Every Friday I post an idea or project to enhance your house now with an eye to selling down the road someday.
When I walk through houses on listing appointments, I always – always – hear, “we meant to fix that, replace that, update that, change that for years – or since we moved in.” It’s easy for what-ever-it-is to become background noise and suddenly it’s 10 years later and what-ever-it-is has never been done.
So on Fridays I’ll post “52 things to do now that will improve your resale value/chances later.” Why do them now? Because you’ll enjoy your house more. Let’s face it – if you don’t do it now, you’ll pay for it later – either because you’ll have to do it as part of your preparing the house for sale, or if you don’t do it at all, you’ll pay for it in your sales price. (Tip: buyers always discount a problem more than it actually costs to fix.) Why not enjoy the benefits of your labor now? What is the second most-common comment I hear when I list properties -after the prep work has been done to put the house on the market? “I wish we’d done this a long time ago -we love it!”
#1 of 52 – Remove that wallpaper 1) you’ve hated since the day you moved in, or 2) looks like hell.
I can’t tell you how many houses I’ve sold with awful wallpaper. The buyer says, “That’s the first thing that’s going!” and 10 years later that wallpaper is still there. It just becomes invisible – a “someday I’ll get to that but right now I have to _________.” Fill in the blank with the activities of your own life. Take the kids to soccer practice. Finish your dissertation. Laundry. You get the picture.
So now is the time to get it done. How many houses have you seen with really awful wallpaper? How much would you discount that house if you had to spend weekends stripping the wallpaper before you moved in? A lot, I’ll tell you.
Note: Wallpaper that looks okay with paintings hanging on the wall usually looks awful once all the personal decor has been taken down. You can see exactly where paintings hung because the wallpaper in that square looks so much cleaner!
Time: In 1 hour you can remove 35 to 50 square feet of paper
Cost: $75 for tools and supplies
There is one kind of wallpaper that is really a devil to remove – Grass-cloth wallpaper. I’ve done it – it’s not pretty. But it’s worth it in the long run. Check here for advice on removing grass-cloth.
So, what do you do to the walls once the wallpaper is gone? That’s another topic for another Friday.
© 2011 Susan Pruden