Last Updated on August 21, 2023
Chances are you’ve heard the term “good bones” before in reference to a home that needs a little TLC to bring it up-to-date. But what does that phrase even mean? And how do you know whether or not a home has good bones?
Here are 5 signs a home you’re looking at has good bones:
1. The layout is good
An open floor plan is at the top of most buyers’ wish lists these days, and if it’s on yours too, make sure that the layout of the home lends itself well to an open, free-flowing space.
If you’re really serious about purchasing a fixer-upper, take a contractor with you while you tour the home to help you identify which walls are load-bearing and which walls can easily come down. Oftentimes, a bright, open floor plan is hiding behind one or two walls that just need to be removed.
Additionally, spend some time in each room. Make sure the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets are large enough. Take note of the amount of storage, too. You can always add built-in storage, but without enough space to work with, you’ll never feel like your things have a place to belong.
2. You notice high-quality finishes
Look for high quality finishes that will save you tons of money during the renovation process. Items like hardwood floors, solid wood doors, and even crown molding already in place are wonderful finds. Additionally, beadboard, exposed beams, or high ceilings are also unique selling points that add a ton of character to a home.
3. The home’s major systems are in working order
It’s one thing to spend money knocking out a few walls and expanding the kitchen, but it’s no fun when all your money has to go into keeping major systems running.
When you’re looking at homes, make sure you really pay attention to the quality of the roof and expected life, how old the a/c unit is, the plumbing and electrical systems, and the age and function of the windows. Make sure there aren’t any foundational issues, either.
4. The home has ample natural light
Sure, you can always add windows, but if the home in question will require adding a lot of windows to bring in abundant light, it’s going to get costly. Make sure the views you’ll be looking at for years to come are worthwhile, too.
5. The home has mature landscaping
Most professional landscapers will tell you to set aside about 10% of your home’s value for landscaping. If the previous homeowners have neglected their yard for years, you’ll either need tons of sweat equity or a hefty budget to get the yard in tip-top shape.
On the other hand, if the yard has been well maintained and has mature landscaping throughout, this contributes positively to the overall value of the home.