Different Rooms

Purchasing a house in the US is quite a different experience from that in the UK. There is no solicitor involved, the issues that would be handled by the solicitor are handled by your estate agent. That is another difference, both the buyer and seller have an estate agent. The seller pays the fees of both agents. In addition to handling the legal paperwork, our agent was also busy handling inspections of the property, chasing the seller to ensure they complied with their obligations, and helping with my dealings with assorted mortgage companies. I am a little concerned that we have made a bad impression on our agent, who has put her house up for sale trying to move away as we move into the area.

Houses in California are taxed annually based on a percentage of their sales price, so those people who moved decades ago pay far lower taxes than we will. However, we will pay less than the previous owners who bought the house for more than we have paid. This makes state revenues fall when the house market is in a decline, which is causing problems with California’s budget.

One piece of information that is present on all house listings is the floor area quoted in square feet. This seems to me to more useful than just giving the number of bedrooms as that does indicate if the rooms are decent size or small box-rooms. We saw four bedroom houses that were under 2000 square feet and four bedroom houses that were nearly 3000 square feet. Houses also list the number of bathrooms including slightly puzzling fractional bathrooms. Our newly purchased house has two and a half bathrooms. This means two bathrooms with a bath and shower and a down sizes toilet and sink room.

Houses are generally larger and with more rooms that in the UK. Most houses will have a formal sitting room, dinning room, kitchen, den/family room, and laundry room in addition to the bedrooms and bathrooms. En suite master bedrooms seem to be the norm. We saw houses with work in closets off the master bedroom that were the size of the smallest bedroom in our old UK home. The closet in our new house is not quite that large, but is still spacious. We also have what is called a loft, which is not an attic area, but space upstairs outside of the main bedrooms. We will be using it as a media room. It is a large area, so I have taken advantage of the space by acquiring a 65” HDTV.

Published in: on 16 March, 2008 at 18:31  Leave a Comment  

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