To Be or Not To Be...Trendy

Posted By: Tadd Jones ICOR Blog & News,

Good Housekeeping doesn’t “suggest going overboard” but does suggest you play with patterns.

Design can have a major impact on the home, which could leave you guessing as to what will be popular in 6 months, when your project is done and ready to sell.  Luckily, there is plenty of guidance out there.  In fact, possibly too much. Vogue says the colors from the 70s are in[1], while Good Housekeeping says the 80’s colors are the ones to go with[2] and Trulia says the 90s are back[3].  And while they all seem to agree that florals are good, says they need to “go away”[4]. There are a lot of people saying Mid-Century modern is on its way out, but Home and Gardens wants to introduce it to you as timeless and on-trend[5].  Ask your local designer and they are likely to give an up-to-the-minute assessment (that differs from their opinion of last month), along with a healthy dose of attitude.  What to do?  Research all the trends and predict what the future will hold? Or better yet, how about ignoring it all?

Andrew Bang, one of our loan officers and experienced flipper (200+ homes) points out:  “Every home I buy I ask myself this simple question: Do I want to fit in or do I want to stand out? How can I get the most money possible in the quickest time possible?  I look over the house and the neighborhood and ask: Do I want to fit in or stand out? Most of the time I am fitting in. Why? Because I have never regretted fitting in with beige/grey walls and a bland but new kitchen. I have regretted the blue kitchen I did once. I did regret the treehouse I built to try and stand out. I did regret the mural I paid a local artist to paint in a family room.”

Fitting-in appeals to a larger market than standing out. One plus to this is that it leaves room for the new buyer to ‘make it their own’ rather than imposing your design choices or going wherever the winds and whims of fashion & style will blow. The buyer can always change something or add something to personalize the home in their own way.

To find that middle ground, you can always add a single accent wall, which can easily be repainted by the buyer.  One advantage of doing that, as pointed out by one of our favorite realtors, is that everyone has to find something to not like about a home and that needs to be changed - why make it tough?  “Give them an orange wall in the hall and make it easy on them, and easy on you when they demand a change.”  Although avoid wallpaper as it is much harder to change than paint.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to rehabbing a house and there are successful real estate investors on both sides. While being trendy may have its advantages, broadening the design choices available to the buyer will lead to streamlined operations for you and a bigger pool of interested buyers, all of which means reduced turn times and headaches on your projects.  And we’d never say which is ‘right’ but just say no to the dog wallpaper entryway.  Trust us.