I love HGTV. Divine Design, Curb Appeal, Selling New York and, my favorite, House Hunters. Yes, I’ll admit I find the search for the beach villa in Turkey far more engaging than the cute couple buying their first condo in Knoxville. The shows are all generally hopeful; though more than a little aspirational and definitely escapist.
It’s not all fantasy, however. I think the popularity of these home shows has had a noticeable effect on the real estate market in terms how buyers value and prioritize the condition of homes.
The old saying was ‘location, location, location’. Now it seems to be ‘price, condition, location’. Many buyers will not even give a first look to a home without granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, exposed wood floors, and a master suite. It’s become almost Pavlovian where the house that needs updating on an otherwise desirable street gets passed over for new construction hanging over the railroad tracks so to speak.
I completely understand in this busy, busy world why people just want to drop their bags and settle in. My husband and I have been renovating our home since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Construction is noisy, messy and expensive and, given the drop in prices after 2008 and the nightmare stories (on HGTV) about renovations gone wrong, it can also be daunting and risky.
Here’s an eternal truth as I see it though. Everything that is new becomes old.
You will eventually have to replace those shiny appliances, re-paint walls, re-sand floors and, shockingly, granite counter tops may even go out of style. When all this happens, hopefully you have chosen a home in a neighborhood that makes you happy and fits your life. Maybe you really are a train enthusiast!
So when your real estate agent brings you to see that ‘great opportunity’ on the ‘sought-after’ street, realize that green shag carpet can be pulled up, Pepto pink bath tile can be replaced and Laura Ashley wallpaper circa 1980 usually doesn’t take much to scrape off.
HGTV is a guilty pleasure for many of us; an inside look at the house we would own if we had endless money and were born decorators. But when it comes to the reality of home buying, like many other things in life, know yourself first, be open and be brave.
Darien real estate:
- (property transfers)
- (videos for homes on the market)
Property transfers columns in other Patch communities:
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