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Home Decorating & Repair Got any ideas for pretty window treatments? How about ways to fix that squueky hinge?

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Old 07-18-2002, 11:05 AM
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If you had to pick .......

If you had to pick a couple of areas of your house to redo to sell it, what would it be ? We are faced with the very real possibility of having to this soon. The problem is that we are really low on $$ and dont want to spend a lot just to sell it. When we bought it, it was a fixer-upper and sadly we havent done much fixing yet.

It is a small, 3 bedroom ranch with a garage underneath the house. We have managed to paint the kitchen and decorate some. It is not new but it will be clean. What is the next step ?
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Old 07-18-2002, 06:05 PM
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I know your house is spotless and clutterfree like mine ;-) , but cleaning up the clutter makes a house look larger. You could even start packing and put the boxes in the garage or in storage. Is the entry to your house inviting? Does the front door need painting? You want to make a good first impression.

Go in your house from the front door and look at it as a potential buyer would look at it. What would bother you the most?

When we looked at our house, I noticed a few inexpensive things the previous homeowner could have done. Buy a new toilet seat, etc. Give your house the appearance that you take great care of it.

Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2002, 08:06 PM
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Of course my house is spotless !!! NOT, LOL !!! We have a lot of basic cleaning to do ....like carpet cleaning, cleaning out the closets and I hate to say it but I think the bathroom needs a new sink and mirror. Ill be on the look out for used ones there.

The one good thing is that we bought our house underpriced for our neighborhood because it needed some repairs so hopefully we can sell it that way to.

I will take your advice and walk in the front door and look around. As a home buyer, would you rather see plain walls or decorated walls ? Im thinking just plain white painted walls. Im planning on cleanin, cleaning and more cleaning. Not my bag--I failed the Flylady course -but I have to do it.

I hate being in this situation, darn it !!
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Old 07-19-2002, 03:44 AM
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Funny I should read this today because yesterday we were just having this same conversation. According to my moms neighbor who owns a few real estate agencies...

He told us that a clean, bright bathroom and a clean bright kitchen is what sells the house the most.

Also, give the house (if possible) a fresh coat of paint where the rooms need it.

Like it has been said before... get rid of clutter.... BUT also make it look comfortable.


Lastly, when people are looking, always have the scent of fresh baked goods or better yet, be cooking and/or baking at the time they are there.


Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more.

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Old 07-19-2002, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for the tips Shawn ! This weekend is going to be the start of clutter removal ! I sure have enough of it around here.
Im planning on another yard sale next month.

The bathroom is the room that worries me, it needs help !

If you have any other tips or ideas, Ill take them. I never thought our house would become a big weight on our shoulders but right now, it is. To get rid of all of this stress, I welcome the idea of moving into a rental place again.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-19-2002, 10:13 AM
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I will take a look at what I have and get back to you
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Old 07-19-2002, 11:10 AM
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Is there any way you could get a part time job and bring in some extra money till things get better? That way you keep your house. DH was laid off 1 month after we first bought this house, our first. It has been difficult but I started to apply for jobs on June 12 and finally got a call from one last night and I have an interview on Monday at Home Depot. I'll do anything to keep our house, a fixer upper too that will be delayed in being fixed up. Out mortgage pymt is less than a 1 bedroom apt around here. MIL rents for the price of 1 mortgage pymt. I'll never rent again. Unfortunatley banks dont care about that, they want there money. Keep your chin up. Dont give up.
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Old 07-20-2002, 05:22 AM
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Some great tips here! The first thing I thought of when you asked that question was the living areas. I think if I really had to pick certain rooms, I would say the rooms that you spend the most time in. The kitchen and living room come to mind, that's where we spend the most time. I would also look at the appearance of the house on the outside. That can make or break a first impression!

I definitely agree with the smell of baking. Or candles! It adds ambiance
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Old 07-20-2002, 08:35 AM
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I would recommend starting at the curb with a pad and pencil in hand. Imagine you are a buyer stepping out of the car...

Are there garbage cans out in front? Broken toys or coiled hoses on the walkway? Etc. What do you see that you don't like? Write a to-do list of chores for the family to tackle...

Would a couple of inexpensive flowerpots or a dollar-store windchime or bird-house make the front door entry look charming? Would a good sweeping or coat of paint or a brighter bulb in the outside fixture make a difference?

Look at first impressions. Open up the front door, and what do you notice first? Write it down.. Make notes as you walk through your home as if a realtor was giving you a tour of your own place.
Then think of inexpensive "fixes" for what jumps out at you. Chances are, it's what will jump out at prospective buyers.

As far as the bathroom, there is something called porcelein (sp) refinnishing. Instead of replacing tile and fixtures in the bathroom they do a spray-paint re-finnishing thing, and the whole bathroom looks like new for @ $400. I know I had a tub and surround done for $200. You might want to look into that if it's not too expensive.

De-cluttering is an excellent idea, and just simmering some lemon or cinnamon on the stove is as good as baking and a lot less expensive, unless you plan to serve your guests.

Investing in some nice willow baskets for each room is a great idea, so that the kids can have a place to toss their toys , etc. for a quick clean-up when you get that "we can be ther in 10 minutes" phone call...

Another thing that I really liked when I bought my house, is that the seller had a "fact sheet". It gave us a breakdown of their average seasonal gas and electric costs, water bills, taxes, as well as the locations of the local ammenities, like supermarkets, churches, schools, parks, etc.

Also they had the place lit very warmly. No overhead lights when we came at night. Table lamps only, and candles in every room. It was clutter-free, warmly lit, the table was set with nice china, coffee was brewing, there was soft music, and it was about 8 PM. There was even a tub full of scented bath water and fluffy towels on the vanity! I think the owners were theater people orsometing.

When we went back in the day time, the house was bright but the lamps were still lit, and the table was set for a lunch meal, fruit on the table, music again, and spices on the stove. I remember feeling warm and cozy here.

Needless to say we bought the house. Now it's cluttered and messy and lived-in by kids, and never very elegant any more, but I love the place and will never forget how invitng it felt when we looked at it during the pre-sale phase. I knew it was the place for me.
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Old 07-20-2002, 10:29 AM
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I second the vote for a bright kitchen. Loved the tricks for the baked goods (cookies or bread). In a pinch, you can microwave some popcorn just before the realtor shows up to show it (just don't burn it!).

Polish up the front door (knob, door, etc.). Replace the mailbox if its worn ($5 at WalMart).

I also had my bath surround "sprayed", (actually 2 of them). They look like new and the finish really takes a beating.

The decluttering goes for the kitchen too. Make sure the counters are empty and spotless, and that sink and chrome shine. Clean off everything from the windowsil (if there is one) and make sure that window sparkles as well. Even if you're not selling your fridge, you should remove all but 1 or 2 magnets from it. Everything else gets boxed up and put away.

These are all tips from some booked I checked out several years ago when I needed to sell my house in a down market. They work--I had two offers the first day.
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