What’s new in old houses

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you’re thinking of renovating, of course, figure out what speaks to you.  One word of warning though, don’t over-do it!  What do I mean? Take your neighborhood into consideration and don’t over build or over update. “Why not,” you ask, “it’s my house?!”  Well, let’s say the average price of a home in your neighborhood is $250,000.  Let’s also say that most of your neighbors have updated their homes with laminate floors, granite counter tops in the kitchen and bath, and carpet in the bedrooms. If you were to renovate your home by adding a new wing, real hardwood flooring throughout, and marble counter tops, you might expect to be able to ask $350,000 for you home when you go to sell it because that’s what you have in equity and spent in renovations on those expensive finishes.  Sadly, your home is now the most expensive in the neighborhood and that makes it much harder to sell and appraise for the asking price.  How do you avoid this?  Call a trusted adviser, a Realtor® with experience evaluating properties that can help you make sure you don’t over do it.  With that word to the wise, let’s check out what’s new for 2016!

With homeowners reluctant to sell amid the rise of new residents, and with new construction home prices soaring in the most popular areas, many of North Texas’ would-be homeowners are opting for older homes and updating them.  It’s pretty remarkable what new life you can breathe into an old space with a bit of reconfiguration.

The home featured is currently for sale and under contract (as of 5/2/2016) in Arlington, TX, and was originally built in 1961.  The outside is lovely, with wonderful curb appeal and most of it’s 1960’s charm.  The owners used a fresh color for the exterior trim and a new door to add new life to  the front entry.


Inside, it still has a few tell-tale signs of it’s era of origin with the round air conditioning vent covers in the ceiling, long formal living room, and wide widow shapes.  But by opening up the formal living spaces to the kitchen and second living space, you can update the feel and flow of the home without changing the layout too much.  White and gray color schemes are replacing the warmer beige tones that I’ve seen in last years, along with dark wood tones for flooring with wide white base boards to accent.  And while recessed lighting is not cheap but it will certainly change the feel of a room quickly.

Formal Living/Dining Combo
Family Room

Stainless Steel appliances are all the rage and white kitchens have made a comeback but with a slight twist.  Shaker style cabinets (flat front, simple design) without hardware or pulls seem to be the new favorite, combine with light colored stone counter tops to produce a sleek contemporary look.  Adding a few display cabinets with windows is a nice way to showcase special pieces, and a breakfast bar is always a nice touch if you have the space.  This is not your grandmother’s all white country kitchen, but they did include a lovely under mount farm sink to finish the look.



Granite in the bathrooms is now a must for the updated home, so throw out the scalloped cultured marble and opt for oiled bronze or stainless finishes in your gray and white guest bath.

When you update, don’t forget the little things!  Light switches, electrical face plates, doors (knobs and hinges!), towel bars, and faucets can all date a home terribly.  So toss the almond light switches and electrical covers, lose the brass door fixtures, or faucets and get something new and fresh.  Changing out closet doors and knobs in this room made a big difference in taking it from 1961 to 2016.


But whatever you do, make sure it feels like your home.  You’re the one living in it after all, so if you still like a few of the old things mixed in with the new, that’s OK too.  Picking a color scheme or a theme and sticking with it can help coordinate the various elements of a room or home.  For example, they’ve taken an old piece of furniture and added new pulls to give it new life as the vanity for the master bath.


To see the listing for this house or start your own search follow the link to my site here. Happy updating!

Thanks for stopping by!  I’m Emerald, and I’m glad we’ve found each other.  It is my sincerest hope that you will gain insight, inspiration, a bit of education, and even a laugh or two while reading through the upcoming posts.  If there’s a question you have about Real Estate, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I’ll do my best to get a post out to answer it.


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