3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality Some Highlights: Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without
5 Telltale Signs Your Home Is Hopelessly Outdated
1. Dated, boring fixtures and hardware
2015 was the year of mixed metals, such as silver and bronze—but somehow, gold missed the memo that it wasn’t invited to the party. If you’re still sporting gold appliances and fixtures—and your surname isn’t Trump—consider a makeover before putting your home on the market.
“Gold can give a home an outdated, ’80s feel,” Johnson says. He suggests replacing it with a modern material, like brushed nickel.
While you’re at it, give your other hardware a once-over—are your doorknobs a boring chrome? Or your cabinet handles a loud, dated brass?
Even exchanging beige outlet plates for white ones can make a huge difference.
“This is a detail we often overlook when it’s our own home and we see it everyday, but can go a long way in showcasing the home as fresh and move-in ready,” she says.
2. Tiled countertops
You might not give much thought to your kitchen and bathroom countertops, but potential buyers certainly will. Consider ditching your old-school tiled countertops before a sale.
“They’re dated, it’s hard to keep the grout clean, and what do you do when a tile chips or breaks?” says Beverly Hills Realtor Kary Bartmasser. “The more work a buyer has to do, the more scared they get.”
You don’t have to opt for full-on granite—materials such as quartz and silestone are attractive and unlikely to go out of style in the next 10 years.
3. Popcorn ceilings
ceiling photo: Matt Gross
It Came From Outer Space: Universal
Come on. You know better. You should have scraped off that terrible popcorn ceiling years ago, but you’ve procrastinated, and procrastinated, and… well, just do it now. Do we really have to explain why?
“These significantly date a home and look like a giant, messy project to potential buyers,” Finch says.
Considering how simple they are to remove, there’s no reason to keep putting this off—just hire an affordable contractor, and don’t forget to check for asbestos.
4. Carpeted bathrooms
We’re not going to sugarcoat this one: It’s not the ’90s anymore—rip out your master-bathroom carpeting already.
Yes, it’s unpleasant to tread across the cold, tiled floor—but that’s what a bathmat is for.
“You know what else is unpleasant?” Riordan asks.“Mold in your carpet pad.” Seriouslyunpleasant.
5. Wood paneling
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images
Let’s take a step back, first: If you have a stunning Arts and Crafts home with gorgeous wooden wainscoting, that is not what we’re talking about here. Leave it alone—and treasure it.
But if your basement screams “That ’70s Show,” do something about it before listing.
“Wood paneling instantly dates a home,” Johnson says.“If you can’t afford to rip it out and replace it, paint it a neutral color to make it feel more modern and up-to-date.”
It’s amazing what white paint can do to make a dark, dreary room feel like somewhere you actually want to live.
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