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Trends for Home Buyers

Hot Home Trend Features and Home Design

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Trends for Home Buyers

Brushed nickel and chocolate are Asian-influenced updates

© Elizabeth Weintraub
To understand home buyer trends today, it's almost easier to look at what is not hot, at what buyers don't want to buy. There's a lot about the 1980s that many people don't appreciate such as much of the music -- except for U2 Compare Prices -- and most of the homes built in that decade. In fact, homes built from 1970 to 1999 are often passed over for older or newer homes. All of which means doing your best Nancy Reagan impersonation and just saying no to:
  • Shag carpeting
  • Avocado-colored appliances
  • Walnut cabinets, baseboards
  • Formica counters
  • Gold-toned trim

Popular Styles and Ages of Homes

The three hottest trends in homes are:

  • Pre-WWII. These homes can be Victorians such as Italianates or Queen Annes, Arts & Crafts bungalows, Tudors, Colonials, California Missions, Greek Revivals; almost any type of architecture with Old-World style, charm and character. The exteriors are frame and wood, covered in stucco or brick and stone.

  • Mid-Century Homes. I cringe when I hear that term. Can't help it. But it's an accurate term for homes built between 1945 and 1965. While Cape Cods fall into this category, the period is better known for its sleek '50's style, modern homes such as those built by Frank Lloyd Wright and Wright-inspired builders such as Streng and Eichler. Many of these mid-century homes have flat or shallow-pitched roofs, geometric shapes and triangular windows, cantilevered construction and open floor plans.

  • Mediterranean.These homes incorporate Spanish or Italian details, boast stucco exteriors, tile roofs and are mostly multiple levels. The entrances are grand and generally covered. Homes feature archways throughout and rounded wall corners. Patios sport columns and are filled with rustic terra cotta pottery. You'll see lots of wrought iron accents; interior floors are ceramic or Travertine; and dramatic staircases are located most often near the front of the home. Although you will find these homes constructed in the early 1920s, most often you will find this style copied by tract home builders after the year 2000.

Kitchens

Popular style trends are either original period details: pure and unspoiled, or totally and completely modern. Herringbone floors; peach, pink or blue four-inch bathroom or kitchen tiles; art deco light fixtures and antique Wedgewood or O'Keefe & Merritt stoves are among the original features buyers crave. Never the twain shall meet in between, which means no wallpaper, no blue-and-yellow ducks with white neck-ribbons parading on borders, and no boxed ceiling lights. Here are essential items buyers demand in kitchens:

  • Professional 6-burner ranges & convection ovens Compare Prices
  • Whisper-quiet commercial exhaust fans & range hoods, ceiling or island mounted
  • Top-of-the-line built-in stainless steel dishwashers and Sub-Zero Refrigerators Compare Prices
  • Built-in wine coolers Compare Prices
  • Exotic stone, poured cement or granite counters
  • Cabinetry with all the storage bells and whistles, including glass door panels; maple or glazed or ebony colors are popular
  • Kitchen islands with an extra sink
  • Apron-front farm kitchen sinks or hammered-copper sinks, any unique product as long as it costs more than $1,000 Compare Prices
  • Floor-to-ceiling spice racks
  • Towel warmers and warming trays
  • Built-in microwaves with matching cabinetry fronts
  • Recessed lighting combined with hanging-pendant fixtures

Bathrooms

  • Buyers want lots of glass and stone
  • Vessel sinks of all shapes and sizes are mounted into antique dressers or Asian-inspired vanities Compare Prices
  • Brushed nickel replaces chrome options
  • Double-handle faucets are mounted on the walls and vanities float from the floor
  • Dual rain showerheads Compare Prices & hand-held sprayers Compare Prices for cleaning showers
  • Power-assisted, low-rise toilets Compare Prices and bidets Compare Prices
  • Motion light sensors

Colors

Earth-tone, soft colors. Lots of blues, greens, browns -- bringing the outdoors inside. Sharp contrasts with brilliant hues of red or orange accent walls.

Specialty Room Trends

  • Open floor plans combining family rooms with kitchen and dining areas
  • Media rooms
  • Playrooms for kids
  • Wine cellars
  • Work-out rooms

Trends in Floors, Walls and Windows

Buyers are moving away from carpeting, even in the bedrooms. If carpeting is used at all, it's used sparingly. Walls are either plaster, trowel textured or completely smooth. There is a purist movement to retain original windows from pre-WWII homes, refinishing, reglazing and replacing counter-weights or sash cords. Otherwise, the windows are dual pane. Here are popular flooring types:

  • Travertine, 16-inches or larger Compare Prices
  • Bamboo Compare Prices
  • Wood and exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian cherry Compare Prices
  • Cork Compare Prices

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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