Understanding Real Estate

Optional Features In Homes That You Might Really Like

Developers have been building homes with more and more features, and while you might think your search is for a house with a serviceable kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, you know it's those extra features that are going to make a particular house seem more interesting. Depending on where you have been living in the country, you may not have seen certain options for homes that people in other areas are familiar with. If you're looking for a place in a new city, for example, you could come across terms you're not quite sure about. But these new features could turn out to be among the most useful for you.

Wok Kitchen

Wok kitchens are small, separate kitchens with built-in ventilation that is powerful enough to handle the amount of smoke that can be generated when cooking with a wok. The installed stove burners are also configured to hold large, round-bottomed woks, and the cabinetry allows the cook to keep supplies close at hand. These kitchens are often placed where a walk-in pantry might otherwise go. If you do try to cook with a wok a lot, or if you do a lot of cooking that generates enough smoke that you have to disarm your smoke detector before cooking, a wok kitchen is an excellent option to have.


The casita is a type of granny flat or in-law unit that is typically separate or near-separate from the rest of the house. It's usually a room with its own ensuite bathroom and a small kitchenette. Not only are these good for housing relatives who need close-by help but who are also mostly independent, they are also good for renting out to people so you can get the extra income. Keep in mind that most houses with casitas are in HOA-run areas, so there may be limits on who you can rent to (no short-term vacation rentals, for example). If you have no plans to have anyone living in the casita, it can make for a nice separate home office.

Household Management Office

These are small offices that can turn into homework rooms or small studies, and they are meant to be the administrative center of the house. Desk space and built-in shelves allow you to keep your household budget books and things like cleaning schedules all in one place, so you don't get them mixed up with miscellaneous items around the house.

If you want a newer house, these features are definitely options, and in older houses it may be possible to remodel rooms to create these options. Talk to your real estate agent about seeing some homes that have wok kitchens, casitas, and management offices to see if the spaces are appropriate for your needs.