Good Bones? Home Buyer Advice

bones.jpegSometimes people refer to a house as having “good bones”. But what does this mean? Well, around here in the older parts of town, it is important to consider a home’s bones when buying. How is the foundation, the floors, the walls, the layout, fireplace? What type of materials was it built with – brick, stone, stucco, concrete? Who was the builder and when was it built? Many times all this will be satisfactory, but the maintenance will have been neglected – or maybe it just had a bad decorator and it needs some scrubbing and painting. The potential is there – you just have to see past the 60’s wallpaper and see the beautiful solid pine floors underneath the shag carpet. The bones are the things you can’t change (or can’t easily change) – think of it as a naked house. Things you can change are paint, kitchen counter tops, terrible lighting, ugly carpet… It is important to keep this perspective when you are out there looking at houses because it is easy to be romanced by a shiny new kitchen with granite counter tops especially when they are throwing in that flat-screen plasma tv… Try to keep your eyes and your mind open to the diamond in the rough.

The photo above is of a house for sale off Ward Parkway that has “good bones” – but needs a bit of updating to bring it around. According to the listing notes, it is a Dible Tudor.

About the Author

Sarah Snodgrass is a residential real estate agent specializing in Kansas City's historic neighborhoods and enclaves.

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