Listings that are ready to move in fetch top dollar

“Houses that are in dire need of updating are a red flag to buyers,” Stephanie Mallios, a salesperson at Compass NJ, Short Hills, N.J., says. “Renters often don’t know how much it will cost so they start deducting from their offer.” These are some of the improvements that buyers love today.

  1. Hardwood flooring can be cleaner than carpet, but it has a more traditional look, according to Tom Segal, Chicago designer at Kaufman Segal Design. Segal states that prefinished options offer more customization and choice, while beautiful rugs placed on top of them can add an accent or change the feeling. Steven Lee, Page & Turnbull’s architect, is currently exploring wood laminate, luxury vinyl tiles, and rigid-core flooring. The main floor should be the same as the rest of the house. Suzan J. Designs/Decorating Den, a Milwaukee designer, says that the days of tiles in the entryway, kitchen, living room and dining room are gone. It makes a room appear disjointed and visually unappealing.
  2. More kitchens are getting steam ovens. They’re highly valued for their temperature and humidity control. Jodi Swartz, a Boston-based kitchen designer from KitchenVisions, now has one in nearly every kitchen she designs.
  3. Built-in bookcases offer storage and style, allowing homeowners to read print books instead of downloading e-books. Based on NPD data, trade magazine Printing Impressions reported that print book sales rose 8.2% in 2020. As work-from-home continues, well-curated bookshelves make beautiful backdrops for Zoom calls. Segal suggests homeowners consider closed storage and how the space is scaled. Also, Segal recommends lighting.
  4. Warmer palettes–light beige, creams and all shades of green–are replacing cold grays and stark whites, according to Kristie Barnett, a Nashville stage designer. She says that all-white and black exteriors still sell like hotcakes, but they are changing the look in neighborhoods where new and remodeled buildings abound to saturation.
  5. In addition to sheep, goats and llamas, chicken coops were found in more homes during the pandemic. Glassman states that chickens can give their owners self-reliance and sustainability. However, he adds the caveat that it is important to check what animals and how many a community allows.

Rustic gives way to casual chic

Modern mountain and other styles will replace farmhouse style. The farmhouse look was too much. Designer Suzan Wemlinger says that too many people took the farmhouse look literally. “There was shiplap everywhere. There was tons of rustic wood. Everything had chipped or distress paint.

She advised that we shouldn’t have too much of any good thing. It loses its impact if it is everywhere.

She suggests mixing elements from older styles with modern touches to create a farmhouse-like look. I have always mixed styles and eras so that it doesn’t seem too specific, lasts longer, and appeals more to a wider audience. Wemlinger also says that it’s easier to change out pillows or other items without having to completely remodel the room.

Modern mountain style retains many of the rustic elements of farm-house style, including beamed ceilings and dark wood. However, it offers a refined aesthetic. It has some color but also hints of black to give it a modern, sleek feel. She also says that it is less busy. “Modern abstract art would feel right at home here.”