It seems reality TV is having a greater effect on the real estate market than ever thought possible. While we think of factors influencing the cost of housing focused on things like location and mortgage rates, one of the last things you’d expect is a TV show being another huge influence. But Fixer Upper, a wildly-watched offering on HGTV, is making “farmhouse chic” something hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines (as well as today’s homebuilders and remodelers) are taking to the bank.
Forbes cited RealEstate.com when reporting that starter homes that featured amenities such as coffered ceilings, claw-foot tubs or farmhouse sinks sold for as much as 29% above the expected amount — all staples in the Fixer Upper repertoire.
The article also says this isn’t the first time television has influenced real estate and design, but it’s typically not this widespread. It also warns that if you are currently renovating a starter home to sell, don’t do a full-on Gaines-er in every single space of the place. As is the common wisdom, it’s prudent to be careful about selecting projects that are not overly style-specific. However, cosmetic touches such as painting, swapping out light fixtures, or upgrading kitchen details like drawer pulls can have a big impact on a home’s overall appearance without being permanent design features. It’s okay to add a farmhouse sink, stone countertops and sliding barn doors, but only if they make sense to the layout of the home.
The farmhouse look is nothing new and by all accounts has stood the test of time, but modern elements are what make it work. A farmhouse sink included in an open-concept kitchen (not reminiscent of the closed-off kitchens of the past) will have a longer shelf life, according to the article.
Not all markets are seeing the Gaines affect, however. According to the article, while these trends seem to transcend cities and price points from starter homes to high-end luxury homes, New York industrial loft or California modern home designs may be dealt a blow by adding farmhouse amenities, no doubt lowering their value, since the appeal is not inherent in those architectural styles.
If a Manhattan listing does sport a few barn doors, chances are good that they will be contemporary or industrial in nature, with smooth wood or metal and obscured glass panels, rather than the shabby-chic re-used wood from grandpa’s workshop. But exposed brick, exposed beams, coffered ceilings, and clawfoot tubs are still popular when treated with other eclectic designs surrounding them, boosting a listing’s bottom line.
Whether your aesthetic is farmhouse or contemporary, however, it seems everyone concurs on energy efficiency never going out of style, with green listings selling for as much as 40% more than anticipated. Even if buyers disagree on other things, they never seem to disagree on the color of money.Source: Forbes, TBWS
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