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Buyers Looking Back When Eyeing New Homes

What’s still not hot when putting a home on the market? Buyers still haven’t warmed to houses built and decorated in the 70’s and 80’s, and prefer to take a pass on walnut cabinets, shag carpeting and gold-toned trim.

What homes are seeing strong interest? Buyers state they are looking for homes that aren’t like every other one on the block, with Bungalows, Victorians and Tudors preferred for their architectural interest, charm and character. Mediterranean style homes with Italian or Spanish detail are also catching buyers’ attention, in part becausse of large or ornate entrances, lush patios, sweeping staircases and ceramic or other stone flooring.

Once inside, buyers head to the kitchen, where stainless steel is still the material of choice for appliances. In modern kitchens, a poured cement counter-top can provide the right accent to the high gloss shine of stainless. Granite, exotic stone or marble can soften the look in more traditional kitchens. Cabinetry needs to be functional, making kitchens with corner cabinets, floor-to-ceiling spice racks and pantry units popular. Built-in wine coolers or bar areas are a nice bonus feature for some families that do a lot of in-home entertaining. To keep kitchens beautiful and functional, lighting is recessed, with extra lumination provided by the addition of hanging-pendant fixtures.

In bathrooms, buyers want elegance and luxury. Clear glass shower doors appear larger and brighter. Also in showers, dual rain showerheads and hand-held sprayers are sought after amenities, with brushed nickel the preferred material for faucets and spouts. Vessel sinks are still popular, and are especially desirable when mounted into antique dressers or exotic vanities.

Floor plans still emphasize openness, space and multiple uses. Family rooms are often extensions of the kitchen and dining areas. An office can double as a media room, but where money and space allow, buyers also like the idea of a separate playroom and exercise room.

Carpeting is slowly disappearing in almost every room in the home, including the bedroom. Large area rugs and throw rugs are used to soften and warm the floors, often in natural materials such as wicker or wool. Wood continues to be a popular flooring choice, in bamboo, cherry or sustainable hardwoods. Travertine stone is being used extensively in kitchens, living rooms and family rooms. Its popularity is due to the unique look created by the exotic colors and vein patterns that can be purchased. These looks are created as travertine is being fomred in underground rivers and streams, giving thee stone is distinctive surface.

While the Pantone Company has suggested the color of the year to Honeysuckle, a reddish-pink color, designers are using it sparingly. (Pantone is considered the color authority by many industries after developing a color matching system used by printers and designers to name and establish color shades.) It can brighten a room and be used as accents with softer colors that evoke nature and the outdoors. Blues, greens and browns are often chosen to help bring the idea of the outdoors inside. Bigger and wider windows are also prized for their ability to let in light and views of the outside world.

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