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Friday, March 27, 2009

CNN's laughable 'budget-friendly' home remodel. . . .

I would love to sell my house at some point in the very near future, but realize that in this market the word 'future' really means a year or more, at best. In looking on the bright side of this, I'm considering cheap, easy ways I can improve the curb appeal of my home now, so that it's easier to sell when the time does come.

So I was intrigued when I saw the following link on CNN's site: Make Over Your House Without Going Broke. Upon clicking this compelling link, I found that CNN's idea of affordable is quite, uh, interesting.

Case in point:

  • The very first example of a 'modest' makeover shows a beautifully redone kitchen, in which the cabinets alone cost a mere $15,000! My first thought was: Are you kidding me? This appears to be the type of kitchen remodel that Americans were doing in droves, courtesy of their home equity lines of credit, a year or two ago before the economy tanked! My idea of a frugal, 'budget friendly' kitchen remodel involves NOT spending $30,000 or more on new cabinets, new countertops, new appliances and new flooring, but instead doing something apparently quite radical---and cheap. Like painting. Or replacing the cabinet hardware. Maybe, maybe, upgrading to an energy efficient refrigerator or a new stove.
  • In the bathroom, CNN's ideas are equally incredible. For example, the article recommends adding a skylight, for a mere $1,500. Granted, a skylight will open up the space and perhaps make the bathroom look a little larger, but with the economy in tatters, doesn't this seem a little, well, superfluous? Again, I'm thinking a little paint and some new towel bars are well within my price range, while the thought of purchasing a "$1,000 mirror" is simply absurd. The suggestion to "add a drain" in the middle of the floor (cost: $1,000) seems unnecessary and overpriced as well.
  • Finally, CNN shares its idea of a 'smart' splurge. This includes $4,800 for a dining room table (no clue whether the chairs are included in this bargain price), almost $2,000 for a custom sofa, and nearly $2,200 for a bed. A BED. That you sleep in. Again, whether the mattress is included in this 'relative bargain' isn't mentioned. I'm going to guess not.
Seriously. What planet do the editors of CNN live on, that they believe people who are interested in a budget remodel would consider shelling out $9,000 on three pieces of furniture??? I'm simply astounded by this article, and it makes me wonder who actually paid CNN to write it. Home Depot? Lowes? Ethan Allen?

The only thing I can surmise from this ridiculous 'article' is that either the people who regularly cruise CNN's site are doing a heck of a lot better than the vast majority of Americans, or the editors at CNN have their heads screwed on backwards.

4 comments:

Miranda said...

No wonder we're in the trouble we're in. THIS is considered "frugal"?

Erin said...

Only two shows have every given me "usable" home ideas: 1) Trading Spaces...$1000 - $2000 budget and 2) Designed to Sell...$2000 budget for the whole house. Since we're diy-ers, these are the projects we can do...$15000?! Not realistic in my world...

marci357 said...

Or the writer was some Cnn relative who overspent and needed some cash from a quick write-up sale...

Seriously, I have NOT spent $9000 on furniture in the last 35 years... on appliances, yes over the years, but not on furniture. Not when good used stuff is so easy to come by and soooo easy on the pocketbook :)

I figure the best you can do frugally is have the place clean, decluttered, looking spacious, and smelling good - like hot apple pie/cinnamon is a good sales pitch. Paint a bright light neutral color if needed - the sellers will probably repaint anyway. Windows cleaned and wide open to let in what little sunshine we get out here. And add some flowers to the front walkway for brightness. Powerwash the cement or pavers to get the winter stains off them. I am a firm believer in elbow grease, not money :)

Finally Frugal said...

Oooh, I love Designed to Sell! And HGTV even has some full episodes on the website, so my lack of cable shouldn't be a deterrent. . . .

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