Prepping a Houseboat for Sale

The Designed to Sell experts get a one-bedroom houseboat ready for the market.

Jumping Ship

Nautical homeowners Nan and Julie want to upgrade from their 52-foot houseboat to a sea vessel that is more yacht-like and less house-like. But before they can hit the high seas in a speedy new craft, they need to sell their old houseboat. Docked in the Potomac River, in the heart of Washington, D.C., the 1988 model offers a spacious main cabin, ample galley kitchen and a stateroom that has a view of the Washington Monument.

Real estate expert Shirley Mattam-Male comes on board to give her candid assessment of the home’s salability. In the main cabin, she pronounces the décor as dated and the carpet dirty. She calls the kitchen a missed opportunity because there is a massive desk sitting in the middle of the room. The dining area of the kitchen should be presented as such, and not an office. Though the stateroom has a million-dollar view of the Washington Monument, it needs new carpet and the wood paneling makes the space feel very confined.

Designer Taniya Nayak agrees with Mattam-Male’s critique and has a $2,000 plan that will have the homeowners getting top dollar for their seaworthy home.

Step 1: Repaint the main cabin room, and replace the dingy carpet.

Step 2: Rejuvenate the galley kitchen.,and turn the office space back into a dining area.

Step 3: In the stateroom, brighten and expand the room by painting the paneling, replacing the carpet and adding new bedding.

Contractors John Allen and Matt Steele have the right tools and skills to get the job done, and they're ready to go.

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