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Too Much House, Too Little Time

This homeowner needs help transforming his bachelor pad into a space that will appeal to potential homebuyers.

Cruz Cervantez is a bachelor who is ready to trade in his spacious home for something smaller. When he purchased this Spanish-style house two years ago, he had high hopes of making it his own. Turns out it was more than he bargained for, and now he needs help transforming it into a moneymaker. He goes to the Designed to Sell team for help.

Real estate expert Shannon Freeman is the first to assess, touring the house and offering her opinions on what changes need to take place before the house goes on the market.

She is impressed with the exterior appearance, pointing out that curb appeal can seal a deal if it's good enough. Moving into the house, she finds that it feels cold and impersonal in nearly every room — very bachelor like. That's not a good selling point. Houses on the market need to be more appealing to the general public.

Makeover Rooms Before

Designer Lisa LaPorta is next to share her opinions, as well as her three-step plan to spruce up the place within a $2,000 budget. She wants to focus on the kitchen, living room and patio, noting that improvements here will garner the most attention.

Step 1: Turn up the heat! Adding warmth and color will make it more inviting to potential buyers.

Step 2: Add a woman's touch. The bachelor feel needs to be softened so that it appeals to all buyers.

Step 3: Fix the damage. Anything that looks broken or unusable needs to be fixed before the open house.

The work begins with clearing out the kitchen, including the fish tank, removing the mysterious substance on the fireplace in the living room and pulling up carpet to reveal beautiful wooden floors. Painting and furniture rearranging, adding fresh window treatments and accessories rounded out the process. How did it all turn out? Let's take a look:

The living room is a great size, but too drab, according to Freeman. The dead flower arrangement on the coffee table and paint on the fireplace don't help matters.

The kitchen is more of the same. It's nice and big, but sterile, and some of the cabinets don't close all the way. Because it is one of the first thing buyers see when they view a home, it deserves a chunk of the budget.

A patio that should be a great selling feature has instead become a liability. It feels very sparse, but has huge potential and could add a lot of value to this house. It just needs a few personal touches.

Makeover Rooms After

Check out the new living room! It is much brighter and warm, thanks to fresh paint and new slipcovers, window treatments, art and accessories.

The majority of the budget was spent in the kitchen on a new laminate countertop, sink, flooring, window treatments and decorations.

The patio has been brought back to life with new chairs, fresh plants and creative decor. Buyers are looking to add square footage, which is what this patio now does.

This barren bachelor pad is now alive with energy, thanks to the hard work of homeowner Cruz Cervantez and the Designed to Sell experts. Not a penny was spared, as the cost breakdown proves:

Makeover Cost:
kitchen counter and sink $706
flooring $200
window treatments & slipcovers $310
decorative accessories $414
plants and lawn chairs $250
hardware and paint $120

Total: $2,000

Makeover Information

Products from Target:

curtain rods for the kitchen, Target Home, 068 05 0286
four 54" x 15" kitchen valances, Target Home's Premiere Collection, 068 03 0739
Blue living-room valances, Target Home 100% Cotton Collection, 068 03 0533
Dakota Denim Blue love seat slipcover, Target Home, 067 04 0119
couch slipcover, Target Home, 067 04 0120
red chenille living-room pillows, Two is Always Better than One, 067 08 1016
living-room curtain rods, Umbra Drapery Rod, Bishop, 233342-125-T10; 233344-125-T10; 233346-125-T10
two patio lawn chairs, Syroco Grand Adirondack, 62609VW
three patio candles with holder, Anjou Pear, Cucumber Mint, Ivy, 054 09 2203; 054 09 2202; 054 09 1394
chenille patio throw, 067 10 0045
two patio chair cushions, Garden Place Tan-Olive Striped Universal Cushions, 009 03 0751
outdoor napkins and napkin rings, Target Home, 067 02 0357; 067 02 1391 in Tea and Gold

Products from Pride Enterprises:

kitchen countertop, Wilsonart Laminate, Mystique Dawn, 0224Q

Products from Lowe's:

kitchen paint, Frazee, Crisp Khaki 8233M
living-room paint, Frazee Oakbuff 7752W
kitchen tile, Eurostone Beige Stone, 00097
kitchen sink strainer, 25042
Marcato double-basin kitchen sink, 170616
plants and soil

Products from Home Goods:

three silk pillows for living room, 132887
living-room art, 185635 and 267633
living-room vase, 122005
two blue living-room candles, 036900 and 037026
two wicker patio columns for Patio, 607776 and 608293
three raw-silk pillows for the patio, 140755 and 140741
wicker vase for patio

Products from Pier 1:

large plate and plate stand, 1912809 and 1972842

Products from Big Lots:

one bag of Mars M&Ms
one bag of pretzels
two bags of cookies
glass canisters for kitchen, 21762
three candle sticks for patio, M010M

Products from Orchard Supply and Hardware:

patio logs
yellow kitchen canisters

Products from The Great Indoors:

faucet for sink, 12396
kitchen nobs and handles, 20419 and 20432

Products from Southern Patio:

planters for the courtyard, Classic Cross pattern in Sandstone

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