Accessibility Features

Home modifications have been made for individuals who have impaired mobility.

The home has been modified to assist individuals who are visually impaired.

The home has been modified to aid individuals who are hearing impaired.

The home has not been modified in order to accommodate individuals who are either impaired or disabled. This can also mean that the homeowner is not aware of such modifications.


The attic is located somewhere in the home and accessible using stationary stairs.

The attic is accessible via a set of pull down stairs installed in a ceiling cutout. They extend and then retract to remain out of sight in the ceiling.

A panel located in either a wall or ceiling that provides access to plumbing or electrical systems for servicing.

There is a floor in the attic, built on top of the ceiling joists, making it safe on which to walk.

An attic that has been furnished with treatments that make it a livable space and suitable as a living room, bedroom, etc.

No livable or usable space exists in the attic.

Basement Description

A fully finished basement that has floor, wall and ceiling treatments similar to above house living areas.

A basement that has part of it finished (treatments similar to above floors) and part unfinished.

The basement is not finished at all—no treatments, similar to above floors, have been added. It’s not considered a habitable area of the house.

The floor of the house either partly or entirely below ground that is accessible from the exterior via a ground level door.

The basement has been constructed with some sort of system to drain and dispose of liquids.

A basement with no concrete or other type of finished floor—it’s usually just a soil floor.

Basement Type

The floor of the house either partly or entirely below ground that has roughly the same square footage as the main floor.

The floor of the house either partly or entirely below ground that has less square footage as the main floor. Part of the basement is usually a concrete slab and the other half is fully functional.

A space typically with a soil floor that is not high enough for an individual to stand up (could be as low as one foot).

No basement, not even a crawl space, exists in the house.


“To be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification, a building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, indicating that it performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide.” Energy Star website

The HERS Index score is rated between 90 and 100, which means it’s as efficient or 10% more efficient than the HERS reference home. RESNET HERS Index

The HERS Index score is rated less than 90, which means it’s 10%, or more, efficient than the HERS reference home. RESNET HERS Index

“Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.” US Green Building Council

“Under the NGBS, green building practices are assigned point values. A home can attain one of four performance levels — Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Emerald. For a building to attain any certification level, all of the applicable mandatory provisions must be correctly implemented. In addition to the mandatory provisions, the NGBS requires the home include sufficient green building practices in each of the six categories to meet the category minimums for each green certification level.” Home Innovation Research Labs


The house has a cooling system that circulates cool air through a series of supply and return ducts.

The house uses air conditioning units that are either mounted in a wall or window. These are designed to cool one room at a time.

Appliances certified by the Energy Star logo are used to cool the house. This is identified by the presence of the Energy Star logo.



A place of residence with livable rooms on just one level (does not include the basement, if present). It’s usually built low to the ground. The outdoor ground levels and the inside floor should be similar.


A place of residence with livable rooms on two floors of similar size. (does not include the basement, if present).

A place of residence with livable rooms on three floors (does not include the basement, if present). The square footage of the uppermost floor is typically less.


A place of residence with livable rooms on three or more floors (does not include the basement).


Places of residence that have livable rooms on two floors (does not include the basement, if present). The square footage of the upper floor is typically less.


A place of residence with livable rooms on at least two (usually three) or more levels (does not include the basement). Less than a full story separates each floor level.


A place of residence with livable rooms on two levels. The main entrance level is between the lower and upper levels (This is occasionally referred to as a “split foyer entrance”).


A place of residence with livable rooms on two levels. A Raised Ranch differs from a Bi-Level in that the main entrance opens up right into the upper level.


A building with multiple units consisting of four or fewer stories.


A building with multiple units consisting of five or greater stories.


Places of residence that do not conform to any other listed designs such as below ground structures, Domes, A-Frames and/or Converted Barns.


The floor is made from solid wood fir or deciduous tree planks cut to a specific length and width and then finished.

At least one room in a house has a floor completely covered in carpet.

The floor is either 1) Linoleum: materials could be ground cork dust, solidified linseed oil, wood flour or pine rosin; or 2) Vinyl: materials such as felt, fiberglass, vinyl and dyes. In either case, they’re solid pieces laid and joined together.

Form of Ownership

The most common type of land ownership where the purchaser(s) have complete ownership both of the buildings and the land that are on a given property.

A form of ownership where the purchaser(s) own the condominium; this pretty much includes everything on the inside up to and including the drywall, in addition to a good size portion of the amenities in the common area.

A form of ownership similar to owning company stock where the purchaser(s) owns proportionate shares in the whole co-op, that give them the right to not only occupy their unit, but enjoy the common areas and amenities as well.

A form of ownership that is not classified as any of the others listed in this category.

A form of ownership where only the land is leased. The tenant will usually own a building on the land or is required to build as specified in the lease agreement. Both the lease and the land are independently owned.

Garage Features

The house has a garage that is either built right into it or the structure is attached.

The house has a garage that is not built right into it or attached in any way.

Different from a garage because it is supported by beams and has no exterior walls. It’s essentially a roofed structure designed for storing automobiles.

Access to the garage is possible from the inside of the house.

An automatic garage door opener is installed in the garage.

A garage with bays that are larger than the standard size.

Heat Delivery Method

A system that controls the heat for groups or rooms, areas or zones.

A qualified Energy Star appliance is used for heat delivery. This could be a boiler, water heater, etc. The Energy Star logo must appear on the energy efficient appliance.

Hot Water

A tankless water heater inside a boiler fired with gas or oil fuel and used to heat water for baseboard or radiator heating. These systems also function as replacements for a water heater tank in that they provide the hot water for the home.

The house has a hot water heater that only provides hot water on-demand as needed. The idea is that this is a much more energy efficient system.

Interior Features

A functional security system, which protects a house from home intrusion and other threats.

A roof cutout that houses a window, which allows in natural sunlight.

A ceiling that is typically very high and either pointed or slanting.

Ceilings measuring >9ft from a given floor.

A minimum of one ceiling fans installed and working in the house.

A fan that exhausts hot air from a building, thus regulating overall heat levels.

Panes made of stained or leaded glass are installed in the house.

The house is wired for, but not necessarily connected to, cable TV service.

Somewhere in the home, a whirlpool bath or hot tub is installed.

A sauna is installed somewhere in the house.

A stove or heater that is fueled by wood is installed somewhere in the house.

A centralized vacuum motor and dirt bag with distributed points of access throughout a building in which various hoses and appliances can be plugged. The system is integrated into the walls and floors.

An emergency sprinkler system is installed and functioning inside the house.

Circulating air is cleaned through a filtration system, which is installed inside the home.

The house has some form of water treatment system (i.e. reverse osmosis, carbon tank, etc.) that improves water quality throughout.

The building has some form of internal or external elevator installed.

In addition to the main kitchen, the house features a second kitchen.

The walls and/or ceilings of the house feature exposed beams.

A bar located in the house that may or may not have running water.

A communication system throughout the home with terminals in various rooms that allow users to speak to each other.

A polygonal bay space formed from windows protruding outward beyond the main walls of a building.

A shower unit without a bathtub is installed in the house.

The house has appliances that are designed to conserve water. This may include washer, dishwasher, water heater, etc.

The house has installed energy efficient windows indicated by a present Energy Star logo.

The home has had old windows replaced with new ones that mount inside the same window frame and cutout.


Typically a small eating room the comes off the dining room or kitchen.

A full with eating bar typically means a raised counter with or without stools where light meals can be eaten. A nook can be a recessed area or corner created by two meeting walls.

A type of kitchen not large enough to have a table and chairs.

Kitchen Fixtures

A detached counter placed at the center of a kitchen.

A small closet, cabinet or room designed to store food, kitchenware, cleaning supplies, etc.

A type of sink that has two separate basins for drying, washing, etc.

A cooking surface either built in to the countertop or located on the island. It does not have an attached oven.

This is an oven and stove combo built right into the cabinetry to become part of the kitchen.

An oven without a cooktop that is built right into the wall.

Two ovens without cooktops that are built right into the wall.

A type of oven that features cleaning without the need for chemicals. It uses high heat to burn off baking leftovers.

Contrary to a standard consumer-grade range, this usually has cast-iron grates, at least six burners and is capable of much higher temperatures.

A dishwasher that is built right into the cabinetry to become part of the kitchen.

A refrigerator that is build right into the cabinetry to become part of the kitchen.

A motorized electronic device attached to the kitchen drain that shreds food waste into very small bits that can be safely washed away.

Some type of mechanism or machine designed to reduce the space taken up by waste material using compaction.

Kitchen appliances that have Energy Star labels indicating the energy use, approximate operating costs and energy use comparison to similar products.

A microwave that is built right into the cabinetry to become part of the kitchen.

Lot Description

The location of the house sits at the intersection of two streets on the corner lot.

Generally shaped like a circle with only one way in or out (dead-end).

The lot on which the house sits has an irregular shape like a polygon.

There is a long narrow entryway providing access from the road to the home’s lot.

The house’s lot is flat and level.

The property has a sloping lot that usually shows off views of the back of the lot.

The property’s lot has no neighboring homes, businesses or developments.

The lot is surrounded by trees or a general wooded area.

The home’s lot features a view of a golf course.

There is a front yard to the property.

There is a back yard to the property.

There is a side yard(s) to the property.

The lot has a subdivision or at least has space for one to be built.

Main Bedroom

There is a whirlpool located in the main bedroom.

There is a full bathroom, consisting of at least a sink, bathtub and toilet located in the main bedroom.

There is just a toilet and sink located in the main bedroom.

The main bedroom has a dressing room where occupants can change clothes.

There is a unique area for reading, sitting, relaxing in the main bedroom.

There is a large closet in the main bedroom with enough room in which to walk around.

Main Roof

A roof which slopes at less than ten degrees to the horizontal but which is not truly horizontal.

A roof with two or more slopes at more than ten degrees to the horizontal meeting at a central ridge.

Made from treated wood or naturally water resistant woods such as cedar or redwood. Normally come in tile, or shingle, form.

Other Rooms

A room with characteristics such as a large number of windows or walls that contain mainly windows. There may also be several skylights or a glass ceiling.

A living area inside the house that normally has its own private entrance, full bathroom, full kitchen and door that separates in from the remainder of the house.

A room in the house that is primarily used for study, writing, reading, conducting business, etc.

Sometimes substituted for a living room, this large open area in the house is primarily used for daily living and often features a vaulted or high ceiling.

An entrance to a residence that is designated as a large enclosed vestibule or open foyer with storage for outerwear. It’s typically located on the side or back of a residence and designed to be a secondary, family or utility entrance.

An area of a house designed to provide space for the storage and utilization of tools and/or machinery.

This is usually a space in an upper story attic located right under the roof.

An area of a house dedicated to the use of casual activities such as games, parties or other general uses.

More than a den or library, this room is a dedicated office space. It would include essentials required for working from home such as internet connectivity, room for a desk, phone jack, etc.

Part of a building or an open area that supports a retail operation including in-person sales to customers.

Other Structures

There is a second house situated on the property.

There is a farm building or barn situated on the property.

There is a shed or several situated somewhere on the property.

There is a second garage located somewhere on the property.

A structure designed to grow plant life is situated somewhere on the property.

A small building used for refrigeration is situated somewhere on the property—used in rural areas before electric refrigeration was available.


There is enough space for one car to park at the house or unit.

There is enough space for two cars to park at the house or unit.

There is enough space for three or more cars to park at the house or unit.

Parking spaces on the street are available.

There is a driveway present that is exclusive to the house or unit.

There is a space or set of spaces that are assigned to the house or unit.

There is available parking for the house or unit in a parking lot.

A parking permit is required in order to park.

Parking that is private and only to be used by the property owner or renter.

There is shared parking where several residents use all of the parking spaces in no particular order.

Parking that is not deeded to the property and is paid for in advance.

Parking that is not deeded to the property and uses a parking garage.

Porch or Deck

Generally a flat surface constructed on the ground level outdoors and frequently elevated off the ground. They’re normally connected to the house.

Has pretty much all of the same qualities as a regular deck, but is placed on the roof of an apartment building or house.

A typically paved outdoor space used for recreation or dining that frequently adjoins a house on the ground floor. They can be made of either concrete or stone slabs.

A covered entrance to a house. It will be attached to the structure and could be enclosed by light frame walls that extend from the main structure, latticework, a screen or broad windows.

Usually located at or above the second story, it is a platform with a railing that extend from the home’s exterior wall.

An area that connects two buildings. It typically has open sides and a roof.

Primary Heating

The house has a geothermal heat pump installed, which uses the constant, even heat of the earth instead of ambient air to provide the heating. They’re similar to regular heat pumps in nearly all other areas.

A radiant or forced-air heater that uses fuel made from combustible oils produced by plants or dry organic matter.


This is the main sewer system, AKA a municipal sewer, to which private home sewers connect.

A wastewater containment system in the form of a tank that is usually buried underground and receives all sewage from the house.

Very similar to an on-site tank. The main difference is that it is shared with surrounding houses located on the immediate property or in the general area.


A dwelling typically consisted of 1.5 stories where a majority of the spaces for living are located on the ground floor. At the center of the home will be a living room, the roof of the building will be low-pitched and all of the rooms connect without any hallways.

Capes are usually made out of wood, have an overall symmetrical look (with a door located at the center) and are covered in either shingles or wide clapboard. They’re about one or one and a half stories, have a steep roof with side gables and a small roof overhang.

Usually part of an estate or near a large residence, this small building is used for housing carriages, coaches or and miscellaneous vehicles. Several old carriage houses may be used as automobile garages, workshops, guest houses, offices or secondary suites.

Residences consisting of between two and three stories, rectangular in shape and a symmetrical façade. Also present would be a gable roof, brick/wood siding, columns and multi-pane windows that are double-hung with shutters.

Common contemporary houses lack ornamentation, have an open floor plan, an odd—irregular shape, use natural materials (like cedar or stone) and have tall, oversized windows.

A barn that was converted into a livable dwelling.

A building style that uses either brick or stone construction, has two chimneys on each side that match, “Dutch” doors that have top and bottom sections capable of opening separately and wide eaves that are slightly flared.

Typical features include a fairly large porch that wraps around the building and a gable style roof. There are usually a cluster of bedrooms, a big family room and formal dining area.

Buildings identified by unique hip roofs with flared eaves, dormers, arched doorways, multi-pane windows and siding that is made of either stone, brick or stucco.

A dwelling with an easily identifiable cylindrical tower, which has a cone-shaped roof, that looks like a small castle. There are arched doorways set inside the towers.

Ranch houses are usually designed with the idea of openness in mind and, therefore, have few interior walls. They’re only one story tall with large windows, a low pitched roof and either an L or U-shaped layout.

Residences with a half-timber exterior construction, noticeable cross gables, steeply pitched roof and windows that are narrow and tall with small panes.

Dwelling that generally has a symmetrical square shape, pyramid shaped—low pitched roof, porch with spindles and a front gable with side wings.

Either a twin or a row house where the front room of the ground floor is a living room, followed by a dining room and adjacent kitchen located at the back of the same floor.

Either a twin or row house where the rooms on the ground floor run from the front to the back with no hallways. Walking from the frontmost room to the rearmost room means going through the middle room(s).

A small townhouse or rowhouse with three stories where each floor has only one room.

A townhouse or rowhouse with one shared common dividing wall.

A mobile home that is <18ft wide and <90ft long and can be towed as one unit.

A mobile home that is >20ft in width and 90ft long, which has two separate units towed separately and then reassembled on-site.

A home style that doesn’t fit the descriptions offered by homecastâ„¢.

A home where the main floor contains the master bedroom and can also contain a family room, kitchen and one or more bathrooms. Typically other bedrooms are located on the lower floor.

Usually built out of an old industrial building with a big open floor plan.

Usually built out of an old industrial building with a big open floor plan containing at least one bedroom.

A small dwelling typically no taller than one and a half stories that is built of logs.

A prefabricated detached single home constructed off the property and assembled on-site.

Surface or Shore Water

The home has near it a strip of land that runs alongside the shore of a bay.

The shore of a bay is very close to the house.

The waterfront has running along it an embankment or wall that acts as a protective barrier.

Visible from the house is a small recessed, sheltered area in the shoreline.

Visible from the house is a shallow body of water that is separate from a deeper body of water via a bar.

A lake borders a house.

The house and the beach are not interrupted by any other lot or property between them.

The house is situated on an ocean’s coast.

There is a pond that either borders or is visible from a house.

A house is situated along a river’s edge.

A stream or creek either borders or is visible from a house.

Some other type of water either borders or is visible from a house (if different from the other homecastâ„¢ options).

Swimming Pool

A water basin that is located below the ground level.

A water basin that is located above the ground level.

Any pool that is located inside an enclosed structure.

A shared pool that is intended to be used by community members, tenants or HOA members.



A residential building that is free-standing and doesn’t share a party wall with any other property.


A residential building consisting of two houses. This pair of houses is built side by side as separate units, but share a party wall.


A large residential group of homes built in a row with a continuous roof and foundation that are separated by common walls.


Normally a small self-contained part of a building with more than one story.


A prefabricated residential structure that can consist of one or more units. There is usually a chassis and wheels integrated into the structure. It can be occupied without the removal of the chassis and/or wheels.


Water provided by a public water system through pipes or other constructed conveyances.

Water for the house comes from any natural situation where water flows from an aquifer to the surface or through an excavation/structure dug into the ground and provides water for a single home.

Water for the house comes from a shared natural situation where water flows from an aquifer to the surface or through an excavation/structure dug into the ground and provides water for several homes or businesses.

Private water systems serve no more than 25 people at least 60 days of the year and have no more than 15 service connections (Each building is a service connection). A community water system serves at least 25 residents on a year-round basis and have at least 15 service connections.

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