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Staging: The Four Year Plan – Making Progress

If you decide to list your house with the Whit Harvey team, they are going to go through your house from top to bottom and give you a prioritized list of tasks and renovations that should be done before the house goes on the market. From the simple act of de-cluttering, to major renovations such as bathroom remodel, Whit will help you get the most out of your investment.

Now of course this list Whit provides is optional. The homeowner can pick and choose which ones they elect to do, and in the end the home will be priced accordingly.

Having rushed to do various painting and renovations to two previous homes before selling, my husband and I decided that this time we would do all the renovations that future owners of our house might want, and actually get to enjoy them ourselves. So we set ourselves the goal of a five-year renovation plan, and in the end we would “love it or list it.”

Well we’ve been here almost 7 years – but we chose our Rodgers Forge house because there was nothing that we absolutely “needed” to do. We liked the paint colors, the kitchen was acceptable, and the lower level was partially refinished. So we could take our time. We’ve taken our time.

Two years ago I had Whit come over to give me an idea of what renovations we should focus on the list was long. But we’ve recently made some progress!

Whit’s Punch List

• Repair front sidewalk (cracked)

We made this a low priority

• Touch up front door paint

You would think this would be easy, but still not done!

• Finish stripping wallpaper on stairway & 2nd floor hall/2 bedrooms

Ummmm…see below

• Run electric out to garage

DONE! (just)

• Redo lower level

We have some ideas. Also see below.

• New Kitchen and take down wall between kitchen/dining room

Why yes, I would like that. $$$$!!!!

• Central Air Conditioning

Doesn’t seem so critical most of the year, but its 90 degrees and

humid today sooooo…. Yes that would also be nice and also $$$$

Here’s what I can tell you about stripping wallpaper.

Don’t do it yourself. Don’t. Do. It. It is a messy, sticky, thankless job. Your wrists will hurt for weeks, you will find bits of wallpaper stuck to doors, trim, ladders and your feet for days and days. Our house was wallpapers on walls AND ceilings. For the first floor I hired someone to do it. It took 2 men 3 days. That should have been a clue. I DID call them to do the upstairs and they were scheduled way out into the summer, and I thought, “How hard can it be? It’s just a spray bottle of water, a scraper and some time.”

It didn't look all that bad to start. But I wanted to change the color and did NOT want to add more paint over wallpaper. Oh, and the ceiling paper had started to peel.

You would think that I would have a certain amount of pride and satisfaction in having done it myself. Nope. What I have is tendonitis in my right hand. Do NOT do it yourself. The $2,200 would have been so worth it. And the smaller bedroom would also have been done. I’ve decided to leave that project for the next owner. I can live with it. It’s just the second guest room. Nobody’s ever in there.

I have to say that the one bedroom turned out beautifully. My photos don’t do it justice. Got a great deal on that Pottery Barn rug I've been admiring for 5 years! Maybe someday I can lose the window AC!

Next stop, the lower level, where we will be packing up my husband’s arrow-making workshop and moving it to the newly cleaned and organized garage so that we can redo rooms there. This is a photo of the Buzz and Diane’s basement. You remember them from the kitchen. This is the lower level of my dreams:

I will be writing about this gorgeous basement renovation in more detail soon!

So in conclusion, I would tell anyone who lists with the Whit Harvey Group: Listen to what they tell you to do. Choose what projects you think you can handle before selling, and always ask what the return on investment will be. Apparently painting has a huge ROI. Then take Whit’s advice about asking price. He knows the market.

- By Cathy Evans

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