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The 1980s was a different time. This was the decade during which "The American Dream" was born. People wanted the nice home with the picket white fence and landscaped yard.
Of course, the 1980s was not the only decade during which people lived in modern-equipped homes with manicured lawns. However, during this time in history the desire to "get rich" was very much valued, perhaps more so than in other times (at least in the U.S.A.).
Key Features of New and Nearly-New 1980s Homes
A large number of the new and nearly-new homes that were purchased in this decade included at least one fireplace, as well as a dining room, two-stall garage, landscaped yard, and turnaround driveway.
Some homes also were designed with a porch known as a "breezeway" (porches that are covered by roofing and designed with window or screens). These breezeways often were enclosed and an additional outside door would lead to the outside of the home-often to the front of the home but sometimes to the rear of the home.
People who owned breezeways often enjoyed relaxing on lawn or deck furniture, and some were even properly ventilated enough for barbecue cooking. Similarly, sun porches sometimes acted as breezeways.
Additionally, people who want to socialize would purchase a home (or have one built) that included a concrete patio, deck, or in-ground swimming pool.
In all there were typically two to three bedrooms in each home built during this decade. Furthermore, these homes often were designed with a family room, living room, dining room, and/or rec room.
Kitchens in the 1980s also were more often than not built with adequate cooking and storage space. This allowed people to enjoy gourmet restaurant food without needing to leave the house to experience it.
Additionally, many homes were built with at least one bathroom, but more often 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 bathrooms. A large number of these homes built also were constructed with a sun porch or laundry room.
Other homes, especially in the latter part of the decade came constructed with full basements. (Of course, some older homes for sale during the 1980s also had basements built in them as well.) Certain homes were just built with a crawl space for emergencies, however, which was located underneath the foundation of a home.
Many homes were also being built with dens or office rooms as well. Similarly, libraries and studies were built in larger estate homes.
Guest bedrooms were also often set up in a large number of houses during this time, in both estates as well as common homes.
It was not unlike home owners or real estate dealers to have old colonial-styles remodeled as well. This is one of the classic home styles that is even replicated in the construction of new homes, and was a style very much popular in the 1980s.
More contemporary home designs were made popular during this decade as well. For instance, ranch homes were quite common, and people often purchased small two-to four room vacation cottages on the lake.
Of course, simpler homes were also designed as well. Additionally, two-family homes were occasionally turned into a one-family home and vice-versa (one-family home turned into two apartments).
These types of homes may have been purchased mostly by people on a limited budget. Financing was offered to people who had a good credit and payment history (as in most generations of home building and development).
Once in awhile a greenhouse porch or a hall with skylights was also added as well. These were some of the features of homes that would allow green thumbs and outdoor enthusiasts to remain at a comfortable dry heat while not loosing the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors (although greenhouses were quite warm and were often used to grow non-native plants).
Appliances, Furnishings, and Decor
A large number of homes during the 1980s came equipped with standard appliances such as a refrigerator, stove, drapes and/or blinds. Kitchen cabinets as well as inside wood trim was often made of a treated hard wood such as oak.
Carpeting was more popular during this decade. However, some people still preferred the classic area rug on hardwood floor look in the living room, dining room, or family room.
Linoleum or ceramic tiling was used quite a bit in the kitchen. Additionally, contemporary vaulted or formal cathedral ceilings were quite popular.
Sliding doors were often used on the rear of homes, which lead out to either a deck or small concrete patio. Sometimes these types of doors met the lawn just outside the home as well, but usually at least a small slab of concrete was installed-on which usually welcome mats or small lawn or deck furniture would be placed.
Aluminum siding for the exterior of homes also became more popular. It replaced the old wood or brick siding that were used in earlier times. However, some people still preferred the classic wood siding look, so some homes-including ones with cedar wood siding-were still being sold during much of these decade.
People also used many more luxuries and conveniences during this decade as well. For instance, tape players replaced the old record players and eight-track entertainment systems (music players). More people were installing cable television in their homes as well.
Additionally, more homes were installed with central air cooling and/or heating systems. However, some of the used homes sold on the market during this decade still used isolated types of heating systems such as space heaters.
If a yard was not completely landscaped with shrubbery and/or flowers around the immediate area of a home, at least the lawn was mowed. Additionally, sometimes the home was placed in a wooded area or near a wooded area.