Sunday, March 25, 2007

Do's And Don'ts: Are Granite Counter Tops So 'Yesterday?'

So I discovered's real estate section today for the first time. Maybe I'm a tad late to the party on this one. Anyway, they had an article about trends that work and don't work if you are planning on putting your house on the market. I'm re - printing them here verbatim and of course adding my comments in red because I can't help myself lol:

1. Avoid installing bowl-shape, above-the-counter bathroom sinks. They look pretty but have proved to be harder to maintain and keep clean. This is a no-brainer. I could tell by looking at them this would happen! I agree with this one.

2. Use engineered stone compound for kitchen countertops. The material is less expensive than granite and is expected to be the trend this year. Hmm. My buyer clients are still asking for granite - maybe Cleveland is behind the curve on this. I DO however agree, they don't hold up as well as engineered countertops.

3.Don't install too many glass cabinet doors in your kitchen. They look better in magazines than they do in real life, where homeowners must keep their cabinets in perfect order or suffer embarrassment. Yes. One or two for 'accent' but the rest of your cabinets are containers of your life you may not want buyers to see! Or relatives over for dinner, for that matter.

4. Consider replacing a wooden or chain-link fence with a wrought-iron one. Wrought-iron fences portray a look of luxury. Maybe they look luxurious but unless your dog is a mastiff or Burmese mountain dog, they can get through the bars. My experience is that people want fences. And they want them for pets as much as they do kids. Or privacy. Ohio City is a great place for wrought iron. But in general, I don't find it as practical except maybe as a front decorative fence. Just my two cents.

5. When repainting trim for shutters, doors and window frames, go with bold and deep colors. And don't get rid of the trim around interior window openings -- it only looks cheap. People actually take out this trim?

6.If replacing floors, avoid bamboo. This flooring was popular when it debuted, but now users are saying it is easily dented and scratched. It is also more likely to warp due to weather and humidity. I don't think this was ever a big trend in Cleveland.

7.If you're adding new construction, don't employ concrete blocks in exterior walls. They are not attractive and are more likely to leak moisture if not properly installed.

8. If you're redoing a kitchen or bathroom, consider using glass tiles instead of ceramic ones. They're gaining popularity again because of reflective qualities. This is not a bad idea; already popular in places like downtown condominium complexes. But consider your budget and remember that good taste in colors and styles chosen is probably much more important than if they are glass or ceramic.

Personally, I like this list of five projects on Money Magazine's website written by Arianne Cohen. Things like new shower doors, painting kitchen cabinets to freshen them up, these are inexpensive and probably produce as good results as glass tiles instead of ceramic. Just my humble opinion! Peace Out - 3C