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Floor Plans and Room Setups

Ever found yourself reading through a real estate listing and wondering what a quarter bathroom is, why some houses have two kitchens and what the difference between formal and informal dining rooms is?

I got you covered — below I’ll describe some of the most commonly found room setups I encounter when showing houses in the San Gabriel Valley.

Formal vs. Informal Living Room

Some houses, usually the ones with three or more bedrooms may offer multiple living rooms. These are listed as formal and informal living rooms or as living and family rooms.

There is no hard definition, but usually (formal) living rooms are often outfitted with paintings, antiques and display cabinets. They may feature a fireplace and are where you’d welcome friends or acquaintances for high tea or a glass of wine.

Formal vs. Informal Dining Room

Similar to the different types of living rooms mentioned above, houses may have a formal dining room in addition to a regular dining room or area.

The formal dining room is often characterized by being its own room, away from the kitchen with a nice, sizable dining table to provide for an upscale and intimate dining experience. This room often times is only used with guests.

In comparison, your regular dining room or dining nook is where you’d sit down with your family for meals from breakfast to dinner. It’s usually located conveniently close to the kitchen, might be in vicinity of a TV and will generally be less formal.

The Bathroom Situation

You’ll find a number of different bathroom setups that will reach from 1/4 bathrooms to full bathrooms, powder rooms and bathrooms that are part of a master bedroom or suite.

Generally, a bathroom is the sum of its parts. Toilet, shower, sink and bath tub make a quarter each.

They don’t necessarily have to be separate features though. A bath tub with a stand up shower qualifies as a half bathroom by itself.

On the smaller end of the spectrum, you find rooms with a toilet and small sink or so-called powder rooms. In rare cases you might find rooms that feature a toilet or a sink only.

Master Bedroom vs. Master Suite

Think of this in terms of a hotel — suites usually offer an extra room or area where you can sit on a sofa, a balcony or an extra large walk-in closet.

Generally master bedrooms are characterized by having their own separate bathroom and walk-in closet.

Master suites — often times entered through a double-door, feature an extra room or area to sit down and read, a patio or large balcony plus the amenities of a master bedroom.

Two Kitchens?

Occasionally you’ll see houses that not only have a sizable kitchen — often times with multiple fridges and stoves — but also a second, smaller kitchen with another stove and fridge.

The additional, smaller kitchen constitutes a so-called Wok Kitchen. This place comes in handy when you’re preparing foods that require frying, grilling or are of generally smelly nature. It helps to keep your open kitchen, living and dining rooms free of scents.

Attached vs. Detached Garage

This means what it literally says — the garage is either physically attached to the main house or its own building on the property. Attached garages can be under the living area or attached on ground-level. Depending on the setup, garages may not only be used to park cars but also hold storage or laundry areas.

Any more questions?

Let me know if you find other rare room types or if you have any more questions!

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