How to Determine if a House has Good Bones

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How to Determine if a House has Good Bones

Buying a home is one of, if not the, largest purchases you will ever make. When it comes to buying a home, you may have a picture in your mind of what the process looks like, what you want in a home, and what you want to put into it when you do buy. Some people want to build from the ground up and choose every single detail that goes into the home itself. While that is a great way to get your dream home, it isn’t always the way the process turns out. Sometimes you end up buying a home that is already constructed. 

What Does the Term “Good Bones” Mean?

One of the most important items to consider when you are buying a home already built is that it has good bones. If you’re not sure what that really means, take a look below to find out what it is and how you determine if the home you’re considering fits the bill. 

The term “good bones” basically means the structure and frame of the home. This is what the entire home rests on, including the foundation. You want to know that the structure of the home, whether it is a fixer upper or turn key home, is solid and well-built. There are certain keys to look for when you are buying a home that will tell you whether you’ve found a diamond in the rough or a total lemon!

What Do You Need to Look For?

Being away of the key details to look for is critical in making sure the home you buy will be around for years to come. There are certain key points you do not want to compromise on when you’re looking at a fixer upper residence. Take a look below at what they are. 

Floor Plan Details

Take a look at the floor plan of the home itself. Is it one that is making the most of the space given or was it built with tons of wasted space? How does the floor plan work for your family? Take a look at how the rooms are set up, the spacing in the rooms, and where they are in regards to the heart of the home. The floor plan can have a lot to do with whether or not it will fit your needs. 

Structural and Foundational Details

When it comes to the structure and the actual frame of the house, there are a few things you should keep in mind. A wood frame construction home is not ideal. There are many issues that can arise from choosing a wood frame such as pests/termite issues, moisture causing the frame itself to rot, and wood is not a great product for natural disaster prone areas. For example, if you live in an area where hurricanes frequent you want to steer clear of a wood frame home. 

When you are considering the structure and foundation of your home, consider those that have utilized sustainable construction techniques in the process of building. You could look for homes that have ICF walls, for example, to help find a solidly built home that offers low-maintenance and protection against high winds and fire. 

Are the Rooms Well-Proportioned?

How are the rooms set up? Are they proportioned with usable space or would it be difficult to have your life fit into the home? When it comes to living spaces, you want them larger and more spacious as that is where you spend the majority of your time. Consider the amount of closet space you want as well. How are the bathrooms set up?

The proportions of the room themselves should be conducive to your lifestyle and allow you to feel comfortable in the home. 


How much natural lighting do you have in the home? What types of windows are in the home? For example, single pane windows are not good energy efficient choices. They allow heat and cold to come in and out of the home. You want to make sure that you have plenty of natural light to help reduce the energy you use as well. 

Make sure to keep these ideas in mind when you are looking for your new home. Good bones can make a huge difference in living many years in the location or if you have to have extensive repairs.

Corey Tyner is the owner of Arizona land buyers, Phoenix fast sell home buyers, and Austin Home Buyers. He is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona with over a decade of experience. His work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other real estate investor publications.

Image sent in by Corey Tyner