Contributing Editor

Susan Bady has been writing about the housing industry for 25 years. She most recently served as senior editor of design for Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, and is now a contributing editor to those publications as well as the portal Web site HousingZone.com. Bady has also written for such consumer magazines as Cabin Life and Better Homes and Gardens’ Home Plan Ideas. You can reach her at susanbady@sbcglobal.net.

More reasons to buy a new home

Michelle Jennings Wiebe is helping to spread the message that new homes are better than resales. Wiebe, president and principal designer of Studio M, an interior design firm in Tampa, Fla., offered tips for house hunters in a recent article.

Some of the items on her “what’s in” list include:

  • Modern kitchens with open plans, informal eating areas, center islands, and a large sink under a window
  • Large, abundant windows and high ceilings
  • Durable hardwood flooring and tile
  • Media-friendly family/gathering rooms
  • Outdoor living spaces including pool decks, outdoor kitchens, TV viewing areas, fireplaces
  • Three bedrooms and two full bathrooms

The “what’s out” list includes low ceilings covered in popcorn or knockdown textures; heavy window treatments; long, narrow galley kitchens; and tiny closets with wire shelving. For some reason, dirty carpet is also on this list. (Has it ever been in?)

Wiebe doesn’t actually come out and say that most of the “in” features aren’t typically found in older homes, but she doesn’t have to. First-time buyers on a strict budget will be hard-pressed to find them in old houses. 

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