Your dream home could be hiding underneath a house that “Needs a little work, but has good bones.”

The reality of buying a house that has “good bones,” is opening your mind to the possibilities and moving in to a “work in progress.”


photo credit: part-time-business-opportunity

So, you’re probably asking yourself, “What gives a house “good bones”? I’m glad you asked!

Good bones begin with the fundamental structure of the house. When you look at the place, does it feel sound? Does the foundation on the outside have cracks? Does it look square or as if it’s tilting to one side? When you step in, do you feel as if you’re walking around comfortably, without any shifting in the floor or are you startled by an unexpected transition? Do you have to tilt your head to either side, in any room, to make the room feel “straight?” Are there cracks in the walls over doorways or at the ceiling line?

For a house to have good bones, it should feel like a wholly solid structure. The foundation should look straight. The floor should feel even and safe; the walls should not bow either out or in, and cracks over doors and/or at the ceiling line can be a sign of more than just “normal settling.” You don’t want to go buying a house with problems that begin at the foundation!

Once you’ve determined the basic structure is in good condition, take a look at the systems of the house. The roof should be in “reasonable” to good shape. The furnace and the plumbing should appear as if they have been well maintained. The electrical system should be up to code, or at least not so far out of date that you’re looking at having to have the entire house rewired.

These are things that a qualified home inspector can be a huge help with.

Will this floor plan work for YOU

Beyond the structure, how does the interior floor plan suit you? Many older homes tend to “compartmentalize” a life with clearly defined functions for each room. If you’re interested in a more modern, open floor plan, don’t be discouraged. “Flow” can be created. In many cases, non-load bearing walls can be removed easily making a floor plan feel more open. Skylights and/or windows can be added to let in more light, adding to the open feel.   How do you feel about the home’s location and the yard?  Is it right where you’d like to be?

“Good bones” is a combination of integrity and emotional comfort. If you’re in the process of buying a house and willing to envision something beyond what you see – you might be surprised how many more opportunities are actually available to you.

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