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What’s In/Out for Homebuyers 2018

With the new year, much will change but many things will stay the same.  2017 was a strong year in the real estate market with the 2nd year of price appreciation in our area; residential home prices were up about 3.3% by the end of 2016 and another 4.3% by the end of 2017. 

While it is a “seller’s market,” buyers are finicky and hesitant to pull the trigger on anything less than a “perfect house.”  Perfect is a relative term however, since there are no perfect houses, but buyers need to see real value when considering a home’s price, location and condition. 

After three years of an extreme shortage of homes, Realtor.com is predicting that supply will increase to catch up with demand in the latter half of 2018.  And as always, current design trends influence today’s homebuyers.  Here is a look at what to expect in 2018:

What’s In

Open Floor Plans (that make sense) – Most buyers are lured by homes with open flexible floor plans, but when a buyer has no idea where to place their furniture (or think the current arrangement is goofy), it leaves them scratching their heads and moving on to the next house.

Light Wood Floors – Ever popular, buyers still love wood floors and are happy with bamboo, reclaimed pine, even engineered hardwood if it looks good.  Buyer now lean towards the lighter shades of tan, beige, and gray in wider planks (5-7”).

Light Wood Cabinets – Similar to the wood floors, lighter woods with flat fronts and clean lines are popular.

Simpler Baseboards – Wide baseboards are good, intricate millwork is not.  Additionally, current home designers suggest painting the trim to be the same color as the walls to get rid of the “pop” of white trim.

Gray Interior Paint – Gray is the “in” color right now, but caramel brown, chocolate, and warm reds are making a comeback.  (Light tans and beige are not. However, they will never fall completely out of style; warm subtle tans are comforting, neutral and go well with everything.)

Pops of Color and Big Floral Prints – All white décor was the rage in the recent years, but designers are adding back fresh, vibrant jewel tones and brighter colors especially in drapes, chairs, and throw pillows.

Statement Floors – Instead of an accent wall, designers are suggesting bolder floors with patterns and color to transform a room.

Mixed Metal Fixtures – It is hard to keep up… brushed nickel, stainless steel, antique brass, gold, oil rubbed bronze, Parisian bronze, antique bronze. Honestly, there is no need to make all the fixtures match.  It is great if they already do, but buyers won’t pay a premium.  When in doubt, go with a matte metal finish that works well in the room.

House Plants – Fake plants collect dust; tiny succulents clutter up a window sill.  Consider a couple large well positioned plants.  But they need to be neat and tidy, not dropping leave and creating water stains.

Generation Z – Born after 1995, this subset of buyers is accustomed to on-demand information and services. Even in their young age, over half (57%) of them who currently rent a home are considering buying.

Millennials – Student loan debt is still an issue, but more millennials are having success getting mortgages to buy a home.  This generation is now at the point where they are starting families.  Many are now motivated to buy a home.  In 2018, Millennials are expected to account for 43% of the buyers utilizing a mortgage to purchase a home.

Smaller Living – The younger generations want smaller homes, but builders make more profit on larger homes or attached housing.  Single family starter homes are in demand but short supply.

Investors – More and more investors are entering the housing market looking for safe investments that will yield positive cash flow.

What’s Out

Mid 20th Century Pieces – The Madmen series is over and so is the popularity of “retro” appliances, furniture, and fixtures. 

Dark/Ebony Hardwoods – Stunning but they show every mark, footprint, and bit of dust.

Crown Moulding – A classic element for many decades; it is hard to image, but current designers are nixing it.

All-White Kitchens – Zillow data shows that even homes with blue kitchens sell for $1,800 more than homes with all white kitchens.  All-white is hard to keep clean and doesn’t show well if even a little dirty.  If you have an all-white kitchen, add in pops of bold colors (blue, red, purple) to distract the eye.

Rose Gold Fixtures – No more pink tones in your kitchen or bathroom.  Rose gold is now considered worse than yellow brass (which ironically is now making a comeback).

Bar Carts – They look good but are impractical because they are never used.  Maybe shift to a coffee cart?  Or just ditch the cart.

Optimism About Homebuying – Thanks to a turbulent political climate, concern over natural disasters, and talk of another housing bubble, optimism about buying is only at 25%.  Buyers are proceeding cautiously and with reservations.


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The Scott Loper Team

Scott & Lisa Loper

Scott Loper Team at Keller Williams Real Estate


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