Can a messy house sell for top dollar? On the latest episode of “Unsellable Houses,” Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis prove that even the most cluttered home can turn a big profit.
In the Season 2 episode, “A Contemporary Cleanup,” these twin sisters get a call from a homeowner, Stan, who needs lots of help on his self-described “semi-hoarder” house in Bothell, WA.
While Stan had his house on the market for $500,000, it wasn’t selling. And as his daughter Shannon explains, “What it’s valued at right now, he would never get his money back.”
Still, Lamb and Davis know that with a little work, this three-bedroom home could go for a price in the mid-$700,000s, if not higher.
So, the sisters put a hefty $100,000 into this renovation, giving the home a contemporary makeover that’s filled with industrial elements and a lot of earthy touches.
Read on to see how a messy home with an overgrown lawn can turn into the best house on the block, and learn some take-home lessons you might want to try on your own abode, too.
Trim your greenery so you can see the house
As soon as Lamb and Davis see the front yard, they start to understand why this house hasn’t sold. The lawn is so overgrown that it’s hard to even see it, so they remove the majority of the greenery, in what Davis calls “maybe one of the biggest landscaping jobs we’ve taken on.”
Once the front yard is finished, the place is transformed. With some decorative stones, sod, and new grass, the yard is still filled with natural elements, but it looks polished.
Metal railings can give a deck a modern look
With the amazing green yard, Lamb and Davis want to make sure the deck is as beautiful as its natural surroundings, so they give it a completely new look.
Since the whole deck needs to be redone, the sisters decide to choose their priorities, designwise, and focus on the new railing rather than on the new cedar flooring.
“We’re going to stick with the pattern that we have now, and focus on the railing, because that has more curb appeal—we’re going to get more bang for our buck,” Davis says.
The railing is a huge success. The metal looks amazing against so much wood. It’s a great mix of modern and natural that boosts this home’s curb appeal in a big way.
Take inspiration from nature for your backsplash
Since the exterior is so impressive, Lamb wants to bring the outside in with the kitchen design. She chooses a gray backsplash tile in a leaflike shape, and a green wall color. Then, she ups the ante when installing the tile.
“So, what I’d love to do here in this kitchen, and especially for the backsplash, is do something a little unique, something to appeal to that upscale buyer,” Lamb explains. “Instead of going from the countertop all the way up to the ceiling with our tile, I want to go for a live-edge look.”
The “leaf” tile isn’t finished in a straight line, but extends organically.
As Lamb explains, “It gives texture, and for me, it feels more like that earthy, contemporary kind of feel.”
Light paint reflects more light
At first, Lamb wants to use dark wood flooring in this house—but she changes her mind after selecting lots of green paint colors for the kitchen and bedrooms.
“I think we should go with the lighter floor option, to brighten up the room a bit,” Lamb says, after some consideration.
The sisters end up installing light wood floors, which look great throughout the house. The floors help brighten up the darker walls in the kitchen and bedrooms. They even look great in the white living room, providing another light surface to bounce off for all the natural light from the windows.
This flooring choice serves as a reminder that while darker wall colors may bring an elegant look to your home, they can quickly become too dark with the wrong flooring. Meanwhile, there’s no such thing as “too light” when it comes to a fabulous room with big windows. Light flooring looks good anywhere!
Glass showers add a spalike feel
While Lamb and Davis want this home to have a natural vibe, they’re also focused on giving a luxurious look. The bathroom starts out incredibly dated, and is given a full makeover.
“The main bathroom is getting brown tiles installed, as well as a glass shower wall, which is really going to make the bathroom feel bigger and more spalike,” Lamb says.
The glass shower wall also echoes the industrial elements in the home, like the metal railing on the deck.
When Lamb and Davis finally put this house back on the market, they list it for $745,000, and within just a few days, they accept an offer for $855,000. After taking the $100,000 investment in renovations into account, the sisters make a $255,000 profit to split with the homeowner.
Each of them walks away with $127,500—an amazing profit on a former hoarder house!