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Salvatore Scamardo's Blog

By Salvatore Scamardo | Agent in New York, NY

Watch Out For Tired 80s Syndrome

When selling your home, it's so very important that the home or apartment show well to prospective buyers who come walking through. We all know that, right? I say this because, well, I've seen it all when previewing or showing properties.  The good, bad and the ugly. From the kids crayon drawings only a parent sees as artistic genius taped to the walls, to the cluttered counter tops filled with tacky knick knacks that looked beautiful at the gift store in Orlando (ceramic gnomes and themed cookie jars come to mind) to the hardly or if ever used exercise equipment in the middle of a room (OK, who remembers the SoloFlex?).  Of course, this is why there are companies who exist to save us from ourselves with the sole purpose of stageing a property bringing in (or removing) furniture, plants and so on to help increase the perceived value of a property, help buyers visualize it's full potential, accentuate unique features or de-emphasize or distract from others.

This week, I got a real kick out of walking through a multi-million dollar Manhattan penthouse which was suffering from what I call "tired 80's syndrome" which can strike from out of nowhere at anytime.  You'll know when it when you see it.  I recognized it immediately when I entered a loft space I was showing my clients - the sliding glass mirrored partitions,  track lighting, the black leather furniture, the mirror top coffee table(!), hologram wall hangings (I almost said artwork) and lots and lots of chrome fixtures.  Of course, I could go on.

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Now, I know everything 80s is heating up again and you might say, hey, that's a cool look!  I'd pay a lot of money for that look!  I mean. come on, Depeche Mode just kicked off a world tour! and David Bowie has a new album.  Get with it man!  Trust me when I tell you, there was no designer statement being made by the owner of this particular penthouse.  It all looked pretty tired and worn out mostly.  Fortunately, my buyers and I have good visualization skills and quite easily saw how more 21st century options could be incorporated. They were just into the floor plan, thankfully.  The downside for the seller is that the perceived value of the apartment dropped in the eyes of the buyer as no effort was made to update the place.  These days, less is more when it comes to design so just removing dated items and cleaning up the space can make a place look more contemporary or up-to-date, increase it's value.

I didn't move to NYC until the mid-80s, so I missed a lot of the decadence that defined the time going on in NYC but, when I did get here the club scene was still in full swing and being a major fan of dancing, I usually hung out at The Saint which was an amazing one of a kind dance club located in the East Village or I'd hit up Palladium.   For me, the 80s was a great time to be a college student and a courageous young adult set to make something of himself in the Big Apple.  It was a time of extremes, shoulder pads, thinking big, high energy, great dance music, optimism but dampened by a lot of tragedy and loss.   My hope is that with the return of the popularity of 80s fashion and music, it's not the return of the "me, me, me" attitude of that time that didn't serve us well collectively and we never forget about those who didn't make it past the decade.

Check out a couple of videos on the history of my two favorite 80s dance clubs in NYC which, we'll probably never see the likes of again.  Both were famous for many things (insert imagination here), both were incredible spaces and state-of-the-art but nothing beats in my book nothing beats a Planetarium dance floor and a "star machine".  Here's a couple clips that will take you back to 80s nightlife NYC style.

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