A Spring, A Spring, A Marvelous Thing

What do smiley buttons, virtual pets, lava lamps, and mood rings have in common?  Here’s a hint, you and thousands of other people have owned at least one of the things in that list.  That thing you just had to have is probably now either long gone or in a box in the attic.  (Bonus points if you can finish the Slinky jingle.)  Passing fads aren’t just reserved for kitschy stuffs that we paid far too much for to just throw them away; the housing industry has definitely had its share of trends as well.

Avoid Housing Fads

If you’re trying to sell your house, you’re probably looking at buying a different one.  You probably don’t want avocado appliances, shag carpeting, and oversized floral print wallpaper.  Guess what, no one else does either.  Look at your own interior decorating through the eyes of someone who didn’t spend months picking out just the right shade of green in the bathroom, or save every penny for the geometric modern-art installment in the living room.  Here’s a list of ten other things that seem to be falling out of style for 2011, according to builderonline.com.

Housing Fads That are Losing Ground

  1. Trophy Space – Say goodbye to large, open, energy-sucking entryways and rooms.  Buyers want efficient homes with bills that won’t break the bank.
  2. Medium-sized Homes – The rich are still building giant houses and everyone else wants small ones.  The middle ground has begun to disappear.
  3. Old World Facades – Budget cutters no longer want to pay for fussy and unnecessary decorations.  Builders are keeping things simple to keep their costs down.
  4. Formal Rooms – Usable space has become more important to buyers who want rooms to spend time as families in.  Dining rooms and dens are being converted into family rooms and homework areas.
  5. Just For Show – Industrial appliances and garden tubs are being replaced with smaller, less opulent appliances that are more useful.
  6. Greenfield Growth – Sprawling housing developments have been abandoned all over the country since developers have run out of money and buyers.
  7. Egocentric Houses – It’s no longer just about the amenities inside the house.  Homebuyers are looking for smaller houses within communities that offer some family-friendly amenities without raising the cost of living there too much.
  8. Home Flipping – We seem to be moving away from our wandering roots and toward a sit and stay way of life.
  9. Coming Home to a Dark, Cold House – The iphone has changed our lives in a lot of ways.  One of them is remote access to our homes.  We’re replacing our entire home control panels with apps that will turn the lights on when we enter the room.
  10. Super Domes – Despite the superiority of domes over conventional homes, they are quite difficult to finance, especially in today’s market (as a great admirer and former Monolithic constructor, this one breaks my heart a little bit).

Don’t Make Housing Fads Permanent

Unless you never plan on moving, stay away from extremes in decorating.  If there’s something you just absolutely cannot live without, don’t make it permanent; you might regret it later.  In the meantime, let’s see if we can avoid wasting any more money on pet rocks and furbies.

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