Watch Out Below!

While I-pods are a great way to catch up on the numerous webinars posted during working hours, they can be a bit dangerous when the listener removes themselves from the world around them. Let me give you a little example of what I mean by this.

Last weekend, my son and his pregnant (yes, I’m proud!) wife needed my husband’s (Randy) assistance updating his 1/2 bath prior to listing his home for sale.  Here’s the setup: 2 story bungalow with a basement. 2nd story bathroom directly above main floor bath using same waste pipe that drain straight down into waste pipe in basement floor. Becuase 2nd floor bath had pvc pipe and basement had the old cast iron, the best thing to do was replace the whole pipe at the same time. So, of course, they pulled the waste pipe out of the main floor bath, disconnecting the 2nd story bath from the waste pipe in the basement. All’s well and Randy is getting ready to reinstall from the 2nd floor waste to the basement by handing the pipe down to son Ryan in the basement. [photopress:ryan_and_randy_in_the_shit_hole.jpg,thumb,alignright]Great great plan, all is going well, but my lecture was over, I removed my headphones, and ran up the stairs to use the only operating bathroom in the house except that, you guessed it, one flush and whoosh, down thru the 1st floor bath directly into the face of my darling son Ryan, bounced off him and onto his computer and everything on the desk that he was working on!

 The moral of the story is: Don’t visit your son! 

Bathroom Remodel

Can you totally remodel a 3/4 bath for only $3,500 in 48 hours? One of my clients recently purchased a house that needed a remodel of the basement level 3/4 bath. I have lots of before and after pictures in my head, of “what is” vs. “what can be”, but it is often difficult to convey that information to my clients.

So, for my client who closed escrow last week, I am going the extra mile.  This morning I ripped out my own basement level 3/4 bath, and am attempting to upgrade it to today’s standards for only $3,500 in two days or less.

Our basement level bathroom had two interior walls. One separated the shower from the toilet to give the shower three sides.  The other separated the shower and toilet area from the double sink counter via a wall and pocket door.  Chopping up a 5′ x 9′ bathroom with two interior walls was way too confining.  The biggest complaint of the users being that the square front door shower was too small and too dark, as the walls surrounding it cut it off from the light.  So first thing the guys did when they arrived this morning, was to knock out all of the interior walls.  It looks bigger and brighter already.

[photopress:sh.jpg,thumb,alignleft]The picture in my head of the finished bath, included a larger shower unit that only utilizes two walls instead of three. The one I see used most often in newer townhomes. Before hiring the contractor, I picked out the shower unit over at Lowes.  The total cost was just under $700.  The plumbing needs to be moved a bit to the right.  The door to the shower being angled on the front provides access from the largest open space in the room, the center, instead of the left or the right.

Finished bath will include replacing the 3″ tile countertop, too much grout to clean.  The floor, which was a rug that would get wet and never seemed to want to dry out, will be replaced with a stone look one piece floor.  All brown wood towel bars and towel rings will be gone and replaced with brushed nickel.  The wicker over the toilet cabinet will be replaced with a white and brushed nickel upgraded version.  In other words, a total transformation!

Can this all be done for less than $3,500?  Good question. As agents we are often frusrated by the inflated prices buyers attach to needed upgrades.  Often a buyer will look at a bathroom like this that needs updating, and attach a cost of $15,000 to the improvements needed.  When we say it will only cost $5,000 max, they really don’t believe us.  So once again, I am putting my money where my mouth is and am out to prove that a 3/4 bath can be totally remodeled for less than $5,000. If I can cap the cost to $3,500, I think  suggesting others can do so for no more than $5,000 will be an honest representation.

Off to Lowes to get towel bars and towel rings and whatever else is needed.  I’ll report the final total cost with a break down in the comments section when we’re done.

How much for the bathroom?

  1. [photopress:WWCG_logo_JPG.JPG,full,alignright]Frances Flynn Thorsen is raising 100K with the Web Women Giving Circle for CARE — a humanitarian organization that works with women to fight global poverty.
  2. There is no good follow up item because everything else is void of the meaning in comparison. I recommend (1) following the links in the first point, (2) donate some money and/or time and (3) repeating the process until it creates an infinite loop of giving.
  3. NAR has whole pages on the social benefits of homeownership. “Homeownership also provides many benefits to the family, children and the community, such as increased education for children, lower teen-age pregnancy rate and a higher lifetime annual income for children, as discussed in the following articles and studies.” Does anyone really believe homeownership causes these things? I don’t doubt that there is a correlation, but causality?
  4. Joshua Dorkin decides to one-up (make that 22-up) Cheryl, and lists his top 35 real estate blogs!
  5. Fliperati is searching for good investment blogs… (I am too!)
  6. How much is a bathroom worth? depends on how bad you gotta go…
  7. Today’s seemingly random plug for a decent person: Seattle Agent Ann Bergstrom.
  8. I noticed some traffic coming from a MarketWatch article on the value of agents despite the web. Looks like RCG is featured in the sidepanel as an area to keep up with real estate trends. Very cool!
  9. Tom has a different take than MarketWatch his comments on how the web is helping agents compete.. He quotes an article I found most interesting because people like Brad Inman and Greg Sterling comment on the type of real estate companies that will survive a soft housing market.
  10. Dean is asking what I (and you) think of 50-year mortgages? Personally, I despise acting desperate in anything I do, and 50-year mortgages reek of desperation.