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I Should Be An Architect!

The Big “L”

FloorplanAfter 15 years in the real estate business, I was beginning to feel that all new construction looked alike.  I mean, there was no freshness in the floorplans.  I kept seeing the same typical layouts over and over again.  Back in the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s when homes were built a bit larger than they are now, builders didn’t even try to get creative.  Here was a typical “L” shape layout that was (and still is) very popular:

You walk in the front door, the living, dining, kitchen, and family room are always in the same places with little variation. Sometimes the layout is flipped so the garage is on the right and everything else is on the left.  If the square footage is a bit larger, then you get a den on the main floor.  If the home is a bit smaller, you lose a room or the rooms get smaller.  It’s really kind of boring after you’ve seen so many of them.  Split level homes are the same way. I understand that it’s tough for architects to change things up dramatically, but I appreciate it when I see something original every now and again.

Design For The Site

Upstairs, the builders are starting to listen to buyers’ feedback by putting the laundry room where the dirty clothes are, although I wish that they would take the site plan into consideration when designing the bedroom layouts.  In a typical home, the master bedroom is still located at the rear of the home in either the left or right corner.  When you’re on a quiet street it’s not a problem, but when you back to a major road with lots of road noise, that is a huge downside. I say let the kids have the noisy side of the house!

A Fresh Design?

I was invited to a Brokers Open House recently to preview some new homes in Bothell, WA. The only reason I stopped by was because I was in the area looking at another home nearby, and I remembered that the site agent had called me earlier in the week with the invite and a promise of a free lunch! I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the three model homes.  Two of them had the typical layouts on the main floor, but the upstairs room configurations were much different than what I had expected.  In one of the homes, the 2nd story landing area was actually a large open loft which felt oddly appropriate for that home.  I especially liked that the laundry room was centrally located upstairs, yet away from the bedrooms. I also appreciated that the master bedroom in this home faced the front of the house, away from the noisy backyard and busy road that runs behind the lot.

My One Complaint

floorplanIn Lot 1 of the plat, I saw a most unique layout on the main level. The design was still an “L” shape, but the rooms were flopped around, such that the dining room was placed at the back of the home in the corner, and the kitchen was situated in-between it and the family room. I think the layout works very well for the home, except for two glaring problems.  The builder installed a large granite island in the center of the kitchen which is really nice but the island is nothing more than a large granite table.  There are no cabinets installed underneath! Such a waste of space in a smaller home where storage is a premium.  The second issue is that the island (or should I say table?) abuts the great room (seen in the diagram to the left). This is fine if you have hardwood flooring throughout the two rooms, but if you have carpeting in the great room (as is the case in the model home) and you wanted to sit around the large gathering space, you have several chairs on the carpet, and several on the hardwood flooring.  Not too practical if you plan to entertain in that space and end up spilling food on the floor.  I think the builder will probably get some negative feedback from potential buyers on this design element.

A Plug For The Builders

If you’re in the market for a new home, or would just like to see what the latest and greatest designers are putting into the homes, you should definitely check out these homes in Bothell. The neighborhood is called Brookfield, and it is located east of Bothell-Everett Highway, on 180th St. SE.  If you don’t have a Realtor, and you’d like to take a look at these homes, give me a call!

When REALiTY BiTES, bite back!