Certain elements of house-hunting are so standard that online search forms include check boxes for them - you can check off a box for the number of bedrooms and another for the number of baths.
But there's no box marked "beyond."
You wouldn't be surprised to find a living room, a dining room or a family room on the list. But those might not satisfy choosier house hunters, who may be holding out for a mudroom, a media room or that bonus room builders sometimes add above the garage.
And then there are the most particular shoppers of all - those who require a home with so many rooms that the floor plan reads like a game of Clue. Maybe they're seeking rooms that hold the charm of some bygone era - like a parlor or a ballroom. Or they insist on having the latest things that modern architecture has to offer - a home theater, or maybe a gym.
For those who can accept nothing less, we offer the following five homes on the market - each boasting 20 rooms or more. Take the tour, and we'll see you in the conservatory with Professor Plum.
Sands Point $10.9 million
ANNUAL TAXES $111,065
NUMBER OF ROOMS 20
TIME ON THE MARKET It has been listed with Roberta Raciti and Nava Mitnick of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty since November. It has been reduced from $14.9 million.
MOST UNCOMMON ROOMS Atriums - two of them.
THE DETAILS It's all about the sunshine and the views at this 1988 Mediterranean villa in the Port Washington school district. "The in-ground pool is built in an atrium area," Raciti says. "It's just spectacular. It has a hot tub. The pool area has a bar. It's the greatest house for entertaining." There's also an atrium off the master bedroom, she says.
"It has a beautiful family room with sliding doors going out to a beautiful terrace facing the Long Island Sound," Raciti adds. The 2.78-acre property includes a private stretch of beach.
"In the kitchen you have an unobstructed water view - you almost feel like you're on a cruise ship, because you don't see the land. It's just so impressive. The eight-bedroom home has five fireplaces, an exercise room and a billiards room, six bathrooms and two half-bathrooms.
ANNUAL TAXES $17,000
NUMBER OF ROOMS 20
TIME ON THE MARKET This home has been listed at this price with Vincent Horcasitas and Robert Tramondo of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate since October 2008.
MOST UNCOMMON ROOMS Sauna, tasting room
THE DETAILS This 2007 home offers 12,000 square feet of living space on 1.2 acres - something you couldn't build today, says Horcasitas. "I consider it the last of its kind," he says. "When they built this house, they maxed out the square footage you could put on this particular lot. Because now the codes are stricter, you couldn't come close to a house of this magnitude on that size lot."
Cook indoors or out - the eight-bedroom home includes a professional-grade kitchen inside and a built-in barbecue outside. Speaking of outside, the property has a 50-foot, saltwater-filtrated, heated gunite pool with attached Jacuzzi, a 1,000-square-foot pool pavilion with its own bathroom, washer and dryer, and bluestone patios.
The home has 11 1/2 bathrooms and a three-story elevator. High-tech extras include a 12-seat home theater with surround sound, radiant heated bathroom floors, and security and camera systems.
The walkout basement, which has high ceilings and wood floors, boasts some of the coolest rooms: "It has not only a wine cellar, but attached to the wine cellar is a wine tasting room for wine dinners," says Tramondo. There's also a gymnasium with its own bathroom and a cedar sauna.
ANNUAL TAXES $16,137
NUMBER OF ROOMS 20
TIME ON THE MARKET It was first listed in April with Patricia Gleason of The Corcoran Group for $3,495,000. The price was reduced in May.
MOST UNCOMMON ROOMS Solarium and library
THE DETAILS "The solarium is unbelievable - it's like a ballroom," says Gleason. "Lots of light and lots of glass. It's a big entertaining area. You could have a banquet there."
This 2010 custom home is on a 3.7-acre lot that includes 340 feet of creek front on the Mattituck Inlet. "The outside belies what you find on the inside," says Gleason. "It has a huge kitchen, and the house has all the bells and whistles - a security system, cameras, a TV in the kitchen so you can monitor the whole house."
There are six bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half-baths. Other goodies include an office, a great room, a media room and a bar and wine cellar.
"It's a beautiful location with lots of nice trees," says Gleason. "It's set back far from the road and has a nice entranceway."
Bay Shore $1,799,000
ANNUAL TAXES $37,155
NUMBER OF ROOMS 24
TIME ON THE MARKET This property, which can be subdivided, was listed for $1,999,900 with Rosemary Keenan-Zulli of Eric G. Ramsay Jr. Associates Llc in September. The price was reduced in June.
MOST UNCOMMON ROOMS A ballroom - or is it an improbably large living room? "Ballroom-slash-living room" is what Keenan-Zulli calls it.
THE DETAILS "It's a lovely old home," but it needs a full restoration, says Keenan-Zulli. There was a minor fire last year, she says. "The house has all oak floors throughout, beautiful dentil moldings and ornate fireplaces, claw-foot tubs, and the master suite has a huge balcony that overlooks the pond," she says. The 1920 Colonial has a butler's pantry, two staircases, a library and an all-wood paneled home office. There are seven fireplaces, six bathrooms and two half-bathrooms.
"It's set on a lakefront property, on 4.8 acres on the Lawrence . . . . There are mature trees and specimen trees that grew from the cuttings from arboretum trees. You see a lot of exotic birds and ducks in the pond, including egrets, blue herons, wood ducks, mallards, geese and swans," says Keenan-Zulli.
The 10-bedroom home is part of the O-Co'Nee Association, which has a private beach and two marinas. The association fee is $375 a year; docking fees are extra, Keenan-Zulli says.
Head of Harbor $890,000
ANNUAL TAXES $17,280
NUMBER OF ROOMS 22
TIME ON THE MARKET The home has been listed at this price with Eric Neitzel of DeBarbieri Associates Inc. since January.
MOST UNCOMMON ROOMS Sleeping porches and parlors
THE DETAILS The original portion of this Victorian in the historic district was built in 1680, and it was expanded in 1850 - now it's got 7,800 square feet of living space and includes a legal two-bedroom apartment, says Neitzel. "It's a grand old house," he says. "In the older portion of the house, we have original wavy glass, high ceilings, front and rear parlor rooms, marble-faced mantels on the fireplaces, front-to-rear entry foyer and a banquet-sized dining room. It has 10-foot ceilings and original wide-plank flooring, all in great condition. It's a charming, charming old house," says Neitzel.
"There are two master suites, and each has its own sleeping porch," he adds. "You have French doors off the bedroom to the sleeping porch."
The 10-bedroom, 7 1/2-bathrooms home is on a 2.4-acre lot in the Smithtown school district.