a similar situation to the guy who wrote it, but a lot of people aren’t. Sure, a lot of people want three-bedroom homes, but what if you *are* single, or you *do* have a “healthy” number of children? I mean, the article basically says “don’t buy a two-bedroom, they’re for people with no kids, and don’t buy a five-bedroom, they’re for people with lots of kids.” Well yes, of course they are. That’s why they exist, because not everyone has 2.3 kids. And the whole article seems to over-emphasize the actual… Read more »

Eman
Eman
11 years ago

Great tips for buying a home.
Buying properties without a proper knowledge is risky. I believed if we follow the tips that has been laid out, we not only owning the best property but will lead us to a Financially Free person within a short period of time

Ben
Ben
11 years ago

This article has some great advice. My wife and I bought our first house 4 years ago planning to stay there a long time and raise a family. Then due to some unexpected changes, we ended up moving. Luckily we managed to hit some of the article’s points like good location and good schools. We had an offer in about 50 days when the average in our area was 120 days. Plus due to some smart renovations we made money even in a down market. This advice doesn’t just apply to a specific part of the population. A house is… Read more »

Urchina
Urchina
11 years ago

I’d add to the list: Plenty of natural light. Adding solatubes or transom windows isn’t very expensive and can bring a huge amount of light into an otherwise dark home. If you have a three-bedroom home in a good school district (and your resale group is families), then I’d make sure you’re on a quiet street with good sidewalks. Busy intersections give moms heartburn. Any obvious natural disasters waiting to happen? Avoid them. For example, seasonal creeks (prone to flooding), at the base of steep mountains (mudslides), very heavily overgrown wooded areas (fire). Finally, walking distance to open space (parks,… Read more »

LadyJ
LadyJ
11 years ago

My fiancee and I consider ourselves to be so very lucky to have found a great house! We live in a major Texas city where real estate is ridiculously (stupidly, ignorantly) expensive. We almost gave up on owning a home. But we finally found a great house: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1600 sq ft (a nice size), nice large yard, trees, fairly close to downtown, in a so-called ‘up and coming’ area, for $150k. I think that fits the author’s criteria, lol! The house has NO curb appeal (but I’m gonna fix that), the first time we drove by I… Read more »

Dave Farquhar
Dave Farquhar
11 years ago

One question: Why would anyone want to replace linoleum? I just ripped the tile out of my kitchen and replaced it with linoleum. It looks far, far better and as far as taking care of it, there’s no comparison. Sweep and mop it once a week and it looks great all week; our old tile would require a cleaning every day to look good.

And it’s hard to beat linoleum for durability. In many 100-year-old houses, the linoleum is still in nice shape even after all that time.

Anne
Anne
11 years ago

I like what you have to say about size, but I think you’re off on number of bedrooms. For young families right now, three kids is the new two kids — not everyone has three, but it’s increasingly popular. So I’d say go for a four or five bedroom house if your resale market is young families. You also might want to focus on a home that has at least three of those bedrooms on one floor. As a mother of young children myself, this is my number one biggest home buying and renting issue. My children are too small… Read more »

John M.
John M.
11 years ago

This is throw-away advice. Defects that would make a house hard to sell would also make it unattractive to BUY. So this advice applies only to crazy people who somehow WANT to live in an ugly house, or those whose taste is far outside the mainstream.

Someone
Someone
11 years ago

What in the world would the two of us do with three whole bedrooms? I’m sure we’d find some use for a space that big, but it seems irresponsible to me to buy a place that is so incredibly much larger than what’s necessary. In most cases, two people just don’t need that much space. I don’t see how it would be prudent for us to have bought a larger place when we’re perfectly happy with our 1br 1bath condo– sure, something larger might be easier to sell later, but just think how much more interest we would have paid… Read more »

T
T
11 years ago

In Houston, many, many houses on the market have had some kind of foundation work. If you have the kind of soil we have here, it’s just something you deal with. When we were looking for our first house, I was advised (by someone who doesn’t live here) to run from any house that had ever had foundation repairs done. So we bought a house that hadn’t had any foundation trouble. Surprise! The first summer we lived there, there was a drought and the soil changed so much that we had to spend thousands on foundation repairs. (No one ever… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
11 years ago

@ David Farqhar – I think many people prefer ceramic or stone tile over linoleum because it’s more durable and looks nicer – the same reason people like granite countertops. They can also add a bit of luxury into the house, depending on the style. Linoleum, from my experience, wears out very quickly and tends to look cheap and tacky compared to tile. I think many people feel the same way, and this is probably why the author of this post recommends upgrading your linoleum to tile. @ John M. – I think that the advice is suggesting that people… Read more »

Ms. Clear
Ms. Clear
11 years ago

Good grief, it’s entirely possible for children to SHARE a bedroom.

invisible.bees
invisible.bees
11 years ago

I’m on the same page as Tyler Karazewski and Jason, while a house is part of your financial portfolio, it is–first and foremost–your home. As Jason pointed out, as a culture, we seem to have forgotten that. (Thank you HGTV.) Yes, as JD’s guest blogger pointed out, you want to make sure that your home is safe and sound before you sign the deed so many of the tips on structure and curb appeal make sense. Or at least, if it isn’t, you want to be well aware of the risks and costs for making it more habitable. And, of… Read more »

Visitor
Visitor
11 years ago

Very suburban advice. Those of us who prefer urban settings should start with a walkscore of at least 80, (check your residence at http://www.walkscore.com) rush hour transit service with better than 15-minute frequency, and at least 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the nearest freeway.

Jenn
Jenn
11 years ago

One of my biggest requirements 18 years ago was being near transit. And I mean GOOD transit, within a few blocks, and a bus that runs more than once an hour.

I’ve never regretted making that my number one priority, since public transit reflects my value system.

Everyone has their own priorities. I’m happy where I am, and my children (who came along later!) share a room and know how to use the bus.

mythago
mythago
11 years ago

I’m surprised that a number of people took the ‘things to consider’ in the original post as Dire Commandments. The fact that most people have children does not mean you must never, ever buy a 2-bedroom house; only that you need to consider how purchasing “a house for us two” may affect your ability to sell it later.

On children sharing bedrooms – they can, but for many people, having their kids NOT share is one of the reasons to move up from an apartment to a house.

Charlotte
Charlotte
11 years ago

All good advice, we mostly followed the list but as always do what works for you.

I believe location is the #1 factor. I also learned that school ratings drive the cost of homes – at least in the suburbs. I compared the prices of homes against the school ratings and this is true. We do not have kids (yet) but we considered it and started looking in a different location with good schools. We like our location now. It is family-oriented, nice location and the house has a lot of the qualities we were looking for.

plonkee
plonkee
11 years ago

I guess the British housing market is more segmented. one of the easier types of property to sell is the first time buyer home – depending on location that could have between 1 and 3 bedrooms, but will always be at the bottom end of the market. They are a great candidate for sprucing up with a lick of paint because many people buying for the first time have never done any diy and don’t think that they know where to start.

HollyP
HollyP
11 years ago

For those who don’t expect to have any number of children, healthy or not: two bedroom houses are okay if they are on a smallish, easy to maintain lot and are a single story. Take it from one who tried to sell a two-bedroom home on a large, unruly lot!

Also, did anyone mention closet/storage space? It is something that is so important to the livability of a house, but hard to put in after the fact.

EscapeVelocity
EscapeVelocity
11 years ago

Re foundation issues: I also live in an area with clay soil that expands and contracts and generally moves around, so one of the things I looked for was a pier and beam foundation. Much easier and cheaper to fix.

Re ceramic tile in kitchens: It’s popular because people don’t cook. As long as you don’t plan to stand on it for any length of time or drop anything on it, tile is fine, and it looks pretty. I’m planning to replace my existing vinyl tile with linoleum, which is what the house originally had prior to an avocado-era remodel.

LK
LK
11 years ago

@ #30: Halfway through your post, I thought “Well, you should have watered your foundation!” I guess that’s something native Houstonian’s know. There should be an advisory about that in the house contract! Sorry about the lack of warning!

Travis
Travis
11 years ago

Shortly after I got married 2 years ago, my wife and I bought a 1600 square foot 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house on a corner lot. So according to this article it should be prime to sell. We still have work to do though. In 2009 I hope to paint the inside, update the light fixtures, and add more storage space.

poor boomer
poor boomer
11 years ago

I don’t know how easy if is to sell the house in which I am living, but it’s very easy to rent out rooms and make twice the mortgage payment, so why would anyone want to sell such a cash cow?

Denise T
Denise T
11 years ago

Amen. We made big mistakes when we bought our first house, so when we bought our second, we had pretty much the same logic you outline here. It’s been great. We have a house much more suited to us and one that other people want too.

RenaissanceTrophyWife
RenaissanceTrophyWife
11 years ago

Good tips to consider. If you’re older and buying a house, also consider handicap accessibility– for your parents when they visit, or you in your old age. 3 flights of stairs may not be ideal 5 years from now. The other thing is, you could look at his resale value tips as good things to consider for rentals as well. A lot of families in urban areas may want to rent for precisely the same reasons others want to buy, and it’s a decent alternative when the market is not ideal to sell. We actually almost put in an offer… Read more »

rubin pham
rubin pham
11 years ago

i will add that older home tend to be built with better quality than newer home.
besides, most newer home are 2 story which can be a problem for the disabled and pregnant women.
i myself prefer older home where i can get a decent size yard and no stair to deal with.

partgypsy
partgypsy
11 years ago

Dave F, Escape velocity I agree with you, linoleum (we’re not talking vinyl flooring) is such a great thing for the kitchen, and possibly other areas of the house. We had it installed in the kitchen of our 1920’s house and it looks and wears great. The only problem is that the people who know how to install it are dying out.

Kimba
Kimba
11 years ago

Great tips, but I’d amend the “right size” suggestion. Three bedrooms might make sense if you’re buying a house in a sprawling suburb, but in expensive urban areas, smaller homes are extremely marketable. In San Francisco and New York, for exampe, 1- and 2-bedrooms (not to mention studios) are always in hot demand.

GE Miller
GE Miller
11 years ago

I swear that I didn’t write this article to create dissent over the merits of linoleum floors. =)

It’s great to see all the great discussion. J.D. is lucky to have such smart commenter’s.

Bill in NC
Bill in NC
11 years ago

One caveat: school districts change. The high school I attended redistricted and started pulling nearly half its students from very poor, very high crime inner city neighborhoods (the rest come from the very wealthy neighborhood where I grew up) 15 years ago everyone wanted to attend that school, but now no one does. And forget “antique” houses. The large (nearly 6,000 sq.ft.) 1920s house I lived in had large public rooms we never used, but small bedrooms, no closets, tiny bathrooms, bizarre plumbing & electrical issues, and expensive to repair plaster & lath construction. And a kitchen no bigger than… Read more »

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