Selling for a New Job

A screened porch, kitchen and living room all get revamped for a profitable sale.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionUse it or lose it. The homeowners are losing out a big opportunity with this barren screened-in porch.
Homeowner Jay Sandor just finished his anesthesia residency program and is graduating from medical school. The new doctor has a job offer in another state, so he and wife, Corinne, and their two young children are packing up and moving out. The couple has lived in their three-bedroom, one-bath house for three years. The cute, bungalow-style house was built in 1940 and boasts a large open floor plan, nice backyard and screened-in porch.

Real estate expert Bethany Souza stops by to provide her professional opinion on the home's good and bad selling points. Her first impression is that it is very nice — the beautiful window boxes and plush grass are an invitation to go inside. The tiger-striped wood floors in the living and dining area make a big statement, but she thinks it is too much of a statement. Souza has some harsh words for the kitchen, so harsh that she repeats them several times. She says the cabinets are beat up, the laminate countertop looks cheap, and the tile backsplash is dated. She refers to the screened-in porch as a missed opportunity. Right now it is just a pass through to the backyard. But it could become an extension of the home, a three-season room for which buyers would be willing to pay more money.

Designer Monica Pedersen has a $2,000 budget and a plan that will correct all of Souza's concerns.

Step 1: Take the focus off the floor in the living and dining area.

Step 2: Update the kitchen, and fix the flaws.

Step 3: Transform the back porch into an inviting three-season room.

Carpenters Robert North and Chad Lopez are fired up and ready to get building.

Potential buyers will just walk right through here on their way to check out the backyard. In a tough selling market, an extra bonus like a three-season room could make all the difference.