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Friday, July 30, 2010

What's Hot in Home Buying Trends and Design




Home Buyer tastes continually change- it's a moving target. But currently, today's home buyers are looking for smaller homes on smaller lots. That's good news for the home building industry since labor and materials costs continually climb and builders can make more money subdividing lots.

Home buyers are less likely to be interested in homes built from 1970-1999. Buyers do not want florescent lighting, wood panelling, walnut wood cabinetry with exposed hinges or 1990s style white vinyl coated MDF cabinetry, formica countertops, gold tone or brass trim, no shiny brass or outdated lighting. Even crystal chandeliers are not so hot for today's buyers.

What's HOT? 1) homes built pre WWII. These styles include bungalows, arts and crafts, tudor, cottage, etc.. These homes typically have "character"- hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. 2) Mid-Century Modern- homes that were built between 1945-1969 that feature open floor plans, low pitched roofs, cantilevered construction, exposed beams and geometric architecture. 3) Turn of the Century Arts and Crafts style new homes. Period details from the 1920s are re-created in new construction to mimick a 1920s boxy arts and crafts home that looks as if it has been recently renovated and modernized with open floor plan and modern touches.

Today's buyer wants either a period style kitchen with modern conveniences or a completely sleek and modern kitchen. No more straddling the fence with "traditional" style cabinetry. Buyers want an oversized single bowl undermount sink, kitchen island, stainless steel appliances, built in refrigerators and wine coolers, concrete, stone or quartz countertops, under-cabinet and recessed lighting, glass tile backsplases, 6 burner gas ranges and convection ovens.

Formal living rooms are out of fashion and formal dining rooms seem to be phasing out in favor of an open space for entertaining, dining and cooking. Media rooms and playrooms are very desirable with large flat screen tvs, oversized sectional sofas and head banging surround sound systems. Buyers love the old tile (like the old basket-weave black and white tile) in older bathrooms or luxurious modern baths with sleek wood cabinetry, raised height vanities, modern lighting, lots of stone and glass, oversized showers with multi-spray fixtures and quartz or granite countertops.

Today's buyer desires less (or no) carpeting and prefers hardwood oak flooring, exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry, polished concrete or stone tile, cork and bamboo. Earthtones are still popular but we're seeing more and more bright and ethereal colors for interiors.

Look for these future trends: recycled concrete and glass countertops, GREEN products and construction, fiberglass panel flooring, atmospheric paint colors, bold accent colors and patterns, smaller homes, smaller eco-friendly yards with very little turf and low maintenance, drought tolerant landscapes and light and aroma therapy built in to your interior environment. Modern furniture and design is coming on strong with sleek lines and natural eco-friendly materials.

If you are thinking of updating your home or considering selling your home, please contact me so I can help guide you towards decisions you can make to get the most bang for your buck for improvements that buyers will appreciate (and pay for) on the resale.

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