Want the Chip & Jo Look? Starter Homes With ‘Fixer Upper’ Features Will Cost You

published May 8, 2018
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(Image credit: Courtesy of HGTV)

According to new research, a combination of the aesthetic influence of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper and the design (and eco) priorities of millennial home buyers are now driving which premium features sell the most entry level units on the market — sometimes at a whopping 30 percent over asking price.

By analyzing listing descriptions for millions of entry-level homes (defined as those priced within the bottom third of the market), a new report by Zillow Group and RealEstate.com found that premium features popularized on the HGTV show Fixer Upper — combined with millennial preferences for eco-friendly design — can cause a home to sell for much more than the asking price.

Like it or hate it, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ signature “farmhouse style” is certainly having an impact on home trends, from renovation and new construction features to real estate buying trends among entry-level and first-time home buyers. Zillow Group experts found that starter homes mentioning coffered ceilings, claw foot tubs, and/or farmhouse sinks in their listing descriptions saw some of the highest sale premiums of the keywords analyzed – selling for as much as 29 percent above expected values.

“In today’s competitive housing market, understanding which homes may command a premium or attract multiple offers can be hugely beneficial to buyers,” says Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer for Zillow Group. “However, it’s important to keep in mind which features or amenities matter most to you in a home. While a farmhouse sink or butcher block counters may appeal to many millennials and first-time buyers, not everyone may want to pay the premium those features may command.”

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

Even bigger by the numbers than the Baby Boomer generation was in its purchasing-power heyday, millennials now make up 42 percent of the population and 71 percent of the first-time home buyer market. We just reported in March that millennials have already influenced our collective preference for housing style, making the Craftsman the most popular type of home for the first time — and the new research from Zillow and RealEstate.com confirms that homes described as “craftsman” are indeed performing better on the market than any other design style analyzed.

More than superficial preferences, millennials also care more about energy efficient features than previous generations, as well, causing entry level homes that mentioned “solar panels” to command even higher premiums — as much as 40 percent more than expected. (By comparison, mentions of “solar panels” in listings for pricier homes only saw a 13 percent boost in sales price.)

Read the full reporting and full list of all 29 design features that can increase your home’s value more than expected (and reach the millennial home buyer) over on RealEstate.com this week.