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How did we ever survive? 

And remember when we didn't have to rent a huge storage unit to get 50% of our belongings out of the house and redo everything to look exactly like what is the latest and greatest current trend?

Yeah, it has been a while. 😏

And yesterday I stupidly watched some Ultimate homes something or other and those people paid $1.5m just for their foundation!  And their master bedroom is 2,400 sq. ft., which is larger than any CA home I have ever lived in.  Our house is larger in NC, but.....

Anyway, I digress......I am paying someone quite a bit of money to make my house look more HGTV and not as "lived in/Craigslist chic."  

 

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Ha, yes!

I actually quite long for the days when selling your house didn't mean redecorating and putting everything in storage.  It's so wasteful and creates another expense that really is pointless when moving is already really expensive.  People used to tidy up, do a major cleaning, and paint or repair where it was actually needed, and somehow, people viewing homes managed to understand that the house was still a nice house and suitable for their needs.  

I really think it's all been directed to emptying people's pockets.  Though what really bothers me is the quantities of often cheap home reno stuff that are going into landfills.

Anyway - I kind of find most designer type homes pretty sterile.  Certainly the ones on shows like HGTV, but even ones in high end magazines and such where there is a lot of neat and expensive stuff the designer has picked out.  Even when I find I really like books and such about homes, they are almost always ones that have a real ad hoc element - maybe even generational homes.   I guess this goes with my "design" style which says that things I like will always work together, because I am the unifying element.  (Sort of narcissistic now that I write it out!)

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When we bought our current house three years ago it wasn't even cleaned, let alone staged. It looked like Herman Munster's house, literally full of cobwebs. I think it was on the market for a couple of months. Contrary to all current wisdom, we didn't put our last house on the market until after we'd moved and it was completely empty. We had a signed contract at full asking price in less than two weeks. I think a lot of what passes as the current wisdom/I HAVE to do these things to sell my house aren't true. Or at least they aren't in my area. I guess if you're in a very slow market maybe you need to jump through hoops. But the market in our area has never been anywhere near that bad, I don't think, and it's certainly not now.

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44 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Ha, yes!

I actually quite long for the days when selling your house didn't mean redecorating and putting everything in storage.  It's so wasteful and creates another expense that really is pointless when moving is already really expensive.  People used to tidy up, do a major cleaning, and paint or repair where it was actually needed, and somehow, people viewing homes managed to understand that the house was still a nice house and suitable for their needs.  

I really think it's all been directed to emptying people's pockets.  Though what really bothers me is the quantities of often cheap home reno stuff that are going into landfills.

Anyway - I kind of find most designer type homes pretty sterile.  Certainly the ones on shows like HGTV, but even ones in high end magazines and such where there is a lot of neat and expensive stuff the designer has picked out.  Even when I find I really like books and such about homes, they are almost always ones that have a real ad hoc element - maybe even generational homes.   I guess this goes with my "design" style which says that things I like will always work together, because I am the unifying element.  (Sort of narcissistic now that I write it out!)

I long for those days too.  

When we were looking at houses the ones that we were drawn to were the ones that had character.  We could spot a quicky upgrade or flipper as soon as we walked into the kitchen... and it was yuck.  I don't want grey, black and white in my kitchens/bathrooms. 

Although, we did see a few houses that had...well.. too much character. 😄

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1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

My decorating styles over the years have Included Early Attic, Modern Poverty, Craigslist Chic, Contemporary Castoffs, and Delightful Dumpster Dives.

You are my hero.  😁 

46 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Ha, yes!

I actually quite long for the days when selling your house didn't mean redecorating and putting everything in storage.  It's so wasteful and creates another expense that really is pointless when moving is already really expensive.  People used to tidy up, do a major cleaning, and paint or repair where it was actually needed, and somehow, people viewing homes managed to understand that the house was still a nice house and suitable for their needs.  

I really think it's all been directed to emptying people's pockets.  Though what really bothers me is the quantities of often cheap home reno stuff that are going into landfills.

I'm going to live those days, because doing the staged home thing about sent me over the the edge of sanity, and we never even moved.  So somehow, we'll have to be able to move out in order to sell this home.  Also, I hate grey, greige, and open floor plans.  If I had a partner in crime and the funds, I'd love to reno a 100 year old home.  The only modern feature I like is master on the main with other bedrooms upstairs.  I'm definitely wanting more of a "this room is for X purpose only, that room is for Y purpose only" set up.  Smaller rooms to reflect the fact that you don't need much space to sleep or study, for example.  Pipe dreams.  🙂 

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25 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

When we bought our current house three years ago it wasn't even cleaned, let alone staged. It looked like Herman Munster's house, literally full of cobwebs. I think it was on the market for a couple of months. Contrary to all current wisdom, we didn't put our last house on the market until after we'd moved and it was completely empty. We had a signed contract at full asking price in less than two weeks. I think a lot of what passes as the current wisdom/I HAVE to do these things to sell my house aren't true. Or at least they aren't in my area. I guess if you're in a very slow market maybe you need to jump through hoops. But the market in our area has never been anywhere near that bad, I don't think, and it's certainly not now.

 

Yes, we emptied and sold a house last summer. It was a house with very good "bones," and I think actually showed well empty. The high ceilings and glossy wood floors were really highlighted with no furniture or personal belongings. It was a sale because of a marital situation, and I didn't want to be there while people looked at it. I also knew that the rental market for single family homes was extremely tight.

We moved into a cobwebby, rough-around-the edges rental. But the location and neighborhood are outstanding, and the rental is significantly below market now. So it's good as-is.

Home is where your heart is.

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When we were selling out house years ago, our realtor called it the HGTV effect.  We had to move out before it was ready and it sat for 6 months.  Then we had a pipe burst and it was off the market for 6 months undergoing repairs.  The repairs included brand new flooring throughout the house, brand new light fixtures through the entire downstairs, entire home fully repainted inside, etc.  And it STILL sat for 6 months after that, ad the only thing we could think is even though all that stuff was brand new, it was still not "fancy."  Not HGTV worthy.  The sort of stuff that people on those HGTV shows walk through a home going "oh, that's so dated the entire room is going to need to be re-done.  

 

I will say though, every so often I poke around the realtor sites to see what sorts of houses and prices are available out here and so much really is dated.  Like bathrooms with baby blue toilets, bath tubs and sinks.  lol.  

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I’m bummed to hear so much grey hate, lol.  I’m currently planning a greyvolution for my house!  But we’re not considering selling at this time.  I want it for me!  (It’s all been beige-ish for 14 years, except the kids’ rooms.)

I am in the place where I need to think about potential buyers down the road, but I’m not in an area where *really high end is expected.  Decent appliances, yes. Flooring that isn’t peel and stick, yes. But not fancy shmancy.

 

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8 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

say though, every so often I poke around the realtor sites to see what sorts of houses and prices are available out here and so much really is dated.  Like bathrooms with baby blue toilets, bath tubs and sinks lol. 

OMG, our house had a blue bathroom AND a pink bathroom when we bought it!  They each still have the pink and blue tub/shower inserts, and I can’t stand the idea of having to do anything about that when we eventually try to sell.  I can’t for the life of me understand why someone did that after 1962.

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2 hours ago, Ottakee said:

My decorating styles over the years have Included Early Attic, Modern Poverty, Craigslist Chic, Contemporary Castoffs, and Delightful Dumpster Dives.

Love this 😄  As sad as it is I think my style definitely resembles a mix of all the above right now.

I love to watch HGTV but then get mad LOL.   Not really mad but you know when they come in and say "oh these cabinets and counter tops are horrible, a complete gut and remodel has to happen"  And those are the cabinets & countertops I have now.  I mean I know my house is out of date/style but geez I don't have to hear it on national tv 🤣🤣

I like Rehab Addict, where she redoes old houses, in mostly the original style.  I love old houses.  I live in an old house and would love love love to have the money to do some of the stuff she does.   

Edited by Baseball mom
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23 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

OMG, our house had a blue bathroom AND a pink bathroom when we bought it!  They each still have the pink and blue tub/shower inserts, and I can’t stand the idea of having to do anything about that when we eventually try to sell.  I can’t for the life of me understand why someone did that after 1962.

My dad has moved out of his old house and I am getting it fixed up to sell.  He has a pink (that used to be mine) and blue bathroom -- LOL.  They were updated about 20 years back, but the tub and tile are still pink and blue.  We are doing a white glaze over both $400 each and it should look awesome.  His downstairs half bath is gold and brown with old wallpaper.  We are spending about $1,600 to get that all updated and wallpaper down.

In our case, the house next door to dad's was on the market and is now under contract.  I was able to walk through that house.  As part of the contract, the owners are having to do a lot of work to the inside and the landscaping.  My dad's house already shows better than theirs and has been well maintained, but we are spending about $15K to update it.  It should sell quickly and we are hoping to get $25K for the renos, which will get him an extra $10K.  The housing market here is hot right now.  There is a house down the street from his that has been on the market for 10 days.  I went to the open house.  It does not show well except for the living room, dining room, and kitchen, but they have a pool :-).  My dad has a big, beautiful, green backyard with a newer fence.  A family with little kids will love it.

Anyway, this is all so stressful!

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m bummed to hear so much grey hate, lol.  I’m currently planning a greyvolution for my house!  But we’re not considering selling at this time.  I want it for me!  (It’s all been beige-ish for 14 years, except the kids’ rooms.)

I am in the place where I need to think about potential buyers down the road, but I’m not in an area where *really high end is expected.  Decent appliances, yes. Flooring that isn’t peel and stick, yes. But not fancy shmancy.

 

We recently bought a house and had a greyvolution. I know other people are over grey but it’s new to me.  What you can’t see in the ‘before’ pic is that the blue paint has glitter in it.  This house was clearly not prepped to HGTV standards, but it sure makes my before and after pics dramatic. This was the LEAST offensive room in the whole house. 

Greyvolution!!!

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I always think, “remember houseplants?” Designed houses never have any (real) houseplants.* It’s like some sort of taboo against living vegetation. 

*Except when something like an herb garden wall has been incorporated into the design, but you know that isn’t gonna stay that way because it won’t work in practical Real Life. 

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We have had the best luck with selling empty houses and I prefer buying empty houses. Everything seems to go more smoothly.

Also, first-time house buyers seem to be the hardest to deal with- most susceptible to the HGTV effect.

And Annie G- what a great room! 

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7 minutes ago, MysteryJen said:

We have had the best luck with selling empty houses and I prefer buying empty houses. Everything seems to go more smoothly.

Also, first-time house buyers seem to be the hardest to deal with- most susceptible to the HGTV effect.

And Annie G- what a great room! 

Yes, us too.  My dad's house will be empty and we bought our house empty.  Our house was a short sale and it was kinds of colors and mess -- LOL.  We liked seeing it without the furniture though!

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Eh, house flipping has always been a thing, it's just that less people used to know about it.  I was raised by a mom who loved to buy an old house that was in good condition but cosmetically awful.  She'd paint everything, replace or remove carpets, renovate kitchens and bathrooms if needed, paint everything if not. This is obviously a vast generalization but most women make emotional decisions not logical ones, and emotionally you're going to choose the prettiest house in your budget.  Men choose large garages, new roofs and new plumbing, women choose based on which feels like home.

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3 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

Ha, yes!

I actually quite long for the days when selling your house didn't mean redecorating and putting everything in storage.  It's so wasteful and creates another expense that really is pointless when moving is already really expensive.  People used to tidy up, do a major cleaning, and paint or repair where it was actually needed, and somehow, people viewing homes managed to understand that the house was still a nice house and suitable for their needs.  

 

The last time we sold a house was in 2000 and all we had to do was clean up the yard, tidy up inside, and fix a few things. We were told the smell of baking bread or vanilla would help but wasn't necessary. There was no staging. I dread getting this house ready to sell. 

3 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

When we bought our current house three years ago it wasn't even cleaned, let alone staged. It looked like Herman Munster's house, literally full of cobwebs. I think it was on the market for a couple of months. Contrary to all current wisdom, we didn't put our last house on the market until after we'd moved and it was completely empty. We had a signed contract at full asking price in less than two weeks. I think a lot of what passes as the current wisdom/I HAVE to do these things to sell my house aren't true. Or at least they aren't in my area. I guess if you're in a very slow market maybe you need to jump through hoops. But the market in our area has never been anywhere near that bad, I don't think, and it's certainly not now.

I hope that's the case here. When dss and ddil sold their old house ddil went online and followed a few suggestions. They were small things like displaying yellow flowers, so she put a vase of sunflowers on the table, and did some other small stuff. The house sold in just a few days but I'm sure the fact that it was on a canal and had a dock was helpful. They also only had oldest grandson and he was under a year old so there was no kid mess yet. They hadn't lived there long so they really hadn't yet made it look totally lived in.

We don't have a kid mess anymore either but we have 19 years of living and collecting stuff. I've been decluttering and tossing things for months now. We have a lawn/landscaping service coming this week to give us an estimate on giving the outside some curb appeal. 

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

When we were selling out house years ago, our realtor called it the HGTV effect.  We had to move out before it was ready and it sat for 6 months.  Then we had a pipe burst and it was off the market for 6 months undergoing repairs.  The repairs included brand new flooring throughout the house, brand new light fixtures through the entire downstairs, entire home fully repainted inside, etc.  And it STILL sat for 6 months after that, ad the only thing we could think is even though all that stuff was brand new, it was still not "fancy."  Not HGTV worthy.  The sort of stuff that people on those HGTV shows walk through a home going "oh, that's so dated the entire room is going to need to be re-done.  

 

I will say though, every so often I poke around the realtor sites to see what sorts of houses and prices are available out here and so much really is dated.  Like bathrooms with baby blue toilets, bath tubs and sinks.  lol.  

 

So - here is a thing.  Back in the day, people used to pull original fixtures, architectural details, etc, from Victorian houses because they were dated.  Then, when they became too old to be dated, the ones with original fixtures were desirable, and people put all that stuff back in the ones that had been stripped, saying how crazy were people not to appreciate that stuff.

All those baby blue or pick fixtures are now rather rare as people took them out, along with often elaborate tiling that went with them, or the countertops with snazzy patterns, etc.  And now ... mid-century modern is being appreciated on its own terms, people are looking for places that haven't been stripped, and you can now buy some of the old products and colourways to replace those that have been removed.  

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

Eh, house flipping has always been a thing, it's just that less people used to know about it.  I was raised by a mom who loved to buy an old house that was in good condition but cosmetically awful.  She'd paint everything, replace or remove carpets, renovate kitchens and bathrooms if needed, paint everything if not. This is obviously a vast generalization but most women make emotional decisions not logical ones, and emotionally you're going to choose the prettiest house in your budget.  Men choose large garages, new roofs and new plumbing, women choose based on which feels like home.

 

I don't think this is the real issue though.  It's more the expectation, and this is more within certain price brackets, that things be "styled" .  It did not used to be the norm that people were expected to rent a storage locker in order to stage a house for selling, or that you practically had to move out to keep the place show ready.  And that being the case, people did not seem to have the same weird expectations about fairly minor things.

I knew people growing up that would flip houses as well, but I would not have said they styled them to nearly the same degree.

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

Eh, house flipping has always been a thing, it's just that less people used to know about it.  I was raised by a mom who loved to buy an old house that was in good condition but cosmetically awful.  She'd paint everything, replace or remove carpets, renovate kitchens and bathrooms if needed, paint everything if not. This is obviously a vast generalization but most women make emotional decisions not logical ones, and emotionally you're going to choose the prettiest house in your budget.  Men choose large garages, new roofs and new plumbing, women choose based on which feels like home.

Yeah, it was always a thing.  But I think the real problem is not so much the flipping shows, but the house hunter type shows.  Over and over and over, there is some version of 'OMG that bathroom/kitchen/bedroom/house/ is so dated and unacceptable, the whole thing will need to be gutted and redone. '  It gives people this idea that any counter that isn't quartz (or whatever the current tv trend is) is not really good enough.  But seriously, it's a counter top.  It doesn't need to be the most expensive kind in order to function well.  

12 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

So - here is a thing.  Back in the day, people used to pull original fixtures, architectural details, etc, from Victorian houses because they were dated.  Then, when they became too old to be dated, the ones with original fixtures were desirable, and people put all that stuff back in the ones that had been stripped, saying how crazy were people not to appreciate that stuff.

All those baby blue or pick fixtures are now rather rare as people took them out, along with often elaborate tiling that went with them, or the countertops with snazzy patterns, etc.  And now ... mid-century modern is being appreciated on its own terms, people are looking for places that haven't been stripped, and you can now buy some of the old products and colourways to replace those that have been removed.  

So, what you are saying is that, if I buy one of those houses with the funky baby blue tubs and tile, I can rip it out and install the garden tub I really want, but sell the baby blue one to someone who wants that "mid century modern" look and recoup my costs?🤣

 

And, JFTR, I have grown to hate the term "mid century modern"  Not that that is your fault lol

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We sold our house and bought a different one last summer.  IME, in our area, there was not a lot of staging going on.  I think some of that was due to the price range we were looking in.

I was a bit nervous about it for our house.  We didn't have the time or the money to rent storage for our things to "declutter" the house.  Our agent didn't suggest it either.  His only suggestions were things we needed to do to make our house FHA compliant.  We were, however, in a great position to sell.  Our house type was in high demand and very few were on the market.  We kept it clean, but otherwise nothing else.  It sold within three days on being on the market, and we had two offers to choose from.

Houses we looked at were mostly picked up, but only one of the many we saw was staged.  We liked that one, but not the staging which we thought made it too impersonal, but the price was way over what it was worth.  The house we bought had a bit of work done to make it look more appealing, mostly yard work.  We hated the paint colors in the main living area and that is the first thing we changed when we moved in.

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5 hours ago, Ottakee said:

My decorating styles over the years have Included Early Attic, Modern Poverty, Craigslist Chic, Contemporary Castoffs, and Delightful Dumpster Dives.

😆

The finishes in this house are, um, Authentic Late 20th Century Builder's Grade, but a lot of our furnishings are Vintage Early Apartment. Only the discerning visitor will pick that out, though, as many will be distracted by the Functioning Homeschool look and the Not-So-Sleek Technology Enthusiasm.

What does one give a couch for its twentieth, anyway? Coming up on that this summer. (Can't be anything big, as I plan to spend some money removing the mint green and pink iridescent wallpaper, the equally well-thought-out rusting, floral-shaped light fixtures and fake-marble floor tiles in the master bath.)

DH knows I'd prefer to keep a house much closer to marketable than this, even though we don't plan to move any time soon. It's a good market, anyway, because all the new houses within a few miles are twice as big & three times as expensive as they should be. But I would not like to deal with buyers who want new-house perfection in this price range.

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37 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

All those baby blue or pick fixtures are now rather rare as people took them out, along with often elaborate tiling that went with them, or the countertops with snazzy patterns, etc.  And now ... mid-century modern is being appreciated on its own terms, people are looking for places that haven't been stripped, and you can now buy some of the old products and colourways to replace those that have been removed.  

Our previous house (rental) had pink fixtures - toilet, tub, sink - and I actually really liked it.  The surrounding tile was creamy white with pink and gold accents and I thought it looked nice.  I've seen some bathrooms that kind of went nuts with pink everything that I didn't like, but this one was well done.  Of all the original mid-60s things in that house, the bathroom was one of my favorites.  (And, actually, I found the heavy curtains really practical in winter.  And the harvest gold carpet grew on me ;).  It wasn't blah while also not being garish and it went with more than you'd think.)

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50 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Yeah, it was always a thing.  But I think the real problem is not so much the flipping shows, but the house hunter type shows.  Over and over and over, there is some version of 'OMG that bathroom/kitchen/bedroom/house/ is so dated and unacceptable, the whole thing will need to be gutted and redone. '  It gives people this idea that any counter that isn't quartz (or whatever the current tv trend is) is not really good enough.  But seriously, it's a counter top.  It doesn't need to be the most expensive kind in order to function well.  

So, what you are saying is that, if I buy one of those houses with the funky baby blue tubs and tile, I can rip it out and install the garden tub I really want, but sell the baby blue one to someone who wants that "mid century modern" look and recoup my costs?🤣

 

And, JFTR, I have grown to hate the term "mid century modern"  Not that that is your fault lol

 

Yes, yes you probably could.  Good reason to try and keep it looking nice if you can.  In some places there are some warehouse reno type businesses that collect this sort of thing to sell.  I think to get the maximum return you'd need to sell it to the right people, so to speak, so advertise it in the right place.

Mid-century modern is overused now, because it is trendy.  I expect that will cool down after a while.  And maybe get more specific -it sometimes seems a bit odd to consider the decorating of the 40's as being the same as the 70's, they seem so different.  Though i think part of the reason it is popular is so many people live in housing from that period, and often so furniture etc from that era tends to fit in well in those homes.

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Kind of depends on the market doesn’t it? It wasn’t that long ago when people were buying sight unseen just snatch up something before they got outbid. We’ve bought in all markets. The only thing that really got in our way was clutter. There was one beautiful house that had so many knick-knacks and plants that is was hard to see past it and it made the rooms seem so much smaller. We might have liked it otherwise. 

Maybe this would depend on where you are buying and selling, but basic design and cleaning goes a long way. If at the very least clear out clutter, remove as much furniture as you can and don’t have any crazy colors. You can always offer a painting credit through escrow. 

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43 minutes ago, forty-two said:

Our previous house (rental) had pink fixtures - toilet, tub, sink - and I actually really liked it.  The surrounding tile was creamy white with pink and gold accents and I thought it looked nice.  I've seen some bathrooms that kind of went nuts with pink everything that I didn't like, but this one was well done.  Of all the original mid-60s things in that house, the bathroom was one of my favorites.  (And, actually, I found the heavy curtains really practical in winter.  And the harvest gold carpet grew on me ;).  It wasn't blah while also not being garish and it went with more than you'd think.)

 

Pink isn't my favourite, though I've seen some nice ones too.  I actually really like the blue, I feel like it is a good colour for a bathroom, and I've seen some in yellow in black that were absolutely beautiful, which kind of surprised me.  I just can't enjoy the avocado ones, but apart from that I find those coloured fixtures really happy looking when done well.  And I am a sucker for nice tilework.

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4 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m bummed to hear so much grey hate, lol.  I’m currently planning a greyvolution for my house!  But we’re not considering selling at this time.  I want it for me!  (It’s all been beige-ish for 14 years, except the kids’ rooms.)

I am in the place where I need to think about potential buyers down the road, but I’m not in an area where *really high end is expected.  Decent appliances, yes. Flooring that isn’t peel and stick, yes. But not fancy shmancy.

 

you should do what makes you happy.    I like grey too - but mixed with colors... not just white, gray, black.   Our previous house was beige everywhere.  That is bad too, IMHO.  Some is okay... all over is not. 

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There was an article in my feed this morning about everyone tiring of the open concept plan that Fixer Upper always defaulted to.  I have sort of an open concept and yes, kitchens can be loud and so can TVs. Sometimes the noise competes against each other and I end up hearing the tv better in the bathroom than in the room with the tv. 

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Yeah, it was always a thing.  But I think the real problem is not so much the flipping shows, but the house hunter type shows.  Over and over and over, there is some version of 'OMG that bathroom/kitchen/bedroom/house/ is so dated and unacceptable, the whole thing will need to be gutted and redone. '  It gives people this idea that any counter that isn't quartz (or whatever the current tv trend is) is not really good enough.  But seriously, it's a counter top.  It doesn't need to be the most expensive kind in order to function well.  

So, what you are saying is that, if I buy one of those houses with the funky baby blue tubs and tile, I can rip it out and install the garden tub I really want, but sell the baby blue one to someone who wants that "mid century modern" look and recoup my costs?🤣

 

And, JFTR, I have grown to hate the term "mid century modern"  Not that that is your fault lol

 

And you know what I HATE more than anything?  When granite or quartz is slapped onto old cabinets.  There is one house we are looking at in a very nice neighbhorhood but it needs some updating.  The cabinets are older and the countertop is corian.  You know what?  That doesn't even bother me!  I would rather save up and get new cabinets and countertops than have them rip the corian out and put nice countertops on those old cabinets.

 

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1 hour ago, Loowit said:

We sold our house and bought a different one last summer.  IME, in our area, there was not a lot of staging going on.  I think some of that was due to the price range we were looking in.

I was a bit nervous about it for our house.  We didn't have the time or the money to rent storage for our things to "declutter" the house.  Our agent didn't suggest it either.  His only suggestions were things we needed to do to make our house FHA compliant.  We were, however, in a great position to sell.  Our house type was in high demand and very few were on the market.  We kept it clean, but otherwise nothing else.  It sold within three days on being on the market, and we had two offers to choose from.

Houses we looked at were mostly picked up, but only one of the many we saw was staged.  We liked that one, but not the staging which we thought made it too impersonal, but the price was way over what it was worth.  The house we bought had a bit of work done to make it look more appealing, mostly yard work.  We hated the paint colors in the main living area and that is the first thing we changed when we moved in.

 

I find the staged houses impersonal as well. And I find it a bit frustrating when I see something has been renewed to sell, but I hate it!

I've kind of come to the conclusion that with very petty things, like not buying because of photographs in the house - there is no pleasing people like that.  There is just no way to know what will set that type of person off. If you tone it down to the point where nothing possibly could offend it will be bland and impersonal, and some people won't like that either.

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I absolutely cannot watch HGTV type shows. They make me so twitchy! People seem so shallow and greedy on these shows. I'm going, "be thankful you have a roof over your head with modern plumbing, refrigeration, and heating and air conditioning!" 

We are in the process of buying a house right now and the tub has to go. Its riddled with hairline cracks, you can tell there is mold behind the poorly installed shower surround, its really terrible. And here I am feeling guilty for tossing it. I've found myself trying to think of some way to repurpose that nasty tub so it doesn't have to go to the landfill! 🤣 

Another conundrum is the toilet. It is super old and has a huge tank. So if we change it out to a water efficient one, we save on water usage but the old toilet is, once again, in the landfill! 🤔 

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1 minute ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I find the staged houses impersonal as well. And I find it a bit frustrating when I see something has been renewed to sell, but I hate it!

I've kind of come to the conclusion that with very petty things, like not buying because of photographs in the house - there is no pleasing people like that.  There is just no way to know what will set that type of person off. If you tone it down to the point where nothing possibly could offend it will be bland and impersonal, and some people won't like that either.

 

Right?  

I had a thread a while ago about how I didn't like any of the kitchens I was finding.  And then I realized that it is probably because I don't like the current trends in kitchens.  I want some character and interest......stone and wood and craftsman-y.  Everything I see is sterile and bland or that nasty yellowish with the pickled (darker color) type inlay.  BLECH!

maybe something like this:

Related image

 

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2 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I don't think this is the real issue though.  It's more the expectation, and this is more within certain price brackets, that things be "styled" .  It did not used to be the norm that people were expected to rent a storage locker in order to stage a house for selling, or that you practically had to move out to keep the place show ready.  And that being the case, people did not seem to have the same weird expectations about fairly minor things.

I knew people growing up that would flip houses as well, but I would not have said they styled them to nearly the same degree.

 

IDK that you "must" style things anywhere, but you're leaving money on the table if you don't.  Because even if it's obnoxious and costs money, it costs more to not do it.  I agree that it didn't used to be so pervasive, or added as a throw in with certain realtors the way it is now.

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And my friend who does organizing/staging for a living is having a fit that I don't see the need to change out my bedstand lights.  She keeps saying they are buffet lamps and not nightstand lights.  But to me, they hold regular light bulbs and are bright, so what is the issue?  I am not spending $70+ to buy new bedside lamps.  

And she is upset that we are using our current bedspread and not buying a new, plain colored bedspread and new pillow shams.  No......just no.  I have been viewing homes and even the higher end homes often have patterned bedspreads.  Ours is pretty benign.....rectangular patterns, Pottery Barn bedspread.

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Houses are certainly "staged" in our area to obtain the maximum selling price, but – and this is heartening since I dread doing that and our house has that "lived-in" look 😂 (luckily we aren't planning to sell, ever!) – in our crazy area many houses sell within a few days, so staging is not an absolute necessity. Even in the 1990s, the house we bought (and still live in) was on the market for only 4 hours (one afternoon). The people living in it had 3 kids, including a baby, and the house was full of their stuff (and a dog). 

This house in Oakland (my son used to run by it) was on the market for $400k last year and became a meme for insane Bay Area real estate prices – I just checked it out and oh my gosh it sold for $686k and is now valued at $795k (location, location ...). Obviously it was valuable only for the land and location.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/1091-Alcatraz-Ave-Oakland,-CA,-94608_rb/

Anyway, not trying to brag! haha. And my house looks a little nicer than this one. It's a big, big problem here (the sky-high housing prices), driving many people out of state who would prefer to stay, or giving others monster commutes (and clogging the freeways) b/c property IS affordable an hour or two to the east of the Bay Area.783495780_ScreenShot2019-03-25at2_14_43PM.thumb.png.6189445ae87d32c3ae07d60040e9ec10.png

Edited by Laura in CA
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7 hours ago, Annie G said:

We recently bought a house and had a greyvolution. I know other people are over grey but it’s new to me.  What you can’t see in the ‘before’ pic is that the blue paint has glitter in it.  This house was clearly not prepped to HGTV standards, but it sure makes my before and after pics dramatic. This was the LEAST offensive room in the whole house. 

Greyvolution!!!

 

 

I love grey and had it in the townhouse I owned when dh and I met. It was very 80s (we met in 1992). I love knowing that grey came back but I'll wait to have grey walls  until we get to our new place, even it it's out of style again by that time. I know not everyone loves it but it's my favorite neutral color. I love your after photo. Greyvolution!

8 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

 

I will say though, every so often I poke around the realtor sites to see what sorts of houses and prices are available out here and so much really is dated.  Like bathrooms with baby blue toilets, bath tubs and sinks.  lol.  

 

5 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

So - here is a thing.  Back in the day, people used to pull original fixtures, architectural details, etc, from Victorian houses because they were dated.  Then, when they became too old to be dated, the ones with original fixtures were desirable, and people put all that stuff back in the ones that had been stripped, saying how crazy were people not to appreciate that stuff.

All those baby blue or pick fixtures are now rather rare as people took them out, along with often elaborate tiling that went with them, or the countertops with snazzy patterns, etc.  And now ... mid-century modern is being appreciated on its own terms, people are looking for places that haven't been stripped, and you can now buy some of the old products and colourways to replace those that have been removed.  

Anyone wanting that retro look would have loved this house when we bought it 19 years ago. We renovated completely (while living here with a toddler - not fun). It had blue/green shag carpet, orange counter tops - yes orange lol - with dark brown laminate cabinets, the master bathroom had a harvest gold toilet with baby puke yellow wall tiles, and the main bathroom had a blue tub, blue sink, and blue & white tiny floor tiles. If we hadn't ripped all that stuff out we'd probably be able to sell the house quicker. Right now it screams early 2000s which is not as desirable as mid-twentieth century. 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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9 hours ago, Ottakee said:

My decorating styles over the years have Included Early Attic, Modern Poverty, Craigslist Chic, Contemporary Castoffs, and Delightful Dumpster Dives.

I've had those styles as well as First Apartment College Student. 

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24 minutes ago, Laura in CA said:

Houses are certainly "staged" in our area to obtain the maximum selling price, but – and this is heartening since I dread doing that and our house has that "lived-in" look 😂 (luckily we aren't planning to sell, ever!) – in our crazy area many houses sell within a few days, so staging is not an absolute necessity. Even in the 1990s, the house we bought (and still live in) was on the market for only 4 hours (one afternoon). The people living in it had 3 kids, including a baby, and the house was full of their stuff (and a dog). 

This house in Oakland (my son used to run by it) was on the market for $400k last year and became a meme for insane Bay Area real estate prices – I just checked it out and oh my gosh it sold for $686k and is now valued at $795k (location, location ...). Obviously it was valuable only for the land and location.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/1091-Alcatraz-Ave-Oakland,-CA,-94608_rb/

Anyway, not trying to brag! haha. And my house looks a little nicer than this one. It's a big, big problem here (the sky-high housing prices), driving many people out of state who would prefer to stay, or giving others monster commutes (and clogging the freeways) b/c property IS affordable an hour or two to the east of the Bay Area.783495780_ScreenShot2019-03-25at2_14_43PM.thumb.png.6189445ae87d32c3ae07d60040e9ec10.png

 

Yeah, this wasn't my house, but it was down the street from where I used to live:

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/20911926_zpid/34.226848,-118.07376,34.116494,-118.188086_rect/12_zm/1_fr/

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14 minutes ago, Annie G said:

Oh Dawn, I know your organizer/stager is a lovely woman and she helped you so much...but the bedside lamp and bedspread advice would irritate me. Hope your house sells fast so you can minimize your stress. 

 

Yeah, she gets a little wiggy over things I just don't think are big deals.  It is ok, we will move past the buffet lamps (I have never even heard that term before, that is how NOT a decorated I am!) . 

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Our “new” home built in 1955 has a baby blue bathroom- tub, tile, toilet 🙂 it’s retro these days, right?!?

It’s staying for now, BUT the red and gold shag carpeting on the basement stairs to the dark faux wood paneled basement is going soon, lol!! 

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We've only sold one house, but it was in the late '90's. We told the realtor we were selling the house "as is" and weren't doing a thing to it for new buyers. We had spent years fixing it up because it was a very old, run down house when we bought it. If we were going to do any more work or spend any more money, we would have done it for ourselves. The house sold quickly for exactly what it was worth.

ETA: Dh and I both have backgrounds in design and I've even done interior design. We can spot a staged house a mile away and...yuck. We're too busy looking at the actual house to care about your furniture, clutter, photos, paint, or other stuff. Also, we've had clients with such a huge variety of tastes in design that I'm not sure that staging is as valuable as realtors think.

Edited by mom2scouts
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9 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

We've only sold one house, but it was in the late '90's. We told the realtor we were selling the house "as is" and weren't doing a thing to it for new buyers. We had spent years fixing it up because it was a very old, run down house when we bought it. If we were going to do any more work or spend any more money, we would have done it for ourselves. The house sold quickly for exactly what it was worth.

 

We bought and sold 3 California houses, we didn't stage or fix up or get stuff into storage at all.

But this is a very different market.  

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Our decor is Basic Barn and Retro Rancher. We'll charge extra for the "authentic" manure currently tracked all over my back porch!

And as I typed that, I realized that we also have Modern Mouse going on in the walls. 

Fortunately, we will never sell this house; we'll saddle dd with it!

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31 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

We bought and sold 3 California houses, we didn't stage or fix up or get stuff into storage at all.

But this is a very different market.  

 

Yes, when a bidding war is likely, you have to judge if some work will escalate or not be worth it. On one house we sold, the fixing did indeed escalate the bidding to several dozen buyers because it was move-in ready. Nothing expensive though -- mostly paint and a dark stain on the floors with a very deep clean (the owner was a hoarder). 

Another one, we just cleaned it really well because it was in a tear-down neighborhood. Also got a bidding war. They tore it down and built a 6,000 sq. ft. house.

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The best house I ever lived in and probably will ever own was on the market for three summers.  There was orange shag carpet in the basement, and the kitchen needed updating.  People couldn't see past the carpet and kitchen to see the magnificent bones in that house, how well it lived, how it was a dream for living small but "grew" to be able to host parties of a hundred people.  

The YARD (as in "none") almost kept me from seeing what was there.  I called DH and said, "I think I found THE house...but it's got problems.  Aluminum windows and no yard."  DH:  "We'll replace the windows.  How big is the lot, and how big is the house?"  Me:  "Third of an acre and a 2000sf footprint."  DH:  "There's a yard there, then.  We'll just have to find it."  And we did...and the landscape architect who did the design won a big award for it at the Annual House and Garden Show...the only house that wasn't an "estate" with a stream running through the property and a full-time gardener.  

And...when we sold it, the first thing the buyers did was rip out all the beautiful landscaping and plant lavender everywhere.  :::eye roll:::  Lavender is pretty for like 2 months and then it is gray sticks.  It was just astonishing to me.  That landscape made the house like living in a stained-glass window for 10 months out of the year...but nooooooo.  Lavender.  Good grief.  

 

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