Home Improvement

by Michele Lerner, Special to The Washington Post


While Bernadette in the novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” bemoaned the excessive number of Craftsman-style houses in Seattle, a recent report from RealEstate.com, a new real estate site from the Zillow Group geared to first-time buyers, presents a different view. The report found that starter homes that mention “Craftsman” in their listing sold for 34 percent more than entry-level houses without that phrase.

Among the other features and phrases that resulted in higher-than-expected sales prices than comparable homes without those features:


Solar panels

Entry-level homes with the keywords solar panels sold for 40 percent more than comparable homes without that phrase.

Coffered ceilings, garnered a 29 percent premium.

Claw-foot tub, sold for 29 percent more.


Homes that could claim mid-century features sold for 28 percent more.


Residences with a dedicated space for in-laws sold for 28 percent more.

Exposed beams or ceiling

Homes with these rustic features sold for 26 percent more than similar homes without them.

Farmhouse Sink

Kitchens with these larger sinks sold for 26 percent more than homes without them.


Even the smallest backyard can often accommodate a fire pit, and homes that mentioned them in their listing sold for 25 percent more than those that didn’t.


A fire pit can increase the price of your home by 25 percent, according to a report on RealEstate.com. Image: Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post.


Barn door

While some people are starting to say barn doors are overused, homes that have them sold for 23 percent more than those that don’t.

Exposed brick

Whether it’s an older or newer home, residences with exposed brick sold for 23 percent more than similar homes without that feature.


To generate this list of features, RealEstate.com analysed listing descriptions for millions of entry-level homes, defined as those priced within the bottom third of the market. RealEstate.com has the full report on its website.


Featured Image: Brian Babb, Unsplash