Buying a Fixer-Upper: Spotting the “Light Cosmetic”

Some of the best deals out there are what I call Light Cosmetics.  These properties can totally shine with some relatively inexpensive and easy repairs.

Yet most buyers look past them.  This is where you can get a great bargain, but you have to know how to spot them!

Here’s what to look for:

1)  Blocked light:  If a property looks dark, check the window treatments.  Old blinds or curtains may be shutting out great light.  Easy fix – grab a screwdriver and take them down.

2) Missing trim:  Doorways or windows that don’t have “trim” or “casing” (wood that goes around a door or window) look unfinished.  Easy fix – have a handyman or painter add trim or casing.  It’s relatively inexpensive.

3) Beat up doorknobs: Old doorknobs can make a space look shabby.  I saw a condo recently that had new paint, a new kitchen and bath, and old beat up door knobs – they brought the whole place down.  Easy fix – pick up some door knobs you like at Home Depot and ask a handyman to install (or try it yourself).

4) Missing walls:  In the name of “open” important walls can be removed creating awkward spaces – like a kitchen oddly stuck in the corner with different flooring than the main room.  Easy fix – have a wall put in, but include a big doorway so it still feels open.

5) Old paint: Dirty scuffed walls look terrible.  An even more subtle offender is beat up trim.  Easy fix – have the whole house painted (walls, trim, and ceilings).  It’s some of the best money you can spend.

5) Ugly furniture / clutter:  Don’t be distracted by bad furniture or clutter.  It’s the easiest fix of all – it will be gone when you move in!  Do your best to see the space without it if you can.

If you need help spotting a Light Cosmetic, contact me today!  I’d love to help you find one.


1 Comment

Filed under Decorating, Fixer Uppers, Real Estate, Renovation

One response to “Buying a Fixer-Upper: Spotting the “Light Cosmetic”

  1. Pingback: Renovation Realtor: This Weekend’s Fixer Uppers | Jenny Macomber Homes

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