Posts Tagged ‘home design’


Change is good…let’s get into home design

February 29, 2012










For years I have been writing about market conditions and lenders and the federal government’s role in real estate. I’m still going to do that but…I’m also going to start writing some hints and tips to help you get your home SOLD in these challenging times.

For starters – I recently had a homeowner approach me about selling their home inOrlando. They asked me to stop by to view their home. What did I find? A carport full of junk (think hoarder), dead grass and a very unappealing entry to this charming home.

I told the Sellers that before we did ANYTHING – they had to clean up the front, put in new grass and add some orange shutters, window boxes, and paint the front door, etc. In other words – create charm. They did so and sold their home quickly.

No matter how you live daily…you have to live differently when you are selling your home. A lovely and charming entry is going to entice people to look at the inside of your home. If a home looks neglected – Buyers won’t give it a second chance.

Today color is HUGE. The orange (think coral) shutters and window boxes made a giant impact on the Sellers’ home. They did not have to buy tons of new plants, just fill the window boxes and replace the lawn with new grass. The whole change was under $2,000 and they got it all back on the sale of their home. In fact, the Sellers wondered if they should sell once the house looked so cute.

Just like anything – first impressions count. Make yours memorable.


Hey Good Lookin’ – on being model perfect

February 5, 2010


Real estate is an interesting study into what makes people “tick” and “act” on emotional and yet practical decisions. What makes buyers buy? What is the motivating factor? I have had a lot of time to think through this and last week only further cemented my thoughts on this matter.What makes buyers buy? It’s pretty simply really – good looks sell. A model perfect home is always a winner. A home the buyer thinks they can just move in and hang up their clothes. A home that reaffirms the way they “see” themselves living and they see a PERFECT home for their PERFECT lives.

I had the opportunity to show seven homes this past week to the same couple. When first approached, the clients were looking for a bargain buy and in a certain price range. I was more than happy to help them achieve their goals.

After looking at the first two stellar bargain homes – it became obvious that price was no longer important but the condition of the home now mattered. They didn’t want to remove wallpaper, paint the homes, replace carpeting, etc. They wanted a good buy for a PERFECT home. We changed our price range.

While we looked at homes that were low priced with great views and large square footage; the clients decided on a home that looked like it jumped off the pages of Architectural Digest. The home they selected was perfect in so many ways. The paint colors were charming and contemporary (and NOT ALL BROWN). The furniture was well placed for maximum flow and not too oversized for the room. The blinds were gorgeous (not cheap) and the kitchen was absolutely heavenly. Nothing about this house was really trendy or what we call seller specific – the Sellers did not go for a unique look – they went classic and timeless and it paid off. The views from this home were of another home (not your best feature) and the room sizes were smaller but the Sellers showcased this house with design and style. IT SOLD THE HOME.

There were no strong odors, proper lighting, lovely colors, and tasteful furniture that did not match perfectly but with pieces that complimented each other. The bed looked fresh and inviting and did I say the kitchen was tasteful, clean and well done with lovely colors and no countertop clutter. These Sellers knew what was stylish and it showed. The buyer actually gasped when she walked in the house.

You can overcome location, and you can overcome price and size. You can NOT overcome condition. If the house looks lovely, is tastefully decorated and inviting – you will sell your home and you will sell it fast. If you don’t know what I’m talking about – get help. It’s worth the money.


Biggest Losers: 20 Home Design Features That Send Buyers Running

December 24, 2009

By Barbara Ballinger, Architecture Coach columnist and guest blogger


Design glitches draw attention away from a home’s best features. Don’t let out-of-date fixtures and unappealing decor cost you a sale. While some buyers may actually appreciate “vintage” features, home and design experts say these 20 features almost always serve as a turnoff.

1. Dated and excessively bold or dark paint and tile colors, such as “Pepto Bismol” pink, avocado green, deep plum, or jet black. “Dark can be cool, but it has to be a color that’s popular today,” says sales associate Jennifer Ames, crs®, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago.

2. Lacquered or high-gloss painted walls that are expensive to repaint and show all defects. Likewise, faux- and sponge-painted walls can be so passe.

3. Painted trim that’s very dark-and costly to remove.

4. Wallpaper, which is a lot of work (and potentially expensive) to remove. Most disliked: Dated flowered or striped patterns.

5. Kitchens that lack any dining space. Also, outdated, small-scale, and dirty kitchen appliances that look like they won’t perform.

6. Worn, cracked laminate countertops, and backsplashes or plastic cultured marble.

7. Outdated bathrooms with small sinks, short toilets, squatty bathtubs, and tight showers-all of which aren’t conducive to unwinding after a long day’s work, says Ames.

8. Lack of ample closet space in bedrooms, or no closet at all and no place to build one or add an armoire.

9. Dens, libraries, and family rooms without built-in bookcases or a space to include shelves.

10. Stained and worn wall-to-wall carpet in rooms or on stairs. Worst choice: shag. Also, worn linoleum that suggests a house was never updated.

11. Poorly built additions that don’t blend with a home’s architecture, such as a sunroom with tinted glass.

12. Shortage of windows or very small windows, which makes a home feels dark and gloomy.

13. Ceilings with so many recessed lighting spots that they resemble Swiss cheese and are expensive to remove. Worst offenders: big 6-inch diameter lights.

14. Too many rooms outside the kitchen and bathroom that have cold ceramic tiled floors.

15. Children’s bedrooms with a theme that runs through the carpeting, wallpaper, murals, ceilings, light fixtures, curtains, and furnishings.

16. Homes without a foyer or garage.

17. Too many mirrored walls, ceilings, doors, and backsplashes in a single room. The effect is dizzying, Ames says. One mirror magnifies, but many cheapen the look.

18. Skimpy molding and trim, such as 1-inch baseboards.

19. Noisy, grinding fan in a bathroom that’s attached to a light switch so it can’t be turned off.

20. Inexpensive gold-colored light fixtures in any room. Also,  Hollywood-style lighting with huge bulbs in a bathroom is also out of date, design experts say.