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Better, but not bigger: Homebuyers downsize, but still attached to large-scale amenities (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley CHARLOTTE — The house that Christine Faberman considered on Thursday wasn’t exactly what she was looking for. Sure, it was in her price range, and the square footage — a cozy 2,400 compared to the 4,500 in her current home — was right. But where were the hardwood floors? The stainless steel appliances? And, most of all, where were the windows? “Downsizers, empty-nesters, they really want a miniature version of the home they’re leaving,” said Donna Anderson, the Cottingham-Chalk broker who showed Faberman the house. “We’re creatures of habit; it’s difficult for them to give those things up.”

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