Don't buy a bad floor plan

The layout of a home can and will affect its resale value - so even if a property is well-located and in good condition, potential buyers would be well-advised to watch out for design flaws that may make it difficult to resell one day.

Buyers will usually know instinctively when a house does not "flow", says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group. "But if they cannot quite put their finger on the reason, they may be tempted to buy it anyway with the hope of making improvements once they have moved in.

"However, extensive remodelling is usually expensive and messy to live with. And if the walls you want to knock down are load-bearing, it may prove impossible to make the changes you'd like, leaving you stuck with the bad floor plan."

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says it is thus far better to just take a pass on an awkward layout, including the one with a long, narrow central passage that makes the home seem dark and uninviting - or worse, the one with an entrance hall that offers an unimpeded view of the guest toilet.

Also awkward is the layout where the dining room acts as a central hub with several doorways leading to other rooms. "This can seriously impede flow as people have to navigate their way around the dining room furniture to reach other parts of the home - and makes entertaining dinner guests a nightmare."

Everitt says bedrooms that adjoin one another or lead right off the dining room or living room are also a no-no, if only for reasons of privacy, as are bathrooms leading off kitchens, or TV rooms and entertainment areas accessible only through a bedroom.

"On the other hand, if a home has a good floor plan, you should easily be able to imagine how your family would live there and settle into a comfortable routine without being constantly irritated by a room or a door that always seems to be in the wrong place."


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