Thanks, Chip and Jo: ‘Modern Farmhouse’ Homes Fetch Higher Sale Prices, Says Zillow

updated Mar 10, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of HGTV

Chip and Joanna Gaines, formerly of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” certainly changed the housing landscape in their hometown of Waco, Texas by turning scary properties into gems that anyone would feel lucky to live in. But it turns out that Chip and Jo’s reach spanned across the entire country. According to the nationwide real estate site Zillow, listings that fell under the “modern farmhouse” style category sold for 10.3% more (that is equal to about an additional $25,000) than expected. And yeah—we can thank the Gaines family for that.

According to a March 3 Zillow report, “modern farmhouse” and “rustic chic” are key buzzwords home buyers flock to when searching for their dream home, and have been since 2018. As of 2020, there’s no signs that “modern farmhouse” is going to go out of style any time soon.

“Some design trends look great in a photograph, but don’t reflect the way most Americans live,” Amanda Pendleton, Zillow Lifestyle Expert, stated in a press release. “The modern farmhouse trend seems to be enduring because of its livability. It has a more casual, rustic aesthetic that is meant to be lived in; nothing is precious and the more wear and patina, the better, which makes it so appealing to buyers with children or pets.”

Zillow notes, however, that just because you add the words “modern farmhouse” or “rustic chic” in your home’s listing doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to have your home sell for a higher premium than expected. The site explains that the correlation between the buzzwords/“rustic” features and a higher sale premium most likely has to do with a house’s overall “general higher quality.”

Therefore, don’t throw a perfectly distressed watering can on a picnic table on your rotting back porch and expect to sway a buyer. Overall perception of “niceness,” is what results in these higher premiums, Zillow states.

“If you’ve got these features in your home, don’t hide them from buyers!” the report reads. “And if your home doesn’t have these features, don’t pretend it does.”

Zillow also found that buyers are also willing to pay more for waterfall countertops, Morroccan tile, exposed brick, and craftsman-style architecture. You can read the full report here to see how your property stands up against the current wants and needs of average buyers.