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posted
Hi, everybody. It's been forever since I've been on the boards -- hope everyone's doing well.

My former manager and good friend just got a new job and she and her family are in a rush to purchase because of the assistance provided in her relocation package and her short timeline before starting. They're touring houses in San Antonio (about 80 miles away) as I type. The front-runner home has both a sunken living room and sunken kitchen (something I've never seen). She texted to ask me if I thought it would hurt re-sale since it made both her husband and her pause.

I have no idea -- my guess would be yes since it's unusual. They're looking in an excellent school district (since they have a toddler) so that would be in the house's favor. (It also means they have limited options as it's a tight market.) The sunken living room sounds a little '70s, but I've seen houses updated nicely so it still looks fine. Not sure what to tell her about the kitchen. Anyone seen that feature before? Thoughts?
 
Posts: 638 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Mar 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My friend bought one recently with only the sunken living room, she immediately raised the living room level to match the rest of the house.
Raising the kitchen sounds more difficult. If your friend like it, she should go for it. I don't like the designated separate room look.
 
Posts: 2483 | Location: Southern CA (Southbay) | Registered: Nov 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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Multilevel homes, where the access is up and down a few stairs on basically the same floor, can really limit buyers who would/could consider it. By limiting the buying pool, you also reduce the resale value.

I recall back in the 80's, some people thought ranches were old fashion design. Now with many aging or partially handicapped buyers, more ranches are being built and sold.

Going into any home purchase with open eyes is always good. There is a good price for every home and the larger your purchasing pool of buyers, the better chance of a top price for value in a home.
 
Posts: 9670 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree with what has been said but there is another side. It did not bother the current owner or your friend enough to walk away from it. So it must not really matter, especially if the only concern is resale value.

Maybe the price reflects a smaller buyer pool?
 
Posts: 7243 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, everyone! They haven't yet made a decision (and are touring a few more homes today) so I'll pass the info on. The resale factor is really important to them because they would not necessarily stay in SA for more than a few years.
 
Posts: 638 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Mar 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are you talking multi level with stairs or just a step down.

I have sold hundreds of homes in my area with sunken one step down rooms. Most of them were custom built that way. See if you can find some research on the house. I personally like this style.
This floorplan with sunken living room was a big hit back in the seventies and eighties. I see it now in new construction...and considered an upgrade.
I have a step down bath and love it, because if it ever floods it and it has.... water will go straight out to the garage. Hopefully the kitchen has a door.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9290 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi, REL! That's a great point about step-down living rooms being upgrades now -- and of course about containing flooding (though hopefully that wouldn't happen).

I think it's a multi-level home. I've gotten confused by all the ones she's mentioned, but they might be willing to compromise on the sunken features they may not like as much for the schools, location, etc.
 
Posts: 638 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Mar 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well re multi level - love the one step down levels but not 3-5 step tri-levels - for me.
We have missed you- ...tied up in your big fangled career huh? LOL
 
Posts: 9290 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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I have two friends who built homes with sunken living rooms.

#1. Raised the floor 15 years later.

#2. Due to her diabetes, in the last 10 years she lost both legs. They had to put a wheelchair ramp into their sunken family room so that she could be with the family. Raising the floor would not work because they had door at walk-out level in that room. Her husband commented that he wished they had built on one level.
 
Posts: 17308 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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Although I have had homes with sunken living rooms and sunken dining rooms, and I loved them, I do have to say that I would be concerned for elederly people, they may have a problem with those one step down rooms.
But, I guess is about taste.
 
Posts: 5014 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Update: They put an offer in on the sunken living room house and negotiated the price down a bit. From the pictures and other nearby listings, it looks like it's just the style of the homes in that development -- parts of the homes are one or two steps down and lead out to these huge patios with multiple access points. They're pretty happy with it since it meets their needs.

REL: I'm bummed I haven't been able to come to the boards much. The job has kept me pretty busy and actually I'll be relocating in a month as well. (The company I work for has had some turmoil and it's expected to get worse before it gets better so quite a few people have left or are leaving, including me.) I got a great job in my field with a good company and will be moving to San Jose.
 
Posts: 638 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Mar 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Scrap! SO great to see you again! Wave
 
Posts: 6086 | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi, CCM! Good to see you, too.
 
Posts: 638 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Mar 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of just josie
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We had a sunken living room in our first house, it was built in the 70's. I can't tell you how many people accidentally fell not realizing or forgetting there was a step down.

Then in our last house, we had a sunken family room. My 90 year old mother in law lost her footing and fell down and I still can't believe what a bad fall she had and don't know how she did not get hurt.

It would be a real deal breaker for me now, knowing what I know.
 
Posts: 1728 | Registered: Apr 07, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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