Vol 6 No. 41 - July 5, 2006
Sprucing up on the cheap
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
Floridas home buying season
is a little unique compared to the rest of the country. In most
real estate markets summer is the prime time for buyers to be
purchasing a home, especially a family home. Moving over the
summer is less disruptive to childrens school schedules
and mom and dads vacation schedule are also usually centered
around the summer months.
Certainly Florida has its share of families who also need to
move their residences during the summer, but because of our
large retired population and second home owners, winter is really
the time when you see the most buying and selling activity.
Therefore, if youre thinking of selling this winter, what
better time than the summer to get your home in order. And what
better way to spruce up your abode than on the cheap.
You dont have to put yourself in the poorhouse to give
your home a little sparkle.
Although some of the following tips may not be appropriate for
newer, very upscale Island homes, there are plenty of more modest
properties that would gain a great deal with a little bit of
work and money.
Kitchens, kitchens, kitchens - everyone one wants one that qualifies
as gourmet, even those of us who make more reservations than
pasta. If expensive granite countertops and custom cabinets
are too much for your budget, try diverting the eye away from
the defects and on to the assets. A good quality new kitchen
faucet will do wonders to overshadow the less than perfect sink
and countertops. How about new door handles on the old cabinets,
or if you want to spend some real money, have the doors resurfaced
Nasty and dated light fixtures with poor lighting will make
even a brand new kitchen look awful. And, Im sorry, but
someone needs to get rid of all the domed kitchen ceilings in
Manatee County, they are not a selling point.
Appliances are a little more difficult to change without spending
your kids college tuition, but making them clean and sparkling
helps. You can also have kitchen appliances spray painted so
they all match, and check your dishwasher, it frequently has
reversible panels on the front.
Bathrooms can look a lot better with a new bathroom seat. A
jazzy one with fish or palm trees can be fun. The addition of
a pedestal sink is inexpensive and well worth it. Regrouting,
replacing chipped tiles and shining up the tiles are essential.
Replacing flooring in both kitchens and bathrooms is not an
easy thing on a limited budget, but (all you custom built designer
homeowners should skip this part) vinyl tiles or inlaid vinyl
sheets can make all the difference in the world for very little
Closet space, no one ever has enough of it and no one is willing
to throw anything away. If you own one of the older Island homes
or vacation condos with limited closet space, you can expand
and customize in one day. Wire and laminated closet systems
purchased in any home improvement store will organize bedroom
closets, kitchen pantries, entry hall closets and linen closets
giving you functional space you never dreamed you had and an
important selling point.
This is just the beginning of what you can accomplish with limited
time and money, check next week for some more tips to keep you
busy during the long hot summer without breaking a sweat.
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