Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lay off the red when painting your Bucktown condo

My clients tossed me the keys to their empty duplex condo and basically said, "Sell it". Thanks guys... now, I just need a few little changes.

The condo is at the 2333 W Block of St. Paul... a popular area to buy an affordable two bedroom condo with parking, near transportation and a short walk to awesome retail/bars/restaurants.

The best feature of the condo is the top floor master suite with a massive private terrace. It is also a timber loft with tall ceilings.

The condo needs some work to be show ready. But on a limited budget (with all work to be contracted out) I had to carefully pick out the areas I would improve to make the place ready for sale. The problem areas are pictured above.

With a budget of $1,200, I've put my team to work:

1. Paint all the red walls a neutral off-white... the unit will smell fesh and new from the paint and the walls will pop off the existing "khacki" color we'll keep. Red can make a decent accent color (or main room color for the right space), but in this case made the loft look dark. Cost is about $250 for paint and labor.

2. Improve the master bath. We decided the paint could stay. But we will re-tile the tub and re-caulk the tubs, sinks and baseboard areas. Cost is about $800 for materials and labor for our bathroom make-over.

3. Hire professional cleaners. $100

4. Place floor lamps in dark areas. No cost, already have the materials.

5. Place Glade "Plug-ins" throughout to provide a suttle, neutral scent. Negligible cost, already have a supply.

6. Place decor items in kitchen and baths... even thought the place is empty, these touches of every day life are inviting. Cost is about $50-100 for each listing for these basic decor items. After awhile, you gain a lot of pieces.

Don't take a chance... $1,000 to $2,000 spent wisely will move your condo faster. The coolest thing for me is taking the listing, drawing up the preparation and marketing plan, then executing for my clients. They never have to be around or lift a finger (however, it's cheaper if you're a good painter!).

Stay tuned for the after pictures.

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