The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 16, 1997 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, May 16, 1997
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Page 8
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A8 FRIDAY. MAY 16, 1997 HOME & GARDEN THE HOME REPAIRS CREATIVE ENVIRONMENTS Ready for Resale Good home maintenance prevents big problems, lessens time house is on the market By SHERRI VASQUEZ Snii>i'S Howard News Service BOULDER, Colo. -- Leaky faucets, dirty windows and torn screens tell potential buyers a house hasn't been well-maintained. Small things that go unattended often mean bigger problems down the road, selling or not. But if you're selling a home, you could be scaring off buyers without even knowing it. Many sellers don't know how to prepare their property for sale, so their homes languish on the market and they often resort to dropping prices. General home maintenance is a practical and cost-effective approach that works, say home improvement experts Judy Richtel and Linda Morrell. "You only have 15 seconds to make a good impression, so make sure you cover the basics. Things should be clean, uncluttered and in good repair," says Morrell, president of Linda Morrell Interiors ^ in Boulder, Colo. "You only have 15 R S; el > ™« seconds to make a agent with , . . Moore & Compa- gOOd impreSSlOn ... ny Realtors, also Things should be int B ° uld ' r ' °P efr 0 ate the Competi- clean, uncluttered tive Edge, a con- and in good repair." £%*£%* Linda Morrell tips for fixing up a home to sell president, Linda Morrell Interiors quickly at a good ^ price. Sometimes doing just the basics — cleaning, clearing the clutter and making minor repairs — is enough. That means inside as well as out. "Curb appeal is extremely important," says Shelley Bridge, a real estate broker. "Wash or touch up paint on the front porch and remove any cobwebs. Clean the bugs out of the porch light. A brass mailbox and brass numbers on the outside can improve the first impression." Trim the bushes and keep the lawn mowed, edged and watered, Bridge advises: "Fresh mulch around plantings and big pots of flowers go a long way toward making your house look inviting." When cleaning the interior, pay careful attention to walls, carpet, floors, windows, appliances, fireplace, tubs, mirrors, sinks and tiles. "The house should sparkle," Morrell says. "Buyers want a house that looks ready to move into. Give them a clean canvas to work with." Clearing junk from closets, cabinets, countertops and garages makes them seem larger. "A crowded house appears too small," Richtel says. "Overloaded cabinets and closets indicate lack of storage. Cluttered countertops translate into insufficient counter space. Purchase becomes an option only if that first impression is favorable." Rearranging the furniture also helps if trying to create the illusion of more space. Pack away personal photos Sellers should also depersonalize their houses as much as possible, Bridge says. "This means packing away personal photos, etc.," she says. "If your house is too personal, (buyers) can feel like they're violating your space and have a negative showing experience." The front of the refrigerator and the tops of fireplace mantels, bookcases and dressers should also be cleared. Interior repairs should include patching holes in walls and painting if necessary. When , painting, choose a neutral color. White seems like an obvious choice, but some buyers may shy away from it because it's perceived as high-maintenance. Photos by Scripps Howard News Service General home maintenance keeps your place looking nice, which Is an especially good idea when you're ready to sell It. A weathered deck gets a face lift with a coat of stain and a painted border. Furniture and flowers, which can be removed when moving, add a finishing touch. Bright yellow tile (left) kept this house from selling for more than a year. The Competitive Edge, a consulting firm in Boulder, Colo., advised the owners to spend $1,500 to replace the tile, and the house sold quickly. Carpets should be steam-cleaned and replaced only if necessary. If carpeting is replaced, the same color should go in each room to achieve continuity. Buyers don't like dark carpet, says Montclair Realty & Management partner Jeff Johnston, who buys homes and fixes them up for resale. "I won't leave dark-colored carpet in a house I'm trying to sell, even if it's in good condition," he says. "It makes a house look small." Johnston says he spends about $5,000 to repair and renovate the houses he buys to sell and estimates that the average homeowner spends about $2,000. "Most people make the money back when they sell their house," Johnston says. "If you're planning on making a profit, you'll probably have to do the work yourself instead of hiring someone." Window coverings should be cleaned or, if the style is too distracting, removed. Simple options, such as mini-blinds in a neutral color, Colors: How you combine them makes difference ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN Scripps Howard News Sewice Certain hues used in large amounts can be irritating to the eye The human eye can see 1 million colors. That's a bunch of colors. And all of these colors are good, but, as with anything else, the right combination, coupled with moderation, is the key. Certain colors and color relationships can be irritating to the eye. They can cause headaches and generally wreak havoc with vision. Other colors and color combinations are soothing, relaxing and healthy to behold. Which color is the worst offender? Some say yellow. Pure, bright lemon yellow generally is considered the most fatiguing color. The reason is that since more light is reflected by bright colors, the result is excessive stimulation of the eyes, hence, eye irritation. Babies cry more in yellow rooms, couples fight more in yellow kitchens (how's that for an excuse) and movie stars throw more tantrums in yellow dressing rooms. Yet yellow is a pleasant color when used in moderation as an accent, or toned down into a light, pale hue of itself. A soft yellow on the walls is a pleasant and effective background for furnishings in a room. If a room receives little or no sunlight, the soft yellow walls help make the room bright. Or a blue-and-white room welcomes a splash of yellow in throw pillows or in artwork, for pizzazz. Just remember: a little bit of color goes a long way. Then there's red. Its a color known to raise blood pressure and get attention. But red is another eye irritant if stared at too long. Try this test. Look at something red for a constant 30 seconds, then look away, preferably to some- Scripps Howard News Service Yellow and red are pleasant colors when used In moderation as an accent. thing white. Instead of red or white, the eye will see green. It is not a hallucination, but it is an "after image." Here's the explanation: The eye is filled with 250,000 color decoding cones. The 83,000 cones used to decode red becorne fatigued and over-stimulated when focusing on red for a long time. The opposite cones then get going and take over to relieve the fatigue. Green is the opposite to red, hence the green after image. If you stare at a red sunset for a long time, until it disappears into the horizon, there might appear to be a green flash of color at the instant the sun disappears — an after image, not hallucination. All colors have their good features and their fatiguing features, but the brightest seem to be donii- nant in the fatiguing field. Combinations of colors and blends of colors are the most pleasing to the eye. That doesn't mean we should exclude pure, bright colors from the decorating palette. Just remember their strength and keep them tempered. Friedman is president of Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, Inc., Naples, Fla. are a good choice. Windows should be clean and the curtains open. Dark, dank bathrooms and basements can also scare potential buyers. "Make your basement clean and bright," Bridge says. "Spray- painting an unpainted, unfinished basement can do wonders in reducing the creepy-basement feeling." Bridge also recommends dusting the furnace and water heater and cleaning the washer and dryer. Pouring baking soda, followed by boiling water, down the laundry-room sink and floor drains freshens them. Bathrooms get a boost from new grout, while plants and floral arrangements bring visual interest. Shower curtains and towels can add color, and a clear shower curtain makes a small space seem larger. Fixing dripping faucets, broken outlets, loose handrails, broken steps, missing gutters and downspouts are other minor tasks that make a home seem well-maintained. on the HOME & GARDEN TELEVISION ew don't stash: If your fabric stash rivals a small fabric store, shop your stash once a month and pick out' four or five selections. Put them in a basket near the sofa or on your sewing table. An occasional glimpse of these fabrics could be the stimulus you need to use them in a project. Neater veggie bin: Most vegetables contain a lot of water, and that water can make a big mess in your refrigerator's vegetable bin. After your next shopping trip, place paper towels in the bottom of the bin before putting in fresh vegetables. The paper towels will absorb water as the veggies lose it, making the next cleanup a lot easier. Tips and tricks gleaned from Home and Garden TV. Salina Journal ^oman Custom Window Treatments By Appointment IT,;: 822-0912 Elizabeth Bryan / -^_,..,_,_^_^ _.,... -/ ~, , "I - , —% —X —N, — s V. -' ; •"•' •"* ~^ —' • • --^ —^ ^"s m-MMILUfl "* Salina Jminwl YOU'RE R FOR A NEW MATTRESS C, 0| • Your mattress is older than you are. • You finally vacuum all the crumbs off your mattress and it actually becomes less comfortable. > You deliberately pick fights with your spouse just so you can sleep on the couch. • Your kids jump and play on your bed, but you can't hear them over the mattress noise. DOM thli sound Ilk* your nuttrau? H to, It's tint* for • MW on* ..AND WE'RE READY WITH I SPECIAL CLOSEOUT PRICES! £30 pm I 'til 5 pm 90 Days Same as Cash 1930 S. 9th • Salina • 823-3971 Free Estimates Same-day Service Experienced Technicians Written Warranty UNLIMITED • Substantial Cost Savings • Insurance Approved • Satisfaction Guaranteed Local Kansas Company Located at: 1101 E. iron (Cunningham Motors) or 815 N. Santa

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