Alright houzz friends, Jennifer needs our help. Here is her plea:
Help!!! I have agreed to help my boyfriend stage/update his house for resale, but to be honest I am feeling overwhelmed by the task. While I just completed construction of my own home in November, I've never tackled anything like this. I relied on Houzz extensively to design my house (and love it – thank you!!!), so I’m hoping my friends at Houzz can help with this project as well.
The house is a 1970's ranch with a garage that's been converted to a bedroom, an outside garage that was converted to an apartment, and a scary room that opens to the exterior of the home and has a dirt floor (a by-product of tacked-on additions - the prior owner had planned to make the home into three separate apartments).
I have ideas for the interior, but I am at a total loss outside. My total budget for the entire house-inside and out- is $5,000. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you so much for your help in advance!
Alright, first I would ask real estate experts what they think about the apartment angle - if it's still viable, is it a selling point or should they use the space as part of a single family home. I would also want their expert opinions on how to market the dirt floor room or if it makes sense to put your budget dollars toward demolishing it.
Second, Jennifer, I would recommend you read The Brick House on a regular basis to be inspired by Morgan. Check out her houzz tour here
. Also, watch a lot of Curb Appeal on HGTV but don't get too sucked into all the crazy stuff they do in the yard. Take the basic concepts and keep it very simple.
Look around at the nicest houses on the block. They probably are not too different from this house. Why do they stand out and where do they get their appeal? What is the sense of entry like? What kinds of shrubs have they planted that look nice and healthy? What color palettes do they use. In short, what do they have that your boyfriend's house doesn't have?
Get rid of all that stuff around the backyard. You're right, it's nice back there. You just need a bit of lighting and a place to hang out to make people imagine themselves back there. This is a great spot for bachelors to have a few brews, for for a family to have a great swingset, baby pool and sandbox. It's great for pet owners too - everybody wins with this backyard, it just needs more oomph.
I think with some sweat equity you guys can pull off a deck or patio, a few trees and shrubs and a garden on your budget. I'll pull some good examples and everyone else, please share your favorites as well. Plant in the fall.
As for paint color, what do you all think? Personally, I'm tempted by a charcoal gray on the bricks and wood, but I think to coordinate with your roof color you should pick a light neutral or maybe even a dark brown. If you opt for the light color, paint the trim a darker color. You can make the front door a third color to make it stand out and say "Welcome!"
Speaking of the front door, make sure your mailbox and lighting are in good shape. This is where the first impression will happen when potential buyers come over. Pick a good porchlight or two and a few potted plants.
As for the front landscaping, a simple foundation planting is an easy way to go - just be sure to plant about four feet out from your foundation so that you'll have room for houses and access to the house's exterior. I can also envision something more fun and modern here - perhaps long rectangular planters along the length of the house planted with natural grasses to accentuate the long horizontal plane of the ranch.
As for the "garage apartment," continue plantings in front of it and when buyers are coming over, don't pull right up and park in front of it. This is like screaming "YEAH, THIS WAS THE GARAGE AND IT STILL FEELS LIKE IT!"
Alright, enough jibber-jabber from me. Please chip in and help Jennifer with your suggestions. I have gathered up some images I hope will help; everyone please add your suggestions to the comments section!