Wanted: Shorter Commute

A family of six want to sell their home to shorten Dad's commute.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionLaPorta wants to repaint and add new window treatments and then stage the room with new furniture that's centered on the fireplace.
Darren and Shelley Lenick and their four kids love their big house. They have lived in the five-bedroom, four-and-half-bath home for four years. The sprawling 3,400-square-foot layout includes a new addition with a completely remodeled kitchen and lots of rooms for the kids. The homeowners bought a business a year ago, and now Darren has to commute an hour and a half each way to work. The long commute doesn't fit in with their busy, busy schedule, so they have decided to sell their home so he can be closer to work.

Real estate expert Donna Freeman delivers her blunt critique aimed at helping the Lenicks rake in more cash. She is very impressed with the yard and the landscaping, but when she walks in the front door, her impression quickly changes. The living room is cluttered with toys and a diaper-changing table. She thinks it looks like the returns counter at a toy store. Next, she walks upstairs into a little girl's bedroom, which she finds very plain. When Freeman enters one of the bathrooms, she feels like a pea in a pod. The room is just too green, too dated and too dingy.

Designer Lisa LaPorta agrees with Freeman and sets her sights on fixing up the Lenicks' home for a top-dollar sale. Here's her plan:

Step 1: Stop toying around. Clean up the kids' stuff in the living room, and create a space that will attract grownup offers.

Step 2: Pack a punch. Redesign the dreary, plain bedroom to make it a hit with buyers.

Step 3: Vanity insanity. Set off a buying frenzy by updating the old green bathroom.

Carpenters Brooks Utley and Steve Hanneman are at the helm and ready to get to work.

A potential buyer may walk into this room and say, "what a great space for children's things." But what if they have no children? The room has gorgeous wood floors, a stone fireplace and big vaulted ceilings.