The 7 Most Popular Real Estate Stories of 2022, According to Readers

published Nov 27, 2022
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Living room with Eero Aarnio hanging bubble chair and vintage brown armchair
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In the realm of real estate, this year started with more all-cash offers, waived inspections, and zero contingencies. But as the months went on and interest rates slowly trended upwards from their historic lows, a shift seemed to be underway.

And changes are exactly what’s been reflected in Apartment Therapy’s real estate section. Readers have looked for advice on how to win in competitive rental markets, how to make their properties appealing to buyers, and how to invest in style trends that increase a home’s worth. When the real estate market is this chaotic, finding solutions can feel like a comfort — or a game plan. 

If you’re wondering which real estate stories made a particular impression on AT’s readers, these are the seven most popular ones of the year. Don’t be surprised if you want to read or share them again!

This Baby Boomer Is Not Downsizing

She goes on to say, “I also want to have a place where my family can comfortably visit me, and my current home already offers that. It seems a strong bet that hosting a big holiday dinner would be out of the question in a smaller home.” Plus she wants to keep loved ones close, especially during the holidays, and that would be out of the question in a smaller home. “Out-of-town guests might need to stay at a hotel when they come to visit. Where’s the holiday coziness in that?,” asks Richardson. 

Sorry, Boomers are Making It Hard for Millennials to Buy

These two groups meet at the offer table, and the higher offer usually wins. “Since Baby Boomers are typically long-time homeowners, they often have huge amounts of equity to tap into for down payments and cash offers. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for millennials to compete,” writes Sarah Kuta. 

And while these two groups may be drawn to different finishes and styles, there’s an extra layer of complication. Kuta says, “Young people are investing in more expensive homes right from the start, rather than buying more affordable properties and working their way up to more pricey properties.”

Whatever You Do, Don’t Install This Type of Flooring

Flooring is pricey to change, but it’s one of the renovations that can have the biggest impact when you’re ready to list. So writer Lauren Wellbank polled real estate agents to get their takes on all things flooring, including a few surprises. All told, there are six types of flooring that look to be going the way of your grandparents’ shag carpeting. 

“While hardwood floors are pretty timeless, a lot of people are opting out of using them because they can be hard to maintain when something goes wrong,” writes Wellbank, delivering one of the hot takes. Read the whole story here.

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The Pros Love These Kitchen Trends

A kitchen can make or break a home. It’s one of the more expensive and demanding renovation projects to tackle, so the better you can set up your kitchen to sell, the more eager buyers will be. And as they wave goodbye to white kitchens and open floor plans, Realtors have seen a flurry of new trends hit the market this year. 

Writer Jennifer Billock shares some trends that make things easier on sellers, including mixed finishes. She also shares how others, like scullery kitchens, only make sense for those with serious square footage — and cash. Oh, what’s a scullery kitchen, you ask? “Basically a second kitchen where all the cooking is done,” writes Billock. Check out the rest of the trends here.

Looking to Sell? Don’t Paint Your Kitchen in These Colors

Color is wonderful — when you’ve picked it out yourself. But real estate agents urge clients to steer clear of using bold colors when they’re in the market to sell, and red and orange are particularly cringeworthy, especially when they’re in a kitchen.

Writer Barbara Bellesi Zito brought this vibrant vision to life by reminding readers of the kitchen Rachel Ray had on her show: It was lime, orange, and yellow. That’s exactly the palette to avoid when selling. 

Using Ray’s kitchen as an example, Bellesi Zito writes, “Quirky? Yes. Great for the cameras? You know it. But making meal after meal amid that cacophony of color is too much for most buyers.” See the other reasons why here.

This Writer Bought a Sears Kit Home

“I’d never heard of them before until I bought one,” writes Jessica Delfino about her experience buying a Sears kit home. Yet, since moving into her Pennsylvania house, she’s fallen in love with its charming details and spent countless hours researching its history.

She notes that it’s estimated 70 percent of the 70,000 Sears Kit Homes are still standing. And if you get the opportunity to own one, you may join the enthusiastic legion of fans across the country. Delfino now counts herself proudly among them. “Above all, I love the kitsch factor that represents a chapter in American history when things were built well and affordably.” Read more about Delfino’s experience here.

Realtors Share the Home Features That Get a Bad Rap

In certain markets, sellers believe anything will move. But buyers have to put their foot down on occasion, and they’re often the same deal-breakers that come up again and again. That’s why writer Jennifer Billock talked to Realtors about the items they know will get an, “Absolutely not, especially not at this price!,” from buyers

From air conditioning units in windows to budget appliances, to carpet these are the home features that will scare away all but the most ambitious buyers. But these might be the items to keep your eyes peeled for, too, if you’re looking to make a deal. Get all of the details here.