We asked area realtors and home remodelers what’s in and what’s out in home buying, selling and remodeling.

Realtors say the No. 1 factor for home buyers right now is price value. (“Buyers want to know why a house is worth its asking price,” says Barbara Swadburg.)

Contractors say the biggest trend in home remodeling now is that homeowners are starting to do it again. (“There’s more interest in remodeling these days than in the past five years,” according to Mel Salmi of Transformed Tree.)

Here is the Bugle list of what’s in, what’s out and what will drive a buyer away from a house that’s on the market:


Home gathering spaces that emanate from the kitchen

Cabinetry with contrasting woods and colors

More windows and a bigger connection to the outdoors

Screened porches

Cambria (natural stone) countertops

LED light bulbs

Gas fireplaces

Stand-alone tubs

Air tubs (Different from whirlpools, air tubs jet steady streams of air into a tub rather than circulate a mixture of water and air.)

Location, location, location


Formica or laminate countertops

Vinyl flooring

Whirlpool tubs

Floral print wallpaper

Carpet in the bathroom and kitchen

Deal breakers

Foundation issues

Pet smells


Wet, moldy basement


Busy street

Deferred maintenance

Large ticket items such as the need for a new furnace or roof


Realtors Nancy Meeden (Coldwell Banker Burnet), Barbara Swadburg (Lynden Realty), Peter Sparr (Edina Realty) and Steve Townley (RE/MAX) and contractors Mel Salmi (Transformed Tree) and John Guider (Heritage Remodeling) contributed to these lists.


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