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White Really Does Make Your House Look Bigger

Thinking of selling your Crofton home?

Yes, white DOES make a room look larger… but color, even neutral color, makes the white trim look whiter.  Ahhhh, so many choices… no wonder you’re procrastinating on painting your home interior!  (‘Speaking from experience here because that’s exactly what Larry and I did, when it came to our living room.)  How’s a homeowner to decide… Is there a right or wrong choice?

The 2008 Cost vs. Value Report focuses on major upgrades like kitchens,  bathrooms, basements, and even attics in weighing the cost of making a home improvement vs. the return on investment when you sell your home. Yet a far less daunting and less expensive project that will pay off for you in resale is painting (and wall paper removal).

Gotta remove old wallpaper to sell your home!“Neutral sells” has been my standard advice to home sellers through most of my real estate career, but HGTV has helped change that a bit.  Homebuyers have a new appreciation for color that doesn’t necessarily impede a sale.  Yet a neutral color paint and carpet with bright or dark accents is still the better choice for home sellers because any buyer can imagine himself or herself moving in and using their own furniture and window coverings without having to repaint.

So why did I say that “White really does make your house look bigger,” you ask.  Nothing scientific to my answer… I’m just sitting in my living room the day after off-white paint was applied to the stairway, replacing neutral striped wallpaper.  I can’t believe how much bigger it makes the whole living room look and feel!  And, I might add, I never realized how claustrophobic that stairway felt until we opened it up with off-white walls.

Let me say that the best home-improvement investment I ever made was to hire someone else to remove wallpaper in the stairway of our home.  It took three professionals three full days!  Larry and I never would have had the patience to do it as well as they did.    

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the next six months, or before you paint again, consider sticking with neutral for your walls.  And remember, white DOES make it look bigger.  If you simply must have red or another strong color, try to discipline yourself to limit that decorator paint color to one room and go heavy on the white accents in that room. 

(Remember, I’m talking about resale here.  Feel free to enjoy all the color you want while living in your home… just plan to neutralize before you put it on the market.)

I’ve seen paint color mean the difference between a home sale and a price reduction for many home sellers during my four decades of real estate sales in Crofton. 

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