I have invented a word that I use in talking to buyers. The word is “Funkify” – it’s when a homeowner customizes the house in a way that works for them but makes it harder to use for anyone else.
I showed a house Saturday where a seller took their master bedroom and added a master bath but kept the small, dated bathroom too. So one master, 2 private bathrooms. Textbook “funkify” – all the homeowner had to do was remove the existing closet to make the old bedroom 13 feet wide instead of 10 feet and then make the old master bath into a functional closet.
When you own a home and you’re tempted to add on or remodel, remove a closet, add a doorway or finish a bonus room but the access is in a strange place, you have to be careful not to funkify the house. Even if you don’t care about the negative implications the change will make, there is almost always a way to mitigate it in the design process. It only takes a little extra time to consult with your real estate agent, a residential architect or designer. Your contractor doesn’t count because they don’t always have the same perspective that the next owner will have when considering the changes.
Examples of funkified houses include knocking down a wall and making a 10×20 bedroom – that is known as a bowling alley. Adding on a room that only has one regular sized window – that is known as a cave. Finishing an attic or basement with a really narrow staircase so you can only fit Ikea furniture up there that you carry through the door in pieces – that is impractical. Finishing an average size basement into 6+ separate rooms – that is known as choppy.
The good news is the most funikifying can be fixed. So if you can see the potential and have the vision to see how the space could be you can get a great house. Get more than one opinion and it needs to be from someone that will have an unbiased opinion – ie – not a family member.
Have you seen any “funkified” homes? What was your reaction?