Like many Boomers our age, we are downsizing from the large home in which we raised our two boys. Just saying those words brings tears to my eyes. I guess I am emotional because yesterday was my birthday, a reminder that each day you are older, and each day you are the youngest you will ever be as life moves on!
Lots of momentous things happened this year. Buzz Price died, the economy was still bad, my eldest son moved across the country and I well, got older…….. So we decided, my husband and I, that it is time, time to move on, time to change the kids’ rooms that have been the same since they left for college about eight years ago, time to get rid of the big sturdy furniture that could withstand ball games, jumping, dogs and spilled drinks, time to leave the small town in which we live, time to move back to the city, time for a change! How do you do that, just pull up stakes from the place that carries 21 years of memories, the absurd and ridiculous events of raising children, leave the place where we buried seven pets (two dogs, three rats, a hamster, and a turtle), say goodbye to the longest and possibly most productive time of your life?
First thing, you de-clutter. Well, my husband is a saver, polite word for what he does. So over the summer he cleared out a whole lot of rooms, garages, bookshelves, etc. etc. And the house really did look denuded. Then the roofs needed to be redone, four, to be exact, because we have multiple buildings on our property. Next, the outside needed work, landscaping on 1.2 acres is not an easy or cheap job. And after that, choose a realtor. What a mischegas! Interview this one, she is prickly and tells you all the things wrong with your house. Okay, don’t like her, try another. She is nice and funny, recommended by a friend, knows our town well, been here forever, so we chose her.
The house was on the market for about 60 days, in the summer, very few showings, and no offers! In September, our neighbor to the immediate north put their house on the market. The house is an “architectural gem” but I don’t like it. Too much of a sore thumb in our very ranch-house Arbolada neighborhood. But someone did. The house sold in nine days!! So we asked ourselves, and our realtor, what are we doing wrong? And she gave us the objections she was hearing. No place to park in front, the house is situated the wrong way on the property (OMG, what do you do about that?), it needs landscaping, it feels “cold” inside, THE NAKED TRUTH. But this is the house we love, the house where we gave birth to so much love and attention, where two wonderful, productive, caring boys were raised, where we lived our eventful, cherished child rearing years. And it’s not good enough? Wow, let’s take a while to absorb that!
So we took the house off the market to think about it. By now it was winter, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, my older son getting engaged, so much to do, so much travel, my work picking up, let’s just forget the house for a while. And we did. But the holidays passed, and here we were with the problem again. What to do?
Call a home stager! Do you know what that is? I had heard about it, it had been suggested to us and we laughed. What, someone to come in and tell us how to do our house. Ha, what a joke! We know what to do! Put on a new roof, de-clutter, paint a room or two and you are ready. Oh, what we didn’t know! We had one stager come in and though they had great ideas, they presented them in a very unprofessional (read unpleasant) way. So in the middle of buying new appliances, having the bathrooms glazed, taking up all the rugs and moving things out, we had to find and another home stager. And what luck, because we found the BEST STAGER IN THE WORLD!
Here are the results:
And here’s a link to a before and after video: http://bit.ly/fvAjJN
This isn’t our house anymore, it is a fabulous, clean, sleek, “done” place, ready for someone new! I am a complete fan! In our business we talk a lot about the guest experience. And now I understand it in a completely personal way. We have made our house into the ultimate, guest experience, hospitable, environment ever! Feels like you could just sit down, click on the TV, have a margarita, throw a party or move in!
I’m guessin’ our house sells within the month! See you in the city, real soon!