Thursday, June 15, 2017

How I Staged My House to Sell in 3 Hours

As of May I officially owned and lived in my house for 9 years. I know I keep saying that but it is so hard to believe. I spent all of my college years here, lived with some great friends here, and started my career in this house. My sister and I lived here together for 3 years.

 This is where Brennan and I first lived together for over a year. It's remarkable.

Selling the house has made me very sentimental, leaving my home town makes me nostalgic, it's a strange process.

Many of you that have seen my blog know how wrecked the house was when I first bought it. Here is what it looks like the day it hit the market. It's strange to imagine that it has come so far and I have done so much.



We actually received multiple offers on our house that were over the asking price! The house went "Live" on the market at 11:48 am and by 3:50 pm we had the offer that we ultimately accepted. Our realtor says there are a few things that we did to make it stand out.

The biggest one? Cleanliness and staging.

















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Let's do a final walk through, shall we? I'll tell you what I did in each room to make a big difference.

Master Bedroom: Normally in this room I have nightstands and small gallery walls over the dresser
and beside the bed. In order to maximize the space I took all of that down and replaced it with some mirrored stars. What's sort of interesting is that those were there the first year I moved in. I also usually have a big fluffy rug and a darker comforter.

Before Staging (minus the gallery walls by bed):

  • Remove any floor coverings so buyers see whats there. Also if you have wood floors makes it seem fresher and larger.
  • Remove gallery walls and personal photos or last name letters. I used to have a big M by the side of my bed.
  • Use WHITE bedding. In between showings I had a throw blanket that I threw over the comforter to keep it clean from little doggy feet.
  • Remove/store any furniture you can live without. Getting rid of the nightstands was a good move. Made it look even bigger and I figured out that I don't use them anyway so I gave them to a friend.
  • Get everything off of your dressers and surfaces that you possibly can. We left the TV and clock. That's it.

After Staging:










Master Bathroom: My bathroom is one of my personal favorite spots in my house, probably the one I am going to miss the most because it is unnaturally large. I'm sure the square footage could have been used more effectively to have a bigger closet but hey, it worked for me!

  • Clean! I took everything out of the cabinets that I wouldn't need before the move. Its pretty sad since I love all of my make up collection and I fear it hates me but the buyers being able to open and close the doors and see it empty allows them to see how they'd use the space. 
  • With something specific like the built in I left a few of my CHEAP necklaces hanging to show the purpose of it. Cheap because if someone has sticky fingers I don't want to lose my precious items to their greediness. 
  • Make sure paint on cabinets and trim on mirrors is fresh.
  • Make sure all bulbs work.
  • Clean the vent.
  • Clear all surfaces. This one was hard to maintain but worth it.




Living Room: This is where the most change happened and it is where I really started to see the house as "For Sale" and no longer mine. That was a weird feeling, definitely. I love art and pillows and fluffy rugs. I also love fully packed bookcases. English teacher probs.

Before Staging:




  • Take EVERYTHING but a couple items off the walls. All of my cool vintage images, maps, and decor came down. I only left the super neutral stuff above the TV to give it some character. I also left one mirror to reflect a bit more light.
  • Get rid of excess furniture- this seems like a given but especially for me. I had the two large couches previously. I was planning to get rid of them this summer for a sectional anyway so it just expedited that. 
  • Clear surfaces. 
  • Remove rugs.
  • Make sure the curtains are washed and fresh. 
  • Polish wood floors.

After Staging:


 Dining Room & Kitchen:  The kitchen wasn't too hard to do, it was hard to determine what I did need to keep out to use for daily life. Most of this was just packing some stuff up and sending other stuff to the thrift store. I had forgotten how much I had put on top of the cabinets. ha.

Before staging (and new counters):





  • Again, everything off the walls! I left one thing because it was a decal and I was worried I'd peel the paint. 
  • Throughout the entire house I swapped the light switch covers for the plain white ones and kept my fancy expensive metal ones.
  • Took every thing off the counters. 
  • Cleaned each appliance until it sparkled and scrubbed the back splash.
  • Dining room: I removed the rugs and the cat from the table.
  • Get rid of excess furniture. I sold my coffee bar and took down all art work in the entire space.

Staged:







Laundry Room: This one is nearly the same. Here are the things I did to prep the staging on this space:

  • Repainted the cabinets where needed.
  • Repainted counter top.
  • Took down any extra art.
  • Cleaned the microwave.
  • Polished the front of the machines and cleaned the trashcan.





Guest Room/Office: My sister moved out about a year ago and I had sort of left the space the same since she left so it was our box storage area. We kept all of that to one zone. Buyers recognize that you are moving and don't really calculate that into it. That being said we did rent a large storage unit and house the rest of the boxes and gear. This was just stuff that didn't fit and I didn't want to pay for two units.  
  • Remove all artwork again except for a couple pieces.
  • Clear all surfaces.
  • Make sure the floors shine. 
  • If you have to have boxes, makes sure they are closed and stacked neatly.




Guest Room: This space was also pretty easy since I kept it pretty basic as a guest room.

Before staging- the last time I took pictures at Christmas. Ha.:


Staged:

  • Remove all but 1 piece of artwork.
  • Use white bedding.
  • Clean and polish the floors and windows.
  • Wash curtains.
  • Clear surfaces of furniture.
  • Remove rugs.




Guest Bathroom: Since I was already using this as a guest space, it wasn't too hard to get it staged which was nice because I was still suffering the trauma of the kitchen.

Before staging:



Staged:
  • I removed the shower curtains and liner and just hung a sheer really high to make it look bigger. 
  • Completely clear the counter.
  • Make sure all the lights work.
  • Clean the vents.
  • Empty the cabinets.
  • BLEACH the tub (or whatever product you use. Make it white!)
  • Take down all but basic decor.





Making sure that I had a clean and crisp color scheme, the floors shown, and I took my personality out of it (and all my art featuring redhead goddesses, hehe)  it really looked like a show house. Our amazing realtor told us that part of the reason it sold so quickly was because of how light, bright, and clean it was.

Selling your house, one of the few times that elbow grease actually has a return! What other tips and tricks help get houses sold? What do you look for when you're shopping for a house?


Thursday, June 8, 2017

20 Things to Do in GJ: #6 The Colorado National Monument

Oh man! I'm down to 20 days left in Grand Junction! Getting after that list and speaking of which, I've got one down.

#6 has been knocked off the list!  In the Grand Valley of Western Colorado we are blessed with having the gorgeous Colorado National Monument right next door. For $15.00 you can get a week long pass to tour the entire place. There are at 3 least canyons and fantastic monoliths that date back billions of years. It seems nearly unreal when you're standing on the edge of a cliff looking across the echoing eons of the erosion process. Truly beautiful. The valley has no smog either so it is crystal clear as you gaze across the scenery.

Speaking of scenery, just have a looksie at the images below. I promise I took them all on my iPhone 7 and only edited two. Also, the timer feature is pretty sweet on the camera. Anyway. I'll let the images speak for themselves.









I mean, what can I even say? The high desert is an intense and volatile place, but the beauty of it is without question. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

20 Things To Do In Grand Junction, Colorado From a Native



I've lived in Grand Junction, Colorado my entire life. I figured since I'll be leaving within the next month for the Denver area I should put together a list of all the things that are truly "Junction." There are way more then 20 items but these are my top 20. I'm going to be treating this like a bucket list of sorts of things to do before I leave!

1. Go to every winery in Pali and stock up on bottles. Probably a 2 day thing. 🍷 
  Seriously, check out all the details about Wine Country Colorado here.


I'll definitely be back every September for the Winefest in Palisade. We had a lot of fun last year!


2. Go on a weekend camping trip on the Mesa and make breakfast over the fire. ⛺



3. Hike Mt Garfield, finally. It really is quite the feat. To get a better idea of it check it out here! It's hiking 2,000 feet up to the top of this bad boy. Not in the snow, I just thought that picture was pretty.


4. Hike Devils Kitchen. It's this really interesting and awesome outcropping on the Colorado National Monument. It's not too hard of a hike and it is very very pretty. You can climb all around the "Kitchen" and get some great vantage points.



5. Hike the Palisade Rim trail. There's Petroglyphs. Which is pretty rad. Brennan and I did this one not to long ago, here's a picture of him looking all handsome on top of the mountain.




6. Take a picture on the Colorado National Monument. I mean seriously. Look at it.



7. Do a nice lazy day river float down the Colorado River and drink a beer.


8. Go to the delicious Nepal restaurant downtown. There's no great pictures online but I will get one when I go to mark it off my list! They have an awesome lunch buffet, vegan options, and AMAZING chai! You can always check out their menu here.


9. Spend a morning people watching at Main Street Bagels. It's totally delicious. They have more then bagels, also. They have amazing lunch and sandwich options, coffees, teas, and other artisan baked goods. See all their options before you head in here.


10. Go to Quincys for the hell of it. Quincy's is the dive bar in town that is one of the most fun spots to go! Not classy, but a lot of fun!


11. Bike 🚲 part of the Colorado River Front trail.



12. Hike to Independence Monument.


13. Go to Hot Tomato and have pizza and beer with friends.


14. Go to Kannah Creek for beer and libations! Actually, that's where my going away party is going to be so, that's pretty cool.



15. Patio evening at the Ale House with friends. This one is a must do! I will probably check it off multiple times before I go! They have great beer from the area and also from Breckenridge Brewery. They always have live music playing and they have an amazing patio and outdoor area that is perfect for lazy summer afternoons drinking and spending time with friends.



16. Go to the Avalon for a movie. 🎭 



17. Hike Hanging Lake. It's an amazing 2.8 mile hike in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado. It's gorgeous. You always see proposals, photos, and families on the trail. It is really popular too. Probably for it's stunning views!




18. Food truck Friday! Did it! This is a fun event that the city does during the summer. If you're new to the area or just like Food Trucks, this is a great place to go to get all sorts of different options! They also always have live music and tons of options. Plan for the evening though! Junctionities always turn up in droves for this one! See all the locations and trucks by checking out the Food Truck site here!



19. Peach Street Distillers. AKA "The Still" to locals. An amazing and delicious distillery that features their own vodka, gin, and tequila! It is so delicious! Be warned though. That stuff is strong! I taught at the high school down the street and it was a favorite spot to head after a long day with students. Here is their website with all the delicious options!



20. Just across the parking lot from Peach Street Distillers is the Palisade Brewery. Best known for their delicious beer the Dirty Hippie, they have a wide variety of beers available all brewed locally! Totally delicious. They also have some great bar food if you happened to have hit it a little hard at the Still before heading over. Here is the link to all of their different options and strategies. Be sure to stop there and get the sampler! I'll be getting one before I go... or two. What's counting anyway? It's a bucket list!




There's a lot of things on this list that are going to be so awesome! I don't have much time left so I better get after it! I'll do blog posts along the way as I knock things off!

What are you most looking forward to seeing? Share in the comments below!