Sept. 15, 2021
The 80’s had some high points- there was Bon Jovi, Regan, and Back to the Future. However, the 80’s era homes were pretty scary. Scary is the first word that comes to mind when someone asks me to come look at their dated 1980’s home. Traditionally, 80’s homes have few windows, short ceilings, dark walls, dark wood work, tons of carpet, wall paper, bad texture, and lots of walls creating a dark, dingy cave feeling. It doesn’t have to be scary- it can be clean, crisp, and even modern. I have often said that a home built in 1962 is sometimes more updated than a home built in 1982, as far as visuals go. So, what do you do if you have that 1980 monster to sell? Or maybe you just want to add value to it? First, you need to call me and my team! We can help, even if you do not want to sell; we offer our professional services as a courtesy for free to you. We would love to take a sledge hammer and demolish everything down to studs and start over in some homes, but that is not cost effective in this Elk City Real Estate Market. So, we have three cost effective tips to help your 80’s home that do not involve tearing down walls and completely gutting kitchens.
First Tip: Paint your brick! (I know there are some brick layers out there that just had heart palpitations! Don’t worry.) Most people do not like 80’s style bricks, even though they generally are not conscious of that singularity when they look at a home. When a buyer just does not like the curb appeal of the home for some reason, it is the brick, I promise. It is like looking at someone with overgrown or over plucked eyebrows- you notice there is something bad going on there but cannot put your finger on it- until one day they fix those odd things up. Ugly brick is much like ugly eyebrows, and once painted you will not easily forget what a difference it makes. Here are some examples of before and after, homes that is. For an added bonus hang some shutters (not the screw flat on the side of the house kind). And yes, paint the brick in a beautiful neutral color, not bold, no purple, no red, no turquoise, etc. We want a neutral cream, like Sherwin Williams Dover White (SW 6385). Most paint stores like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have helpful ideas on their websites about matching colors for body, trim, shutters, and accents on home exteriors, so go have a look!
Second Tip: Paint the wood work and the interior walls. Consider painting the wood work a shade of white (we advise against stark white), and the walls a cream or a shade of grey, grey is popular. There are several different shades of whites and creams and greys. I recommend painting the ceilings a shade of white, that is after scraping off that popcorn ceiling. (I guess this could have been the fourth tip, but three tips to fixing the 80’s home sounds easier, and if you’re painting the whole home why not do a little scraping while the ladder is out.) White ceilings draw the eyes upward and creates a calm, open feel visual overhead. Most 80’s homes only have 8 foot ceilings with few windows, so creating openness is the key in this area. Painting the wood work white or cream emphasizes, clean, light, and airy, and helps over compensate for the 80’s look. For your painting needs call Pudges Painting Melvin Boyce. He is great at doing this- I have sold several homes for him, and he is good at choosing paint schemes that are popular, and most importantly, add value.Boyce can paint most home exteriors for a lot less than you may think, and can do most brick home interiors around 1600 to 2000 square feet for about $1500 not including paint. Paint cost usually runs close to the cost of labor.
Third Tip: New flooring everywhere! (Do not be cheap and skip the bedrooms- people notice- trust me!) I do not recommend tile unless it is a wood look alike, and I also do not recommend laminate flooring; it was once the rage, but people look at it like people used to view linoleum, that is old and cheap. And although nice, I would not buy hand scrapped wood flooring either. I recommend LTV products, they look great, are more durable than traditional wood, and cost half or three times as much less. Not to mention easier to care for- no sanding later on! You can expect to spend $4 to $10 a square foot, including labor for laying, for these products. Also, some companies make tile now that looks similar to wood flooring. It is more expensive than LTV, but it just may be worth doing. Carpet works well in the bedrooms, however, make sure it is neutral, and not sculpted. I recommend calling a local carpet company, Elk City has some really good installers. Let us know if you need any help shopping for carpet style.
There are many factors that go into a home’s value, including location, cleanliness, and functionality of the home’s floor plan. So, before spending $12,000 to $20,000 on your 80’s home, please call us, and we will give our opinion if it is worth the time and capital.