2009 Home Features: What’s Hot (and not)

One of the perks (duties?) of being a 2008 “Super Real Estate Agent” — jointly chosen by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business — is getting mid-year surveys asking for your input on coming trends. The feedback from all the 2008 Super Realtors will appear in the June issues of those two publications.

As long as I’m taking the time to provide answers, I thought I might as well “scoop” my own blog readers.


–Functional, economic Kitchens; laminate countertops (DON’T call it formica . . because it’s not. In fact, modern laminates are much more durable and aesthetic than their ’50’s counterparts.)
–Gardens, especially vegetable gardens
–In-home entertainment (spurred by recessionary “cocooning”)
–“Practical” upgrades (low E windows that cut your utility bills)
–Economic “cosmetics”: new paint, carpeting (Home Depot is busier than you’d expect right now)


–“Luxe” Kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances
–“Bells and Whistles” of all kinds (too expensive; plus, not where people’s heads are at)

Holding their own:

–Druthers for open floor plans. No, McMansions aren’t coming back, but Gen X, Y, & Z’ers(?) seem to have an enduring preference for a combined Kitchen/Living Area. Call it “Great Room 2.0.”
–Oversized garages. You can never have enough storage space. If the SUV doesn’t fill it up, your other stuff will.

I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure that we will have plenty of examples of “recession chic” before long.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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