Hidden Gems: The Best Discoveries in a New Home

I recently made one of those sight-unseen moves we covered last week, and my new home held lots of strange (some rather unwelcome) surprises. After taking the tour for the first time, I confess I was rather disheartened, and then things took an unexpected turn for the better. You see, despite the jerry-built cabinets and the inexplicable floor plan, my new house has a hidden gem — the absolutely fabulous backyard and patio pictured above.

Though the patio won't get much use until the temperatures drop at least a good 30 degrees, I can already picture how wonderful it will be to host friends here during the cooler winter months. This great outdoor space was a totally unexpected element that helped me start to see the potential in my new home.

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you have searched and researched, your new home presents you with some unexpected delights. I've had friends reveal fabulous hardwood floors hidden under atrocious shag carpet, uncover windows that had been blocked up inside and out, and discover a hidden attic storage room filled with furniture original to the house. So often even the oddest, most dismal place has at least one feature that makes you smile (even if it isn't always enough to overcome the other shortcomings).

Whether you moved sight-unseen and found the perfect nook to house your favorite reading chair or chose your home for the great kitchen only to discover your new neighbors host regular gourmet potluck dinners, we want to hear your story. What was the best discovery you ever made in a new home?

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