Thirty-seven million Americans move during any given year. Millions more think about it. They all want the same thing-a perfect place to live. But most of us have only the vaguest idea of what makes us happy, home-wise, and don't even know all the questions to ask. That's where Marianne Cusato comes in. One of the most influential people in the home-building industry, designer of the Katrina Cottages, and go-to authority for the media on issues related to housing, she's written a comprehensive, interactive guide to finding the just right home. This is the book that answers the plea she hears every time she gives a speech-"I wish I'd talked to you before buying my house!"
By leading the reader through every step of choosing a home-from the broad strokes, such as city vs. suburb and buy vs. rent, to specific details of energy use and building materials-The Just Right Home helps readers understand not only what they want in a home but what they need. It shows why proximity-to work, to stores, to schools-trumps location, and what the difference means. Why a property's live-in value is greater than its resale value. How to identify and assess the big three variables: function, cost, delight. How to get a realistic grip on budget, including factoring in maintenance costs. How to plan for future needs-children moving out, a parent moving in, or just growing old in a home. Why all square feet are not created equal. The ins and outs of zonings, covenants, home-owner associations. The five elements to look for when walking through a property. How much to pay an inspector. And so much more.
Filled with sidebars, boxes, examples, anecdotes, and cheat sheets, it's the book that helps readers answer all their questions about where to live and what to live in.