Yesterday I pointed out that overuse of adverbs is a common mistake of new writers. Adjectives are in that same category. For example, instead of saying “he lived in a small house” try “he lived in a cottage.” What image does that evoke? How about “he lived in a shack?” Or “he lived in a bungalow?” In many cases the right word takes care of what you’re trying to say. In others, you might want to add “rundown” or “well-maintained”, but only when it’s truly required and adds something other than to the unnecessary word count. Use them sparingly and they’ll have more impact.
Being more specific and finding exactly the right word to capture the image and feeling you want to convey is a challenge, but once achieved is the mark of a true professional.