If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck by investing in a home improvement project, here are 20 design and feature trends to avoid.
1) Inconsistent Architecture
Having your home contain a hodgepodge of architectural styles can be off-putting to a potential homebuyer. For a ranch-style home, featuring columns on the front porch can be just as jarring as a log-cabin-styled home with art deco accents. Each architectural style has its own inherent beauty, so be sure to emphasize these factors. If you don’t, it can be like eating Pickles on ice cream!
2) Oversized kitchens
Hold the rise of celebrity chefs responsible for this one. Kitchens with every appliance imaginable and too much space can be off-putting to perspective home buyers who do not engage in serious entertaining. Unless you are hosting lavish get-togethers with a team of cooks, it may be time to divide the kitchen into segments, like a cozy breakfast nook and a sit down family table.
3) Faux “Old World” Design
By decorating or emphasizing a European style left (for example, the right region of Tuscany has a distinctive and popular style), we may hope to capture the elegance of this area, but bear in mind that unless you are sourcing the materials (and a vineyard to boot), there will always be something inauthentic about channeling Europe in another region of the world.
4) White appliances
If your appliances are white, it’s time to upgrade. White may have been at one time a color of choice to emphasize a spotless home (everything shows up on white!), but that is precisely the problem. Home buyers will subconsciously feel the toil associated with wiping every surface down, or see lingering stains that will never come out. In addition, plastic materials fade overtime, turning into a non-uniform yellow. Instead, choose black appliances, stainless steel, or the latest in “black stainless.”
Wallpaper makes a bold statement in a home. However, that same boldness may put off buyers, especially if the wallpaper is cheap old or common. Any addition, removing wallpaper is a labor intensive process that can also put off potential home buyers, especially considering that the removal of old older wallpaper may damage the walls and create more headaches. Moreover wallpaper can be a source of undetected mold growth. Stick with paint instead.
6) Carpeted Bathrooms
There may have been a time when stepping across the master bedroom and onto an icy-cold tiled floor made a carpeted bathroom seemed like a brilliant idea, but that time is over. That’s what bathmats are for. Carpets and water in the same place is simply asking for mold growth or damage. Some modern homes have heated flooring’s, which is a huge selling point to potential home buyers and far preferable to the hygiene nightmare of a carpeted bathroom.
7) Gaudy Gold Fixtures and Hardware
Metallic finishes can give your home warmth and sophistication, but if you have shiny gold fixtures and hardware consider removing them. Gold carries a needlessly flashy and gaudy look that may appeal to nouveau riche buyers, but most home buyers find it as outdated as the ’80s. Instead, opt to replace these fixtures with warmer metals, such as polished brass or brushed nickel.
Your kitchen and bathroom countertops play a huge part in the eye of a potential home buyer. If their tiled, consider removing them. At one time, this trend seemed modern, but the nitty-gritty involved with maintaining tiled countertops can be off-putting. Think about it – what do you do if a tile chips and it needs to be replaced? Are you prepared to clean the porous grout regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth? It just makes the already-unwelcome chore of cleaning the kitchen that much worse.
9) Cheap Wood Paneling
Wood-paneled homes are beautiful. If you have stunning wooden wainscoting throughout your home, leave it alone. However, if the walls of your house contain cheap wood paneling meant for a church basement bingo game, remove it immediately. Lower quality wood paneling instantly dates your home and screams “cheap” to those looking. Worse, it may imply that the paneling was put up to cover up larger problems, like a lack of insulation or unfinished walls.
Animal heads on display will not appeal to every home buyer, so it’s best to remove that moose head when selling. That said, it may not be a hindrance to a sale in certain regions of the US, where hunting is popular. On the same note, similar items like a bull’s skull strategically placed over a mantlepiece or in a garden, will only be appealing to certain types of home bars. Remember that your goal is to make your home an open template so a perspective homebuyer can envision living in the house.
11) Linoleum Flooring
No one likes walking across sticky linoleum barefoot. Simply put, get rid of linoleum flooring. At one time, it was a popular option, especially in the case of patterned linoleum that could mimic wood or tile flooring. Nowadays, linoleum is almost synonymous with inexpensive apartments and a careless sense of decorating. Instead, opt for flooring materials like hardwood that are not only comfortable, but also visually appealing.
12) Popcorn Ceilings
If a home contains a popcorn ceiling (also known as a “textured” or “stucco” ceiling), it instantly communicates to a homebuyer that it is not been modernized. Popcorn ceilings were popular from the 1950s all the way to the 1980s as an inexpensive, ubiquitous alternative to cover up imperfections and unadorned drywall. To modern eyes, it looks more like a dreary Motel 6 than a warm home.
Removal of popcorn ceilings, like wallpaper, is a labor-intensive affair. So be sure to get it done before your open house. In addition, be sure to look for asbestos, which can make or break a closing if detected by a home buyer or inspector.
13) Glass Mosaic Backsplash
One of the most common trends from the mid-2000s is a glass mosaic back black splash for your kitchen or bathroom. While it may have looked good then because of its relative scarcity, today it is nearly everywhere. Consider replacing it with marble tiling or plain white subway tile to obscure your home’s last appointment with an interior designer.
14) Bold Paint
The first thing that a home buyer sees when viewing a house for the first time is the color – first the exterior and then the individual rooms. Essentially, this first impression of colors sets the stage for the home’s other features, including furnishings, decorations comma and architecture.
If a bold color is applied to the exterior, like a light-pink, potential buyers that like to blend-in may be put off. If a room is too dark, such as dark red; or too bright, such as a chromatic yellow, the features of the home may be muted or unnecessarily hidden as they compete for visual attention. Neutralizing your home is the best option (see “Neutral Colors” below), as buyers can project their own color palette to their tastes without being influenced by your preferences.
15) Converted Spaces
It is a modern notion to have our spaces fit our personalities, lifestyles, quirks, and interests. That works just fine when you’re living there, but you may want to reconsider the current usage of each space that you have re-purposed when it comes time to sell. Having a garage converted for another purpose besides storage and parking vehicle may be fine
for your needs, but home buyers may just want a garage for what it was originally intended. If you’ve converted your garage into a place to run your small business, exercise room, or music practice room, be sure to bring it back to its normal garage-only state to appeal to the largest number of home buyers.
This is especially true for cities that have limited parking. Similarly, a bedroom converted into a small office or storage space can be off putting. This happens because it puts the intended purpose of the room into the mind of a home buyer and that is not your goal when selling your home.
Most home buyers prefer hardwood floors when purchasing a home, even if you have recently taken the trouble of installing new carpet. People may assume that the germs, pet dander, and dirt of the previous residents are still present within the carpet. Furthermore, the carpet color choice for the room may clash with their sensibilities or decorating ideas, leading to another item on their mental to do list when the time comes to customize the home.
Hardwood flooring is a happy medium of natural hues and the ability to customize. Should the home buyer want carpet, then all they have to do is install it on top of the wooden surface.
17) Too Much Landscape
There’s been a trend in recent years of introducing the “outdoor living room” to holisticly connect nature with the home. Trimmed bushes in ornate shapes, carpet-like moss walkways, elaborate gardens, and ponds are all visually appealing, but there’s a catch. A property requiring constant maintenance may make potential home buyers hesitate especially if their future finances are uncertain.
This also includes the recent trend of urban farming. While you may enjoy fresh eggs, honey, and chevre daily, others may be put off by the daily upkeep that animals require and the implications about your homes cleanliness, so it’s best to leave no signs that your home was once part of a farm.
18) Hot Tubs and Pools
There may have been a time when a pool was considered a selling point for new homeowners, but many home buyers realize how much of a maintenance issue and eyesore it can be. This is especially true for above ground pools, which tend to take up a large amount of space, create a safety and liability hazard for children and guests, and leave an ugly spot of dead grass when removed.
This is true for hot tubs, too. Hot tubs are notorious as a breeding ground for bacteria, can be difficult to maintain, and removal from a deck or backyard may lead to even more expense down the line (e.g. rebuilding a portion of your deck where the hot tub once was).
19) Whirlpool Bathtubs
Whirlpool bathtubs may once have been considered an item of luxury and a major selling point, but tastes have changed in recent years. Those who have owned or used them may have enjoyed the luxury, but realized how much water they use (between 80-100 gallons) and how much space is taken up that could be used for other bathroom features such as a bigger shower space or a dual-vanity counter.
20) Minimalist Design
Outfitting your home like an urban loft space has long been a trend in interior home design, but this may not be your best option for selling your home. Minimalist design in this style can make homes seem unnaturally empty, without emphasizing the natural personality of the home that’s attractive to home buyers. Instead you should aim to add accents without creating a barren look. Subconsciously, an overly minimalist design communicates to buyers that the home shouldn’t house furnishings and decorations, something that may be at odds with the buyers intentions.
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