Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: What's Hot and What's Not

What's Hot and What's Not

I got my new REALTOR® Magazine today, and I've just started thumbing through it.  I landed on a chart of "What's Hot" and "What's Not" for current trends.  On the list, there were some no-brainers like the fact that people are liking Earth tones instead of the cold, modern look.  Multiple photos within the listing are hot instead of just one picture, DUH!

Here a few that surprised me.  I've read several places that Bamboo flooring was just a phase and that they don't hold up as well as once thought, but the research is saying they're hot.  Award Patina Relics

Another thing on the list is that McMansions are out and "cozy, small homes on a big lot" are hot.  WHAT?  Where did they get that information?  All my buyers want as big as possible for the money.  Even empty nesters are buying bigger instead of down-sizing.

The main one that surprised me is that Granite counters are out.  According to the research compiled, Marble, limestone, and concrete counters are Hot.  Huh?  Concrete? I thought tile counters went out because the mortar was a great place for bacteria to grow.  Concrete aand limestone both bsorbs moisture too, don't they?  Am I wrong?  Marble counters in the kitchen?  Marble goes in the bathrooms in my area.  I'm not sure I want my Kitchen to look like my bathroom.Giallo Veneziano Fiorito

For disclosure purposes, this was not research that REALTOR® Magazine did.  They just reported the findings from: Steve Melman, director of economic services, National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; Bruce Wentworth, president, Wentworth Inc., a residential remodeling companyin Chevy Chase, Md.

Are these trends you're seeing in your areas?  I can tell you Granite is hotter than ever!  Hand-scraped hardwoods is the big thing to have, and Bigger is Better when it comes to house sizes in my current experience and market.  Let me hear you!

Remember, I work all of North Dallas County and Collin County including Richardson, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Garland, Rowlett, McKinney, etc... my car will take us anywhere you need to go!!

Comment balloon 10 commentsDonna Harris • March 01 2007 02:43PM

Comments

Actually, concrete counters are gorgeous.  Very sleek and contemporary.  But, I've heard many times that they tend to crack.  And, they're expensive, as not many people have the skills to install them.

I believe you can seal limestone, marble and cement counters, similar to how you seal granite.  Marble counters in the kitchen are great for baking.  I've often seen high-end kitchens with one marble counter area just for baking.

I, too, had recently heard from an appraiser that granite counters are no longer in vogue.  I don't believe it.  Every buyer I've ever had has gotten excited when they saw a kitchen had granite counters - it's still seen as modern, as a status symbol, and as an expense they won't need to add in later during a remodel...

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Don, why is marble good for baking?  Everything I've been reading says marble cannot take the direct heat straight from the oven.

As for limestone, that's what is used on the outsides of homes along with the brick.  I can't picture limestone suitable for counters, but I haven't seen those on any websites yet.

Granite is so popular in my area that it's even making its way into the bathrooms on the counters and in the showers in the higher prices.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago

Boomers I have (and are) worked (ing) with are downsizing. 

For some reason people here don't need the mansions like they do in the midwest.  They want it small and easy to manage and highly upgraded.  It is a mindset probably.  My parents live in the midwest and just halved the size of their home just in time for their sixtieth birthdays. 

I still don't understand why my brother needs storage that has more square feet than my entire home.  Why don't you just get rid of stuff?  That's what I think.

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 11 years ago

Donna - I knew you were going to ask me questions that I didn't have the answers for!

I did some quick online research:  Yes, limestone counters can be sealed.  They're natural stone, so they're sealed similarly to granite and marble.  According to this site, there are different varieties of limestone and some are less porous then others, making them suitable for kitchen countertops.

As for marble countertops, I didn't find this online, but they tend to stay cold, so when your making a pie crust or any pastry, the cold countertop doesn't melt the butter in the dough.  That's why sometimes, in real high-end kitchens, you'll see a section of countertop that is marble, just for baking.

I've been seeing granite in bathrooms for a while now, for both floors and counters.  It does add a bit of elegance to the bathrooms.

Silestone is supposed ot be a good option instead of granite these days.  I think it looks great, but in general, I find that buyers still want granite.

As for Renee's comment above:  large houses with lots of storage.  I love it!  We're looking at options to finish our basement, but without giving up the storage!  Maybe it's because I have three kids with lots of "stuff" but large rooms with lots of storage is great.  The problem is instead of getting rid of stuff, it somehow manages to spread out more and more...

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Don and Donna:  Please don't take what I said the wrong way.  I guess I just don't get why people have to upsize because they have "more stuff" or get a bigger house because they need places to put their stuff.
Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 11 years ago

Renee - No offense taken at all. I was just admitting that I am one of those who was always seeking the bigger house...more storage...bigger rooms, etc.  I'm finally in a house that I can see us potentially staying in for the long term.  Though we're already talking about finishing the basement, converting the two-car garage into living space and adding a 3-car garage, expanding the kitchen, etc. I need to win the lottery!

Unfortunately, no matter what size house you have, the "stuff" seems to spread out.  It is a constant battle to avoid clutter.  But my formal living and dining rooms always look good!  (Yes - I keep the kids out of them!)

 

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Granite is still popular here. We're seeing concrete only in loft type condos, the ones with the exposed ductwork. I did see concrete counters in a nice luxury home some years ago, but it sat on the market forever. We're seeing some Silestone, Cambria, etc but most of that replicates the granite that has a regular pattern throughout, while many people like the uniqueness of granite pieces.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 11 years ago
I was watching "This Old House" and they redid a house with Limestone counters... it looked industrial, almost like what I had pictures concrete counters looking like... I'm not sure I would like that look in my house, but I can see how some would.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago

Donna,

There you go again looking at national information reported to our market. That seems to be a recurring theme. The Dallas Business Journal did a big article on how "McMansions" are good for property values and for the areas they are revitalizing. The demand for them in the Dallas market is up. I can't find the article but it was over 25% if I remember correctly.

I suppose people in Olgonquit, ME may like a cottage on 10 acres and perhaps there is some downsizing among those in the suburban DC area. However, why someone thinks that translates to north Texas is beyond me.

Ken

Posted by Ken Stampe, iBrandPlan (iBrandPlan.com - Grow your e-Profile & Brand) over 11 years ago

Hey Ken!  Yes, I saw that article.  I like to point out the National stuff to show people who read my blog that listening to National news does not help them in our current market.  I love the McMansions.  It helps get property values up to help our appreciation and it gets rid of the "crap shacks" as I call them. 

Now, if people would stop listening to the National news about this real estate bubble, that would help our market even more.  Instead, they should be asking what a bubble is because they shouldn't have ever seen one if they've been living here more than 5 years!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago

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