The Cool House: The current preoccupation

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The current preoccupation

You can guess from yesterday's post and today's playlist (scroll to page end, press to play) that the economy, our economy that is, which is deeply affected by the real estate market, is my current #1 concern.
When we took on this house we knew it required a lot of work to correct the problems caused by years of deferred maintenance. We did everything necessary to make the house watertight, pest and rot free and we addressed certain things like removing carpets and landscaping that we thought would make the house more appealing and easier to live in. For the first two and a half years we were sure that every dollar we put into the house we would get back at least once. Now the market has turned and even though we didn't buy the house to flip (we bought because I was deeply in love with it) we have to consider carefully the level of investment we are prepared to make in the future.
I was therefore intrigued by an HGTV mail 30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value and I started to compare what we'd done with their checklist.
We started really well, a perfect score on things we could do for less than $100, and we are up to speed at the $100-$200 fixes, too. Things start to get a little wonky at the next level. I refuse to believe a "functional, decorative ceiling fan is a beautiful thing" even though my realtor told us to install ceiling fans in all the rooms as "buyers expect them". I've never met a ceiling fan I like and we have a HVAC system with a fan option so I hope I'm covered. Even more disturbing, though, is Tip #3: "Replace heavy closed draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in — a sunny room feels larger and more open". Does this mean people keep their drapes closed all the time? What are they, troglodytes?
We ripped out all those vertical blinds the first week we were here. The same fan-loving realtor suggested it as an immediate way to increase the value of the house when we viewed the place and we took that advice. The rooms went from dark to light in the hour it took to pull the vertical vinyl from 10 windows. Did we do the right thing, or have we seriously compromised our real estate value?

Is this before shot really better than the image below?

Or should I give up reading the HGTV emails?

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Weird... I've never heard that about ceiling fans. They would overwhelm our house, I'm sure... I want one for the air movement, but with 10x12 rooms, something that huge on the ceiling will look a little odd!

I personally think the after window is MUCH better...