Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Designed to Sell - Part 1

As I mentioned a few posts back, I am preparing to put my condo on the market. I don't need to do a whole lot to it - just a few little tweaks and hopefully it'll look good enough to catch the eye of a first-time home buyer, hoping to take the plunge!

My parents introduced me to HGTV years ago. All I can say is that it's addicting. It's like crack cocaine for any person who owns a home or aspires to own a home. It's the gateway drug to all sorts of things... You start thinking - hmm, maybe I should swap out those light fixtures.... and while I'm at it, I might as well add some wall sconces... and jeez, maybe the ceiling fan should change too? And now if I change the light fixtures in the kitchen, I should probably replace the hardware on the cupboards, but if I am going to do that, I might as well gut the kitchen, right?

Ok, that is the path my mind takes after watching shows on that channel, but I also know that this condo is temporary, and I likely will lose money when I sell, so this prevents me from taking things too far.

So far, I've done one major project: I replaced the flooring in my living room/kitchen/dining room last May. I say I, but I should say my cousin Ryan. I was his handy assistant, but I can't take any of the credit. With his help, we transformed my living room from this

to this

and my kitchen from this

To this

Unfortunately, the pictures don't come close to doing the transformation justice! When I decided to change the flooring, I did it because I wanted to like my place better... but hopefully those changes will attract a buyer to check my little casa out.

After deciding to put my place on the market, the only change that my realtor suggested was the re-painting of my bathroom from a girly lilac to a gender-neutral blue. Best part is that he told me what color to paint it. You may know that I am sort of a control freak, but guess what - when it comes to paint colors, I can't make a decision on my own for the life of me. Seriously. I can make major decisions like buying a house or car, accepting a job offer, or picking a grad school without really batting an eyelash. But put me in front of a wall of paint chips and I am a picture of indecision. Which is really counter intuitive. You could easily change paint colors multiple times and really not be out that much money. Change your mind about a house or a car in 6 months? Ouch! I won't even go into the financial ramifications such as depreciation & Capital Gains taxes... So why can I make a decision that I can't really turn back on, but I can't make decisions that are very easy to reverse??? Anybody out there w/ a psych degree, feel free to hypothesize...

Luckily my friend Brooke helped picked out my kitchen, bedroom, and living room wall colors (thanks Brooke, I don't have to re-paint those rooms!). I told my mom I wanted a purple bathroom and she helped me select a color. Why purple? Dang good question. I think I went w/ purple because I had a purple robe. Yah. Makes sense to pick a bathroom paint color based on the color of your robe, right? What can I say - all rational thoughts go out the window when a color choice must be made!!!

So back to Zeb, my wonder-realtor. He told me what color to paint it & said it was very 'Pottery Barn' and had gone over well with buyers in the past. Then he sort of glanced around my condo, and said, 'um, so how are you at painting?' (he probably saw the touch-ups I had to do around the ceiling, and such). I told him, honestly, I suck. I think I got that from my Dad. My dad has many talents, but painting isn't one of them!!! My mom has a conspiracy theory - she thinks he does a REALLY bad job to ensure he is not asked to help again (smart move, dad)

After my honest reply, he recommended 'out-sourcing' it to a guy he knows. Part of me felt guilty about paying someone to paint my bathroom... but then I thought of how busy I'd be between now & February. Between Christmas/NYE and 2 out-of-town trips in January, time is going to be a precious commodity.... so I called him up, and he was able to come within a week. Sweet. He brought the paint with and everything. Love it.

So I left the house this morning not knowing what color my bathroom would be when I returned. I had googled the paint color online (Kentucky Haze by Benjamin Moore), but that doesn't really give you a great idea of what to expect. I came home and was pleasantly surprised!

My bathroom went from this

to this.

Again, the pictures don't do it justice... especially since it's tough to take pictures in my teeny, tiny bathroom!!! The color actually looks very similar to the bridesmaid dresses from Brooke's wedding, pictured below:

And yes, that is me on the left. Amazing how running a marathon will transform your body. Last night I dreamed that I ran a 3 hour marathon (practically impossible) so perhaps there is another marathon in my future... Marathon or not, I will look like that again, hopefully by 8/8/09 when Abby gets married...

Lastly, I had my paint guy change out the blinds in my bedroom. I have actually had some bamboo blinds for over a year. I bought them while at Ikea with a certain ex-boyfriend who, at the time, claimed he would hang them... but then, months down the road, he tried to argue that the wall would not support them. Right. Because they would manufacture blinds that were unhangable. I digress...

So my bedroom window went from this

to this (still have a piece that I need to stick on the front so ignore the black stuff at the top)

It'll look better once I get the curtain rod back up and find a different window treatment, but you get the general idea (the cloth of the roman blinds was stained from rain water that got on it, so they HAD to go).

So there you have it - round 1 of the improvement process. I am happy to say, the remaining work that needs to be done involves cleaning closets, decluttering my kitchen, and making the place look cozy... All things that don't require a steady hand or any power tools. Thank God. A girl like me needs a rent-a-husband or something...
** Disclaimer **

Since announcing my intent to purchase a home, I have been receiving some 'unsolicited advice' from men (and only men, oddly enough) who think buying a house and all that it entails is just something I'm not prepared to do. So I better make this clear: the post above is a dramatization of the events of my life, written so that you will hopefully laugh and enjoy this long post. Truth be told - I'm certainly capable of using a cordless drill. It's just not something I enjoy doing. I don't judge you for not reconciling your bank statement (to the pennny, as I do), so don't judge me for hiring out these sort of tasks.

When/if I purchase a home, I am probably going to ask my handy (and very patient) uncle Paul Geier to give me a 'Power Tools 101' course so I will be prepared to handle these home-improvement tasks on my own. And while we're at it, maybe he can teach me how to parallel park. Because I don't know how to do that either.


Cherry Blossoms said...

Oh Lisa
I can always count on you to make me laugh! You should sign me up for the parking class as well, I really like the bathroom color!

Abby said...

Your condo is looking great since I saw it last, Lisa! That's awesome. I agree with you on HGTV. I remember growing up in high school...feeling bored stiff with mom's HGTV--now, it's the first channel I turn on! Looks awesome, though :)

Marlys said...

The bathroom looks awesome! We stayed at Lisa's Christmas Eve so got to see it for real and the color is very homey.