What does it mean when someone says a home has “good bones”?

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Blog, Buying a Home, First Time Buyer tips, Real Estate | 0 comments

If you’re a fan of HGTV, you’ve no doubt frequently heard the phrase “it has good bones,” referring to a home in need of renovation. But what does that mean, exactly?  The answer can be hard to pin down.

“In most cases, it seems to refer to the architectural integrity of a structure,” notes The Kitchn website, “but when it comes to actually defining which specific features earn a place [in] the description of ‘good bones,’ most of us are left drawing a blank.”

One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t have to do with actual bones.

In our opinion, a home with good bones is, first and foremost, one that will serve you well down the road. This means it has:

A solid structure: The roof is sturdy, the foundation strong, and the home has been well-maintained for the most part.

A workable floor plan: Homes with good bones don’t have circuitous, awkward layouts, but generally offer comfortable flow between living spaces, bedrooms and baths.

Excellent light: Natural light is desirable in any home. In these homes, you’ll often find oversized windows and natural light streaming in.

Interesting surprises: Lift up the carpet and you might find hardwood floors that have never been walked on. Look around and you might see laundry chutes, phone nooks, unique staircases, pocket doors, unusual tile and other flourishes of yesteryear. With imagination, all of these elements can be made new again and lend special charm to a home.

Good location: A solid block and a lot with room for a nice yard add value. Where the home is located and how it’s situated on the lot can be considered part of its good bones.

No need of major repairs: While the home may not look the best, it can be easily renovated. Even if the paint is peeling, the doors nicked, the carpet outdated, any well-qualified contractor can address these issues with a finite budget.

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