Yesterday I wrote about some of the ideas and concepts we’re keeping in mind as we work on current projects and select new ones. It’s helpful to take the pulse of the world outside our own little bubble every so often. Sometimes the trends confirm our observations, and some surprise us.
What Do Buyers Want?
So, once we have the money and the people, and have a house ready to renovate, we need to think about what buyers are looking for, right? Well, a recent report from the Urban Land Institute gave us some intriguing information (the link takes you straight to the report). One of the trends it notes is that perhaps our drive to make houses perfect and “move in ready” may not always get us the sales we want. Like those of us who renovate for a living, many home buyers today would prefer to buy a house that needs some work and fix it up to their own tastes. (It’s shocking but true: not every buyer wants a blinding white kitchen and some even like carpet.)
Apparently, many are choosing to engage in very long-term renovations, which sound good, but may be hard on both homeowners and contractors.
What does that tell us? Champion Title says:
For realtors, advertising and emphasizing a property’s potential can prove to be a lucrative strategy. Buyers are increasingly showing that they pay attention to what a home may offer, instead of what it currently does. For developers and contractors, the shift towards larger-scale renovations means that price quotes should always include overage considerations in addition to any project-based flat fee — especially for time-consuming jobs like historic restorations or high-price residential remodels.
It might be worth considering making a house clean and livable, but not making any high-end upgrades that may or may not be to the liking of buyers. They feel much more comfortable taking down basic components and upgrading them. I know it hurts ME to get rid of a bathroom renovation I know cost a lot of money but I just can’t live with.
My Favorite! Decorating Trends
Of course this one had to come up; I just can’t resist the decorating stuff.
You may be aware that I’ve been waiting to see what the next new thing will be once the drive to make every house “open concept” and every space “mid-century modern,” so I was happy to find out that at least some forecasters predict a shift. I admit my source came from Australia, but they are a trend-savvy country, as far as I’m concerned.
Our Australian pundit said the 2018 trend is toward greater diversity in design:
2018 heralds a bit of a backlash against ubiquitous design trends seen in previous years (i.e. Scandinavian, ultra minimalist) in place for what works for the individual, both in terms of their taste and in how they use a kitchen. This will spawn an increase in bolder displays of designs, floral and brighter splashbacks, bold tiling and more confident blurring of styles in pursuit of the idiosyncratic rather than the norm. 2018 will be a bit like your aunt who doesn’t care what anyone says, she is wearing red whether people like it or not.
Let’s hope that trend keeps going in 2019. It confirms that trying to guess what a generic buyer will want will be less of a good strategy.
Just to note a couple of trends shared by the Australian Real Estate view, they declared that darker colors in bathrooms, are on the rise (yay, we do that). And there was a lot of talk about “ceiling showers,” which send water right out of a ceiling fixture. They note that as long as these new things actually work well and stand up to time, they’ll be great. Good point, I think.
They also say single sinks are taking over from double sinks, and brighter backsplashes will appear in kitchens (oh no! poor white subway tile!). My favorite trend though, was the declaration that it’s cool to put just one giant plant in a bedroom rather than small ones. Bring on the fig trees!
What I Draw from This
Whatever trends you read about, see in catalogs, or view on television, it’s important to put them into a larger context. When you renovate a space, you want it to be beautiful for years and years, so think about whether the latest trend will still be useful, function as intended, and be as timeless as possible.