For-sale listings with cool, neutral wall colors sell for more money
A fresh coat of paint in the right color may help sell a home for more money.
Homes with rooms painted in shades of light blue or pale blue/gray can sell for as much as $5,440 more than expected.
Paint Color Analysis looked at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country to see how certain paint colors impacted their sale price on average, when compared to similar homes with white walls.
Curious what colors may help you sell your home for more? See below for the full results of the 2017 Paint Color Analysis.
Homes with blue kitchens, often found in soft gray-blue, sold for a $1,809 premium.
Light blue bathrooms
Homes with light pale blue to soft periwinkle blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than expected.
Brown living rooms
Turns out homes with light beige, pale taupe or oatmeal-colored living room walls sell for $1,926 more than expected.
Cadet blue bedrooms
Homes with light cerulean to cadet blue bedroom wall colors can come with a $1,856 premium.
Slate blue dining rooms
Homes with slate blue to pale gray blue dining rooms also sold for more money — $1,926 more on average than homes with white dining room wall colors.
“Greige” home exteriors
A home’s exterior color may also have an impact on its sale price. Homes painted in “greige,” a mix of light gray and beige, sold for $3,496 more than similar homes painted in a medium brown or with tan stucco.
Navy blue front doors
For a pop of color, homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for $1,514 more.
Selecting the right paint color is one of many factors that may affect why a home sells faster or for more money. Walls painted in cool neutrals like blue or grayhave broad appeal, and may be signals that the home is well cared for or has other desirable features.
Some colors may actually deter buyers. Homes with darker, more style-specific walls like terracotta dining rooms sold for $2,031 less than expected. However, a lack of color may have the biggest negative impact as homes with white bathrooms sold for an average of $4,035 below similar homes.
Moving From a Home With 2 Bedrooms to 3 Costs an Extra $450 a Month
Thinking about moving this year? Whether your family is growing or you’re just looking for more space, upgrading to a home with an extra bed or bath comes with a premium in most metros.
To help buyers better understand their options this home-shopping season, identified how much extra “move-up” buyers could expect to spend on their mortgage if they were to upgrade to a similar home, but with just one extra bed or bath.
Nationally, families moving from a 2-bedroom to a 3-bedroom home can expect to pay $447 more on their monthly mortgage, according to Cost of Moving Up Report. That equates to a 50 percent increase in their monthly mortgage payment.
In many coastal markets, the cost is higher, around $500 extra each month — and in hot markets like San Francisco and San Jose, families can expect to nearly double their monthly mortgage payment, with the premium for moving up exceeding $1,600.
Buyers in the Midwest will see their dollars stretch much further. Families in Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis can expect to spend just $150 more on their mortgage when upgrading from a 2-bedroom to a 3-bedroom home. Cleveland offers the lowest premium out of all the metros analyzed, with move-up buyers paying just $74 extra a month to upgrade to a 3-bedroom.
“While deciding whether to move is a personal choice, understanding how certain characteristics like size, location or number of beds and baths can impact a home’s price can be hugely important when determining if a particular home is the right fit for you and your family,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist. “Even though many families may be prepared to spend extra for a larger home, just how much more may come as a surprise, especially for those living in coastal markets.”
Bathroom count can also impact a home’s price. Nationally, upgrading to a house with the same number of bedrooms, but with one extra bathroom can cost buyers between $386 and $838 extra a month, depending on the home size. Given this premium, adding an extra bathroom to an existing home may be a cost-effective option for some families.
Prepare yourself by knowing the less-obvious costs of owning a home. Insurance, maintenance and more add up faster than you think
Buyers too often focus on a home’s list price or mortgage payment to determine what they can afford. However, the numerous less-obvious costs associated with homeownership can affect the monthly bottom line.
To help home buyers budget more accurately, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common but often overlooked home expenses and calculated what homeowners around the country could expect to pay for them. The analysis also included utility cost estimates from UtilityScore.
While each extra expense might seem small, they cost U.S. homeowners, on average, $9,080 a year, according to the report.
Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $6,059 a year in unavoidable costs, which include homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities. Since nearly half (47 percent) of home shoppers today are first-time buyers, many of these extra costs may come as a surprise.
San Francisco homeowners pay the most of the metros analyzed ($13,019 on average), primarily due to the market’s high home values and property taxes. Indianapolis homeowners pay the least ($4,699).
Nearly all homeowners (96 percent) have made some kind of improvement to their homes, according to the 2016 Report on Consumer Housing Trends. While many complete these projects themselves, those who pay professionals can expect to spend an average of $3,021 for the six most common hired home projects requested by Thumbtack users: carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing.
Labor costs can vary significantly by region, with Seattle homeowners paying as much as $4,052 a year on average for those six projects, while San Antonio homeowners pay an average of $1,962.
More than a third of buyers go over budget on a home purchase. To help buyers better understand the total cost of homeownership, Zillow Group launched RealEstate.com, a website that allows people to search by the “All-In Monthly Price” of owning that home. In addition to the mortgage, the price includes estimated property taxes, insurance, PMI, utilities, taxes, HOA fees and closing costs.
The high cost of living can make it hard for middle-class residents to make ends meet
Cities need the middle class. They need nurses and teachers. Yet if people have a well-paying job like those, they’re finding it increasingly difficult to afford to pay for a house in the city in which they work. Cities tend to have the most job opportunities, but they also have the highest cost of living. In recent years, the housing costs in urban areas have grown more than anywhere else.
“This isn’t just a coastal problem,” explains economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “We’re seeing rapidly appreciating home values in places like Nashville, Provo, Charlotte, Orlando. These people that have good jobs are running into the problem that they simply cannot afford to live in cities anymore.”
Not enough to go around
So, what happened that is causing housing costs to rise so much? A classic problem of supply and demand. “We’re in a really strong part of the recovery,” says Gudell, “and it comes down to not enough homes available to sell right now, but a lot of people demanding housing.”
Even though cities are becoming unaffordable, there is still an intense desire for people — especially millennials — to move there.
“For a lot of people, their jobs are actually located in cities, so the appeal of a short commute is right there,” says Gudell. “Millennials are starting to think about renting, leaving their parents’ basements and perhaps even buying their first homes. They have a preference to be in cities, oftentimes. The acute inventory shortage that is being experienced all across the country right now is because cities don’t have as many single-family homes. They have more condos available.”
Smaller and smaller
Unfortunately for potential buyers, there are not many choices that you can make in this situation of high demand/short supply.
“You can choose to simply rent,” says Gudell, “but you end up missing out on wealth building because you don’t actually invest in equity by paying off a mortgage. Or you have to choose to move farther out, where housing gets a bit cheaper, but then you face very long commutes.”
If you’re in an average, middle class-paying job, buying a home in a city with your current employment isn’t realistic at all. Unless that home is under 500 square feet — about the size of a toolshed. For the biggest cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Washington, D.C., your average affordability falls to under 300 square feet.
So, why shouldn’t we have cities be just for wealthy people, and suburbs and rural areas for people who are not? “In every city, you’ll find a coffee shop,” says Gudell. “You’ll need garbage pickup, you’ll need all these things, and it simply doesn’t work to say, ‘If you’re a janitor, you’re going to have to commute in for an hour and a half, but if you’re ultra-rich, you can live in the city.’”
Fill in the cities
The middle class should be able to afford the cities they serve without incurring the burden and long-term physical and mental stressors of a multi-hour commute. With America’s supply and demand problem not getting any better, there are certain steps that both governments and the private sector could do to try to help impact cost in a positive way.
“Cities have to evolve with the times, and that means adding more units,” says Gudell. “People oftentimes are afraid that higher-density living will ruin their cities, but in the end, higher density will just change the character of a city. It won’t ruin it. But pushing people out and having only a city for the rich will probably ruin cities.”