According to statistics compiled from the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, active single-family home inventory in Connecticut in September 2016 was recorded at 41,282 homes. In the same period for this year, there’s been a decrease to 36,167 homes. Sounds like a lot of options to choose from, right? While those numbers might generally sound like a lot to someone who is not in the market searching for their dream home, tell that to the buyer who has been searching for months in their preferred towns, in their price range, with their amenities, and you may hear another point-of-view. You may hear feedback from these buyers that they can’t get into new homes on the market before they go under contract, or that they ended up being beat out of a contract because they were outbid by another buyer. And houses that have been sitting on the market? Buyers might tell you that they’re overpriced for today’s buyer and what amenities you can get, and what they’re willing to pay (and they might be on to something with median price holding steady in September 2016 and 2017 at $210,000 despite the low inventory, which generally will drive prices up). All things considered, a buyer might find the process challenging, even if they’ve been through it before, and especially with a low inventory of existing homes for sale. While buyers might be tempted to bid on any house that meets their budget, location and basic amenities, or not even consider those that don’t, when looking at houses it’s important to remember that a good layout, or “flow”, of the home makes life living there more enjoyable, and might add value should they like to sell in the future.
Be on the lookout for a well-designed kitchen, with plenty of counter and work space, and storage. Outlet location and room for appliances is also at the top of the list.
Stairways that are located at the front entry or central to the home help to create a good traffic flow.
Consider flexible rooms that can be used for different purposes: one person’s home office may be another person’s nursery.
What can make all the difference? A good bedroom to bathroom ratio. A general rule of thumb is 2 bathrooms to 3 bedrooms.
Check that the number of outlets and light switches are adequate and have good placement throughout the room.
Is there suitable natural light in the home? Windows on at least two sides of a room will balance daylight (thus avoiding glare) and create a spacious feeling.
Follow the path from the garage through the mudroom to the kitchen: coming in with groceries or other items should be as convenient as possible.
Are closets and pantries large enough and where they need to be? Storage areas should suit the type of object being stored.
Keeping the flow of a home in mind while on the house hunt may open your eyes to a home that you may not have considered before, or may help to rule out some that were on the “maybe” list. Regardless of any home that you choose, a good flow can often make or break a homeowner’s experience while living there.
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