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.
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.