Before Remodeling Your Home

Remodeling-homeYou probably don’t think to call an agent before remodeling a home, but maybe you should. Ah, we agents of a certain agent suffer from remodeling nostalgia overdose; it’s no wonder I have a hard time remembering what year it is. Much less the month and day. There is so much nostalgia going on that it’s like the 1960s all over again. OK, no smoke-filled rooms stuffed with stoners stumbling around toting bongs — which today would be water bottles — but you get the point. The clothes, the TV shows, the home furnishings, they all yell groovy, baby. Or maybe it just seems that way with Mad Men and Masters of Sex.

My husband is often eager to remind me that he was drooling in his crib during the period I talk about the early 1960s. He doesn’t see the era as special for that reason. I’ve got clients who absolutely adore “mid-century,” as in 50 to 60 years ago. Notwithstanding that mid-century homes, especially in Sacramento, are in high demand. In fact, homes of any character tend to sell faster and for more money than cookie-cutter boring homes. It’s like the difference between a 1950 Buick and a 2013 Camry. Style, curves, angles, real steel, heavy metal construction versus cheap plastic boxes.

The problem comes about because it seems like it’s in our DNA to want to remodel. To modernize. OK, maybe I’m just talking about myself. But when I think back over homes I have torn apart and remodeled, I cringe. I shouldn’t have done it. I can’t believe, for example, that I hung hunter green wallpaper and installed hunter green ceramic tile in an Eden Prairie, Minnesota, split-level home. I am very sorry that I installed white cabinetry with oak trim in a Cape Cod by Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis. I apologize profusely today for the Pergo floor in the Victorian in the Whittier neighborhood.

Thank goodness I came to my senses in Sacramento.

But at least I can say I never ripped out 1940s cabinetry and replaced it with tasteless cherrywood and granite counters. Some homes deserve better. Historic homes deserve to be preserved and admired. Restored, if possible. Not stripped of all character, detail and design to try to conform to what we might call modern standards. What we call modern doesn’t last very long. It’s really a trend. It’s not modern. There is a difference between the two.

So, before you raise that sledgehammer, ask yourself this question: Are you doing more harm than good? Maybe you should set down that sledgehammer and move away from the walls. Call a Sacramento real estate agent to ask if you’re damaging your home before you undertake any major home improvement project.

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