We are currently living though a global pandemic and stuck in our homes due to lockdown. We’ve used this time not only to protect ourselves and others from covid-19 but to put our house in order ready to go on the market. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on the 10th May that estate agents were allowed to carry out property viewings as one of the ways to get the economy going as lockdown measures are eased. Although we haven’t put out house on the market yet we intend to in the next couple of weeks. The reasons why we haven’t yet got to this stage is because quite simply it’s mission impossible getting our house photo ready with two little boys making dens in every room of the house! There are also a number of diy jobs that need to be completed by my husband who is currently working long hours in the medical industry. The worst part is the gardening, as soon as I’ve removed the weeds they seem to reappear within a couple of days. It’s been tough!
These are the things we are focusing on in order to make our house market ready:
1. Front door presence. We’ve repainted the front door, pressure washed the brick work, bought a fantastic artificial hanging basket. (I’m totally against artificial flowers normally but I’ve put my principles on this to one side as I know if I bought a real one I’d fail to water it and people would be viewing a house with a dead hanging basket outside! Further to this our porch roof was rotting, our porch needed to have its timbers replaced and this was an important repair especially as the house is grade II listed and will be heavily scrutinised by a surveyor.
2. Plant some screening. When we moved to our current home 4 years ago it was mentioned in our survey that the Leylandii trees that surrounded the perimeter of our property hand grown out of control and were at risk of falling. The trees also took up a large area of the front lawn which meant we had less green space for the boys to run around on. When a new property to the side of our property began its building plans we were approached with an offer to have the trees removed in order for them to have better access when building, as our unruly trees would obstruct their access. Reluctantly I agreed that having all the trees cut down and starting from scratch would be the best thing to do. The problem was however that there is a bus stop behind the trees at the front of the property and a brand new commercial building being built behind the trees at the side of the property. We’d now have no screening from either! In order to think long term in regards to screening we have since planted a fast growing laurel hedge in place of the trees at the front of the property which should hopefully give us privacy from the buses. Have added two decorative trees in front of the hedge at the point where the buses stop to further ensure privacy needs are met. For this we choose a Malas Sun Rival and a Pear tree. To offer screening from the large commercial building to the side of our property we have purchased some fast growing silver Birch trees which have already taken well. Hopefully we will have done enough to ensure that any would be buyer will be happy with the efforts we have gone to, to provide adequate screening.
3. Touching up paint work. It’s amazing how much impact a lick of paint can have. With having two boys and two labradors doors and skirtings can get grubby and paint work can get chipped. Be ensuring all door frames and skirting boards and heavily used wall areas such as around light switches are touched up with a fresh lick of paint it’s amazing just how much of a difference it can make.
4. repairing timber windows. Our house is over 500 years old and the process of replacing windows is a painful task that requires listed building consent (LBC) just filling in the application gave me a headache. We were due to spend a small fortune having our windows replaced before we decided that now is the time to move back to our real home of Yorkshire. We had a good look at our windows and stripped them back to access the damage and actually they were able to be repaired. My husband has painstakingly stripped the windows down, filled them with putty, sanded, primed and painted them and they are looking pretty good. We have considered the fact that someone purchasing the property may wish for a slight reduction should the surveyor point out that these windows have been repaired and may at some point need to be replaced.
5. Removing artex. Since moving into our property in 2016 my husband has declared war on Artex. My goodness it has been awful to remove. Thankfully my dad is an experienced builder and plasterer. We’ve managed to remove the majority or the artex in places where it will make the most impact and we are currently waiting for lockdown to end so my dad can visit firstly for lots of cuddles with us because we’ve missed him but also to do a tiny bit of plastering at the top of our landing.
6. Cleaning grout. I recently purchased some cleaning brushes that attach to the end off drill. I can report that this has been a game changer when it comes to getting the grout on my kitchen floor super clean. It looks like it did when the kitchen floor was laid. It’s particularly good for cleaning around the shower area. There’s nothing worse than visiting a bathroom where there is black mould growing in the grout. With a little help from my friend cif and a regular spray of astonish mould and mildew spray I feel happy letting people view my bathroom. Nobody wants to buy a house with a grotty bathroom.
7. Carpet cleaning. Having two boys and two labradors and a cream living room carpet is pretty much a recipe for disaster. I’ve enquired at our local Homebase store about hiring the rug doctor cleaning machine however this is not possible due to covid 19. The store explained that the risk of contamination was deemed too high a risk. I’m now looking at other ways I can revitalise my carpets. Please get in touch if you have any suggestions.
8. Internal plants, flowers and greenery. Again, being a lover of nature and greenery in general this is against my usual principles but needs must. I’ve invested in some artificial tulips to go inside vases around the house. Cut flowers are expensive and they can really be a pretty asset and brighten up a room. If we are to have regular viewings it will be more cost effective to have artificial flowers and there will be no need for a mad dash to the supermarket (despite its close proximity) to buy some if someone wants to view the house at the drop of a hat. I also plan on getting some green plants for the bathrooms.
9. Bathroom makeover. The people who previously owned our house were not on the same page as us regarding colour schemes. Our boys are luckily enough to have a shared bathroom between their bedrooms at our current house however, it’s a blue bathroom suite. It just looked a bit tired and dated. If we were staying we would have eventually had the bathroom completely gutted and replaced. Given we are moving however we have gone with the cheap makeover option. With left over paint from when we decorated our kitchen I have repainted the bath panel, doors and skirting, we’ve replace the light pulls with more hygienic metal ones, replaced the shower screen and shower head, added a more modern light fitting, a new toilet seat and bought a few new towels and a bath mat. Overall it’s been a cheap makeover but has made quite a difference.
10. De cluttering with the help of Marie Kondo. Although I think the process of sitting holding my belongings close to my chest and seeing if they spark joy and thanking me old tee shirts for their years of service absolutely bonkers, I do agree with her tidying and decluttering methodology. Kondo’s approach is to discard items due to category rather than going room to room and store all items of the same type in the same place. It’s amazing how simpler life is when we have less stuff. Also, it’s brilliant being able to have things to hand and reduces the risk of going out and spending money on replacements of things you own but can’t find. (Also reduces rows with the other half)
Final note! Sorry about the purchasing of artificial flowers! I’m a terrible person 🤦🏼♀️