There are many factors that influence the cost of housing from location to mortgage rates, but one of the last things you would probably think of is reality television. However, it turns out that the “farmhouse chic” style made popular by Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV’s Fixer Upper has dominated the pricing of the starter home market.
RealEstate.com recently reported that starter homes whose listings featured amenities such as “coffered ceiling,” “claw-foot tub” or “farmhouse sink” sold for as much as 29% above the expected amount.
According to Kerrie Kelly, who is a Zillow Group home design expert, this isn’t the first time television has influenced real estate and design. She explained: “It’s not uncommon for homeowners to get inspiration from broader pop culture trends or TV shows, but I would say it’s not typically this widespread. For example, certain features or colors in Rachel and Monica’s apartment on Friends certainly gained popularity when the show was airing, but still nowhere near the popularity we’re seeing with the farmhouse chic look that Chip and Joanna are known for.”
However, if you are currently renovating a starter home to sell, Kelly doesn’t suggest going full-on Gaines for every single space.
“In order to attract as many buyers to a home, a seller should be careful about selecting projects that are not overly style-specific. Every house is different. However, I typically recommend doing more cosmetic upgrades to a home before listing as major renovations can be costly. Things like painting, swapping out light fixtures, or upgrading kitchen details like drawer pulls can be inexpensive weekend projects that can have a big impact on a home’s overall appearance.”
If the home is a true fixer-upper and must undergo major renovations to sell or flip immediately, Kelly suggests adding farmhouse sinks, quartz and sliding barn doors, but only if they make sense with the layout of the home.
If you are currently in the market for a property that will be both a home and an investment, there isn’t a need to worry about this style looking dated in the future. It turns out that farmhouse features have stood the test of time. “Well-designed, useable spaces, such as an open kitchen or a big farmhouse sink often have a longer shelf life. Farmhouses are also not new. So, it’s fair to say trends inspired by farmhouses are here to stay in at least some capacity,” explained Kelly.
She also noted that all markets, not just the starter home market, is influenced by the Gaines affect. “These farmhouse- or craftsman-inspired trends seem to transcend…cities and price points from starter homes to high-end luxury homes. For example, high-end homes mentioning coffered ceilings sell for 20% more than expected (for entry level the premium was 29%). High-end homes mentioning farmhouse sinks sell for a 16% premium (26% premium for starter homes).”
While real estate trends throughout the country usually don’t have much, if any impact, on what sells in New York City, it turns out the popularity of some design features still reigns even in Manhattan. “We definitely don’t see too many mentions of ‘craftsman’ or ‘barn doors’ in Manhattan listing descriptions,” New York luxury super-brokers Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon of Douglas Elliman, explained to me. “But architectural features like exposed brick, exposed beams, coffered ceilings, and clawfoot tubs are real estate catnip for New Yorkers. They’re the very stuff that characterizes a fantasy New York apartment— especially the ones you see on TV and in movies. Do those features boost the bottom line? Without question.”
Another interesting statistic featured in the report was that homes with energy-efficient features sold for as much as 40% more than anticipated. Buyers are willing to pay more money up front to ultimately save cash over time.
In 2016, fashion stylist Ali Levine and her husband Justin Jacaruso purchased solar panels and installed them on the roof of their starter home in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. However, when she became pregnant the following year, they realized that house, which was featured on the Bravo reality show Stripped, wasn’t going to accommodate their growing family. Those solar panels ended up being a major selling point. “The buyer of our home loved that the solar made the house cooler and was a monthly savings,” says Levine.
More Info: www.forbes.com