Hello—er, Goodbye, Yellow?

Did you know the sale price of a house that's painted yellow can be impacted by as much as a few thousand dollars? According to this article published on boston.com, yellow houses sell for $3,408 less than expected. This information comes from Zillow, which recently conducted its 2018 Paint Color Analysis. 

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Another interesting tidbit from the study is the finding that houses with front doors painted black or gray (they specifically say "charcoal gray") sold for over $6,000 more than expected. I was slightly amused by that revelation. One of the first things I did when I moved into my current house was paint my front door a bright, sunshine yellow...and then I repainted it medium gray the following year, proudly telling my husband that I figured I just upped the value of our house by doing so. It wasn't the right color for me—but I do think it looks amazing on a lot of other house styles.

Despite Zillow's report (and perhaps my own experience), yellow houses and doors continue to be popular. Country Living recently published a selection of yellow houses for sale around the country. Last fall, Boston Magazine rounded up five adorable yellow houses in the 'burbs that were for sale at the time. When John and Sherry painted their front door yellow, they received hundreds of comments from people telling them how much they loved the new color. And searching Google or Houzz for yellow front doors turns up thousands of results.

One of the houses featured in Boston Magazine's article showcasing yellow houses for sale in the fall of 2017. Records on Zillow show the house sold for its asking price.

One of the houses featured in Boston Magazine's article showcasing yellow houses for sale in the fall of 2017. Records on Zillow show the house sold for its asking price.

So if yellow houses are so charming and easily marketable, what gives? The article didn't go into specifics, but it did say: "The analysis looked at more than 135,000 photos from homes sold via Zillow, from January to May, to see how paint colors may have affected sale prices on average, when compared to the company’s Zestimate. The analysis compared these homes with similar ones with white walls, according to a press release, and it controlled for other wall colors within each room type, square footage, home age, and ZIP code."

If factors such as outdated interiors and a lack of square footage can't be blamed, then the message is simply that yellow is a less desirable house color. 

In certain circumstances, yellow probably is less desirable. Let's look at the stock photo used in the article (in which the house has yellow siding and red-orange shutters). It's extremely dated. Just looking at it makes me wonder how old the kitchen is and whether the bathrooms have been updated. The shutter color is influencing my opinion more than the yellow siding, although the overuse of yellow is problematic. Imagine if the shutters were black, and imagine if all the trim around the windows, doors, and roof was white instead of yellow. It would go from drab to dreamy pretty quickly.

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In many other circumstances, as shown in the photos throughout this post, yellow houses exude a sense of beauty and romance that other colors can't quite accomplish. Context has a lot to do with it. Accent colors have a lot to do with it. The exact shade of yellow has a lot to do with it. The architecture matters, too.

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I can't say every yellow house is perfect—let's face it, the house equivalents of Dwight Schrute's mustard-colored button downs do exist. I'd love to see the photos of the yellow houses from Zillow's research that led them to this conclusion, wouldn't you? 

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