My Journey Begins . . .
With our children off at college, it is time to thing about downsizing. Do we really need 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 2 family rooms, etc., in a great neighborhood with wonderful schools? (Really can't shake the REALTOR® side here, can I?)
We purchased our 1961 home in 2002 and started remodeling immediately (oh, I remember the final walk-through like it was yesterday--"What was I thinking? It may have been in wonderful shape and as clean as can be, but when the furniture was out, it just looked SOO dated!"). Down came the 1976 foil wallpaper in all the hallways (the wallpaper person had signed the wall-thus we know the date) and up went the beige paint. Ripped out the gold rug that was everywhere in the house and exposed the hardwood flooring. Tore down more wallpaper and painted with color (a new idea then-transferee beige was just ending its reign). Remodeled the kitchen, installed central vacuum, put on a new roof, tore out some walls (non-load bearing, mind you), added more windows, added a deck, installed miles of crown molding, replaced all the hardware in the house, remodeled the bathrooms, restored exterior walkways, removed overgrown landscaping, removed many large trees that were too close to the house, etc., etc. Please bear in mind this was NOT a fixer-upper.
Two years later we had the exterior of the house painted; two years after that we realized our mistake and had the whole house vinyl sided. We had all of the windows in the house replaced with Thermopane windows. Okay, so now I am starting to sound like a seller with "all the things that I have done over the years."
Now, the time comes to think about selling. No wallpaper left in the house, so we are good to go, right!?
· Well, the color of the living room is no longer "in." Check that off the list! It is now Restoration Hardware "Silver Sage."
· The dining room color was never quite right-my wife regretted it from the day she did it. It is now HGTV terra cotta (okay, she still doesn't think it is quite right, but as Vern Yip says, "It is only a can of paint. If you don't like it, you can paint over it.").
· The Family Room is oh so bright and inviting (only word to describe it the day we closed in 2002 was "cave"), but the off white I insisted on in 2002 doesn't set off the beautiful crown molding we added. In comes the Restoration Hardware "Butter Cream." Refreshing.
What am I getting at? This is a LOT of work! I plan to keep picking away at the updating of 2002 into 2011 all winter long before we put the house on the market around March 1. Our kids decluttered their rooms while they were home this summer. Now I have to get a large storage unit at the local U-store. It doesn't matter if you have lived in a home for 30 years or 10-you collect LOTS of things, and we need to weed it out. (Goodwill knows us on a first-name basis now.) And then pack the rest up-might as well get some of the packing done ahead of time-and put it with our kids' boxes at the U-store.
And so my journey to "staging" my house "for sale" begins. So to all my sellers--I DO know your pain!!