A new report suggests that the best house you can buy today is one with a small backyard, but it’s not quite the kind of place that’s going to make you feel at home.
The Globe and Mail has asked readers to suggest their favourite homes based on a number of factors, including how large the backyard is, the size of the house and whether it has a fireplace.
Here are five that might appeal to you.
Small backyard The size of a backyard is not just an aesthetic factor, it’s a key factor in whether you find your home cozy and inviting.
“Small backyard homes are a favourite of many,” said John Vogl, a Toronto-based architect who has designed some of Canada’s most popular homes.
“They tend to be smaller, have fewer features and they tend to have fewer walls.”
The Globe’s report found that a backyard can be an important part of a home’s charm, particularly if it’s made of wood, metal or stone.
But it also has a number, including the size and shape of the backyard, the type of wood used and whether the home has a window or balcony.
“A lot of homeowners, I would say, think that they are going to have to go out of their way to find a home that looks like this and that they can be happy with,” said Vogl.
Small house The ideal small house is often a humble affair with a few walls and a fireplace in the living room.
But that’s not always the case.
“I’m sure there are many small houses that you’ll find that are quite grand, and they are just fine,” said Amanda Boulton, a real estate agent and author of The Bigger Picture: Home Design For Everyone.
“But that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be functional, because it’s going a bit more into the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom and then into the living area.”
Boulson also recommends getting a big backyard.
“It’s going at least 50 per cent bigger than the house that you’re living in right now.”
But it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to want a backyard for your home.
“When I was growing up in suburban Toronto, I used to go to the park with my parents, and it was always just me and the backyard,” she said.
“There was no yard or a backyard, and that was all we had.”
Small living room This may not be a traditional home design for everyone, but a home with a big living room is usually a better fit for many people.
“This is the space you have to really relax and unwind,” said Julie O’Brien, a planner and co-founder of the Living Room Design Institute.
“And that is one of the best ways to feel comfortable in your home.”
A large living room can also be a homecoming, as it can add personality to a room.
“If you have a large living area and you have an open, spacious living room, then it’s kind of like the place that you want to live,” said Boulnesson.
“You want that space to be really open and inviting and spacious and welcoming.
You want that for your family and your friends to come in and hang out.”
The perfect size for the bedroom This may be a more personal choice than a large backyard, because a small bedroom can also provide the space for a bedroom.
“That is really, really important for a room like this,” said O’Briens.
“Because you want it to be a space where you’re really connected to the other people in the room.”
But a small room may also be the perfect size to allow you to make a quick stop at the grocery store or get some groceries to take home.
If a small living room doesn’t fit, you can always add more bedrooms in your house to accommodate people who don’t need the room.
The kitchen design When you’re looking for a kitchen, you want one that’s well-designed, functional and easy to clean.
The big question is whether a kitchen is actually needed in your current home.
There’s no rule about what a kitchen should look like, but many home buyers will want to add one.
“As a rule of thumb, you probably want one big kitchen, so you can have the space,” said Ziva Zadar, a marketing and branding consultant who is based in Toronto.
“Also, a lot of people want a lot more space in their kitchen than a small kitchen.”
A big kitchen is a must If you live in an urban area, you might want a big kitchen with a lot going on.
But in an old-style house, a kitchen might not be needed, because most people will use the living space as their kitchen.
“The most important thing is to have the kitchen open,” said Lola McLeod, a social planner and the founder of A Better Place to Eat.