I don’t know why, but I am a total sucker any time Apartment Therapy has a “DON’T DO THIS, IT INSTANTLY MAKES 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 If you bought a “fixer upper” or scored a bargain on a house with an outdated trend, how did you handle it? (If you’ve sold a house that had one of those dealbreakers, did you try to handle it before putting it on the market — or just sell the house at whatever you could get, so the buyer could do what they wanted? How about those of you who have inherited older homes after a parent died or moved to assisted living — what did you do with more dated features?)

{related: tips and tricks for buying a home}

I remember looking to buy a studio apartment in NYC in the mid-2000s. The one that had the layout and location I liked had a major dealbreaker: the previous owner had glued mirrors to most of the walls in the house. (I still bid on it multiple times, and lost, multiple times. Le 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 in the living room.

We wound up going with another apartment with some weird 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 that one and were really happy we did.

{related: how to decorate your first real apartment}

(Something that bugged us from the start that I wish we’d tackled: the orangey parquet flooring. Refinishing it 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 massive pain to do the floors…)

{related: what to do first when you buy a home}

I know I’ve seen friends complaining about house hunting in the suburbs and seeing dated kitchens, an untrendy color of wood 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 for real estate content? I’m addicted to Zillow Gone Wild on Instagram, and I like playing the NYT game of “which apartment did they buy.” I also like drooling over the WSJ real estate section. And of course, Apartment TherapyIn the past I loved House Hunters, and Property Brothers was literally all I watched during one of my maternity leaves.)

Stock photo via Pexels / RODNAE Productions.


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