How to Know if a House has ‘Good Bones’


As realtors our career is dedicated to helping you find a home that works perfect for you (and your family). For some they assume to find the perfect home you will need to build a home from the ground up, this is not necessarily the case. If you find a home with “good bones” you can take an existing home and transform it to your dream home. A home with good good bones typically describes a fixer-upper or possibly a home that has great potential.

There are many factors that determine whether a home has good bones. Depending on the location of the property the home may be affected by environmental factors such as hurricanes, flooding, or tornados. Another factor you might want to think about is the age of the home. In reality what determines a home with “good bones” is the opinion of the realtor and buyer. We have some suggestions of what to could be possible determining factors:

  1. Construction and Foundation Typically the first thing people are talking about when they said a home has good bones is the solid foundation and a sound structure. Throughout the years we have changed the materials we use to build to ensure the safety of our homes or even lower the cost of building a home. You will find that older homes are built of better quality materials which can decrease the defects present in the home.
  2. Good Roof Being that the cost of a new roof can be a costly repair if a home has a new or sturdy roof it can be a huge contributor to a home with good bones.
  3. Natural light Natural light is a desirable feature in a home, it makes the property feel light and airy. The brighter a home looks it can also make a room feel larger or more open.
  4. Plumbing This can be a huge asset if it is up to code and in good condition. Typically the older the home the more likely you are to have concerns arise.
  5. Coherent Floor Plan or the Ability to Create One It can be a costly task to have to move around plumbing and electrical. It is important to find a floor plan that has a good flow or has the ability to create a good flow without major associated costs.
  6. Good Location and Lot Size Your location and lot size are the only aspects of a home that you cannot adjust or change. Finding the perfect location that will grow in value is very important. Lot size is another factor to the equation, if you have a great home but a small awkward lot size you might not be able to adjust the landscape like you might desire.

Here are a couple “bonuses” if you find them in a home!

  1. Flooring Finding a home with good floor or original wood flooring can be a huge bonus to the value of your home.
  2. Unique Features Historical features or unique charms in a home such as wooden beams, wainscoting, vintage wallpaper, or antique lighting can be a factor of considering the home to have good bones.

Bonus Rooms A big advantage to bonus rooms is that you can use the square footage to your advantage whether that is for another room or increasing the size of a room.