House Hunting Dealbreakers: What Makes a Home Look Dated?

I don’t know why, but I totally freak out every time Apartment Therapy has a “DON’T DO THIS, IT WILL INSTANTLY MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK DATED!” Article. So let’s talk about it, readers—if you’ve been shopping for a home recently, what are the trends and features you absolutely hate to see in a house? If you bought a “fixer upper” or splurged on a house with an outdated trend, how did you handle it? (If you’ve sold a house that had one of these dealbreakers, did you try to deal with it before putting it on the market — or just sell the house for what you could get so the buyer could do what they wanted? What (with those of you who inherited older homes after a parent died or moved into a nursing home – what did you do with more dated features?)

related: tips and tricks for buying a home

I recall looking to buy a studio apartment in NYC in the mid-2000s. The one that had the layout and location I liked had a big dealbreaker: the previous owner had glued mirrors to most of the house’s walls. (I still bid on it several times, and lost several times. Sigh.)

When my husband and I were looking to buy an apartment a few years later, we seriously considered an apartment that we called the “Miami Vice apartment” because stacked glass blocks were a big feature in the kitchen and living room.

We ended up going with another apartment with some odd features – an unusual layout with lots of diagonal walls, painted in super dark colors. But those were features we felt up to tackling, so we ended up with it and were really glad we did.

related: how to furnish your first real apartment

(Something that bothered us from the start that I wish we had addressed: the orange parquet floor. Refinishing or replacing it before we moved in would have been ideal, but I just didn’t think about it that way at the time. Of course, after you move in, it’s a huge pain to do the floors…)

related: what to do first when buying a home

I know I’ve seen friends complain about house hunting in the suburbs and seeing old kitchens, an outdated wood color on all the trim throughout the house, wallpaper everywhere, bathroom carpeting, and more.

What are some of your biggest pet peeves in apartments and houses? If you’ve been looking to buy or sell recently, what did you perceive as the biggest dealbreakers?

(Side question: what are your favorite sources of real estate content? I’m addicted Zillow Gone Wild on Instagram and I like to play the NYT game “which apartment did they buy.” I also like to drool over WSJ real estate section. And of course, Apartment Therapy In the past I loved House huntersand Property brothers was literally all I saw during one of my maternity leaves.)

Stock photo via Pexels / RODNAE Productions.

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