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Real Estate News

April 9, 2012

The Secret to Creating a House That’s Easy to Sell


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Sources of (Better) Inspiration

The key is to change how and where you’re looking for new home and remodeling ideas.

Stop looking at house plan websites and home-improvement-store plan books. Most of those are recycling the same basic plans over and over again, so you’re not going to find much that’s unique. And forget the idea that you’re going to find one complete design that does all you need it to do.

Instead, look for the parts and pieces you want – find a cool kitchen, a knockout exterior, a screen porch you simply must have. A mudroom with a built-in cubby for each child.

You’ll find that kind of inspiration online at sites like (read my take on Houzz here);, and You’ll also find it in some of the better home design magazines, like Traditional Home, Residential Architect, Fine Homebuilding, Dwell (if you like contemporary design), and many others.

Don’t worry about finding exactly what you want, or whether you can afford what you see. Keep a very open mind; we’re tapping the power of imagination and brainstorming here.

And don’t worry about how those pieces fit together. Sorting through what’s feasible and what’s not, and working with you to assemble your ideas into a unique, cohesive whole is my job, right?

Best of Both Worlds

You’ll discover something else when you change your sources of inspiration. You’ll see that there are lots of unique homes out there and that those homes are often more valuable than most – maybe because they’re unique.

If you prefer a “middle of the market” home design, this probably doesn’t make much sense to you.

But if you get excited by living in a house that stands out from the crowd, a home that does things that most homes don’t, a home that you can fall in love with, then when the time comes to sell, you might find that “sold” sign out front a lot sooner than you’d thought.


9 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Home

7 Ways to Beat to the High Cost of Home Building

Top 5 Requests in Home Design

Richard Taylor is a residential architect based in Dublin, Ohio and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with him at

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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