Having been in this business now for quite some time, I can’t help but notice certain interior and exterior designs that allow me to instantly estimate a home’s age. In the Truckee-Tahoe luxury market most of these homes are second homes and/or rental income properties, so renovating them to contemporary standards just never happens because of lack of time or unwillingness to take it off the rental market. The following are some glaring home designs that are “so 90’s”.

Pine Cabinets – – Odds are the home was built in the 90’s; maybe early 2000’s if these are still around. Although popular in their time, the cabinets are looking more and more dated as consumers look for dark, knotty alder cabinets or the clean lines of Shaker or Louvered style cabinets. If changing them out is not an option then perhaps look into staining them dark or even painting them.

Porthole Windows – – That random circle window on the front of the house, or even an octagon to half circle if they were really creative. Nothing says ‘I was built around the time Clinton was in office’, then these cuts of glass. Do they work on the Coast still? Sure. But they just look awkward in most Truckee-Tahoe homes these days.

Glass Blocks – – These were a big hit in the 90’s and they were used in multiple ways. Measuring 8” x  8” x 4”, the blocks could be stacked and roughed-in as a privacy window or used internally as a wall for walk-in showers. Regardless of how they get used, they scream “I was around when the internet was first getting started.” If you can, knock them out and open up the room or replace them with a modern window.

Primary Paint Colors – – Back then the use of sharp reds, yellows, and blues was new and exciting. Now, they indicate the home was around for the OJ trial. If you’re considering listing your home it’s a good idea to paint any room to a light off-white shade. It not only is it more appealing to a wider pool of buyers but it will also make the room appear brighter. This also goes for wall paper and sponge paint jobs, just get rid of them if you can.

River Rock – – This style of stone work is prevalent in the Truckee – Tahoe area, primarily around fireplaces. Unfortunately, this design is no longer in style and builders now use granite and/or hot rolled steel to frame epic fireplaces. You might not notice it but trust me buyers do, especially after touring a newer home.

Dated homes, on average, take longer to sell than homes satisfying more mountain contemporary design features. For more tips on what to do prior to listing, also check-out:

3 Tips for How to Sell Your Home Fast

3 Easy Improvements That Help Sell Homes

The Truckee-Tahoe Home Stage Guide