Throwback Thursday - Our Last Home

Before & After

I LOVE before and after photos.  The work and vision that make them happen are always so inspiring.  And it's fun to measure just how far you've come.  In real estate, nothing can show the power of a little staging quite like before and after photos.  Last week, for Throwback Thursday, I shared a few of our first home on Front Porch's Facebook page and this week I wanted to share a few of our last home.  The little cottage on 8 acres didn't need any repairs or overhauls, it just needed a little color!  Here is the story of that precious place.

A Cottage In The Woods

The little cottage on 8 acres completely fell in our lap.  We had just dropped a contract on a beautiful old farmhouse that needed more work than we were able to financially commit to.  I was half heartbroken, half ready for the rebound.  The cottage had been on my radar, but was out of our price range.  The same day that the farmhouse fell through, the price dropped on the cottage by $30,000.  Talk about God's timing.  I drove over immediately.  When I pulled into the driveway and passed this amazing original barn, I though "Write the offer!"  Can you believe that there wasn't even a photo of this gem included in the listing?  (That's a whole different blog post.  Pictures are SO important!)  After a short negotiation period, we bought the house and started to dream about what it would become.

We knew that we could be happy staying there forever or we could make a few improvements along the way and sell.  We leaned more toward selling, so we tried to make choices weren't very personal when we were doing projects and decorating.  I essentially staged this home the entire time we were living there.  The projects that we did were small and very inexpensive.  Nothing like the first house! 

50 Shades of Beige

The house had been wiped clean by a foreclosure company who erased all traces of the former owner's style.  This was a valid attempt at basic staging, but it fell seriously short.  They replaced the flooring, painted, and put in new appliances.  That was money completely wasted.  I've always told my husband that they wouldn't have ever dropped the price if they had painted and carpeted in different colors.  The house was nick-named "50 Shades of Beige" for a reason.  I set out to make this house worthy of a new young family!

Paint, Flooring and A Little More

The absolute first thing that we did was replace the basic white appliances with stainless steel.  This brought the kitchen forward at least one decade.  We also replaced the dated light fixtures on the main floor.  Then, we slowly painted throughout the house.  We didn't just paint the walls, but we painted the interior brick, the trim, and the kitchen counter tops.  There was a marked difference in the house after we painted.  Rooms looked larger and more inviting!  We couldn't believe it was the same place.

We hired a flooring company to put down hardwood in the living room, kitchen, dining area, and hallway.  We used 5" oak and no stain, only a poly finish.  This probably had the largest impact on the house.  The oak gave a much more rich finish to the interior and getting rid of the beige linoleum was such a relief.

We didn't do much to the exterior except for removing the 6 animal pens that were left and removing the poorly installed railings from the front porch.  Both of these projects were high impact, but low cost and very little work.  Right before we put the house on the market, we also did some light landscaping to add some interest to the front porch.

The point to this post is that none of the changes were expensive.  None of them are high fashion or super awesome amazing ideas.  They were just basic staging and presentation and that is vitally important when you are selling a home.

Selling the Dream

Who doesn't want a cozy cottage on 8 acres?  Apparently, this was the dream for so many people just like us.  We were overwhelmed with showings when we decided to list our house and a few weeks later, one sweet couple came along and bought it.  They're the kind of people that you want to leave your home with!  I'm so glad to have crossed paths with them.

Before & after of a cottage in the woods

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Exterior Before & After

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Kitchen Before & After

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Living Room Before & After

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Dining Area Before & After

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Master Bedroom Before & After

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I hope you enjoyed this little mini-tour and I hope that you have a better idea of the impact that staging can have on the sale of your home!

Donna Peters

Front Porch Design Studio, Monroe, GA 30656, USA