Bellevue: What Makes Hot Props Hot

In the last month, I’ve encountered more houses/condos that have already sold by the time of their first open. While this definitely isn’t news in the real estate market, where highly desirable properties usually do sell quickly, it has been interesting for me to note what characteristics many hot properties seem to share. Here are some of my observations.

Granite/stainless/new cabinets. Sure, there are other impressive countertop materials available, but hot properties that I’ve seen are still using granite in the kitchen more often than not. Stainless appliances look sleek (and resist those clutter-inducing fridge magnets).

Jetted or oversized tub/tiled showers. The tile choices may be varied, but at least one beautifully tiled shower is usually featured.

Pretty light fixtures. Especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Hardwood floors.
In great condition. Color doesn’t seem to matter. (Yes, there’s lots of cherry, but other woods and stain colors seem equally popular).

Landscaped yard.
Either rustic and woodsy or manicured and prim, a well-cared for yard, that’s user-friendly, is very popular.

Four bedrooms. This was a surprise to me, probably because I don’t have kids. But four seems to be the magic number.

Open floor plan. The luscious, mid-century modern styles that featured open spaces and an integration of outdoors and indoors, have now, finally, hit mainstream, and everyone wants an open floor plan. At the very least, a kitchen that opens to a family/great room.

Outdoor living. Either an impressive deck or a covered patio. Think barbeques, breezy dinner parties, and defying the rain.

Good paint jobs. Either complementary neutrals, judicious use of deep shades, or whites. And trim (base molding, crown molding, etc.) is frequently white.

Expected price. Neither under nor overpriced—-these houses just seem to be priced about right. And they often generate multiple offers.

Location, lo—–okay, you already knew that, with the usual “good schools” draw and proximity to parks and retail.

Clean (spotless) and finished.
“Move-in ready.” Not a fixer. Age doesn’t seem to matter—it’s condition that counts.

View/Water proximity.
Here’s where my previous point can sometimes be irrelevant. For the right view, or waterfront? A fixer may easily be acceptable as is, or torn down in favor of custom, new construction.