We were out looking at homes yesterday and looking at homes that supposedly had "Formal Dining Rooms". Out of the 6 homes that we looked at only one had what my clients defined as a formal dining room. It appears that there might be a couple definitions of a formal dining room, both of which could be considered to be accurate. The one home that suited my clients needs had a great room floor plan combined with a completely separate formal dining room. This area of the home was for nothing other than a dining room. The remainder of the homes that we viewed all had large formal living rooms, with a chandelier hanging from the ceiling at the end of the living room closest to the kitchen. Now technically, I guess you could call that a formal dining room, but it's a stretch, especially for my clients.
SELLERS: Beware that when you are selling your home and you describe your combined formal living/dining room as a "Formal Dining Room" prospective buyers may be looking for something other than what your home is providing.
BUYERS: When you are looking for homes yourself on the internet (at www.ButterHomes.com, of course!!) or with the help of a Realtor, you need to be specific as to the extent of the "Formal Dining Room" that you are looking for. Maybe just a place to put Grandma's antique dining room table suits your needs and the combined living/dining room works, but if you desire a completely specific area of your new home to be used soley for formal dining (maybe for entertaining, or just a place to have a nice family meal and reconnect) then a home with a more traditional floor plan might be what you are in search of.
The trend in new homes seems to be the great room floor plan, where the kitchen layout includes an area for a small dinette set, thus eliminating a "Formal Dining Room". It's becoming more and more difficult to find a traditional formal dining room. However, they are out there, so it may just take some more time and energy to find exactly what you are looking for. As an agent who has seen his fair share of homes, I may be able to tell just by looking at a picture or looking at the square footage if a specific floor plan has what you are looking for.