Sold! And the buyer is you. It should be pure excitement, but in an unfamiliar suburb, thinking about that odd layout, the brown kitchen, and the dark bedroom in the back, it can also make you doubt yourself. Can this house ever feel like home?
Agents now find themselves helping buyers move outside of their preferred suburbs and into homes that don’t have âeverythingâ, due to rising house prices in Melbourne.
âThere are a lot of buyers like that, especially first-time buyers; they start in a different area and end in our area, even on the other side of town, âsays David Taylor, sales manager for YPA Glenroy.
âPrices are going up so quickly that some people are moving into areas because that’s what they can afford,â says Taylor, who often hears customers complaining that a house doesn’t tick their boxes.
Ashley Weston, director of Ray White Frankston, is aware of this complaint. With 90 percent of its shoppers from outside the region, some know only Frankston’s old reputation, not its transformation into a pleasant green suburb by the bay.
Not only does he have to sell the neighborhood, recommend cafes, for example, but he also has to help buyers realize that they might like a poorly decorated house that is smaller or older than their dream. For example, when selling in older housing developments across the state, Weston shows first-time buyers photos of past sales of identical homes that have undergone improvements.
âThe kitchen and bathroom are the same, but I can show them what was done with just paint and some very minor work,â he says.
The power of paint cannot be underestimated, says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Head of Colors and Communications at Dulux.
âThe easiest thing to change a house when you first get there is to change the color of the front door,â she says. “Every time you open this door you feel right at home.”
Painting can do much more. It can demarcate spaces, brighten dark rooms, modernize older homes and create comfort, explains Lucena-Orr: âAdding your colors will be more your home, your colors, your personal choice. “
Her advice includes avoiding cool whites – darker rooms need warm whites or an all-encompassing dark color. Lucena-Orr’s own bedroom is made of charcoal.
Painting the baseboards and walls the same color gives a contemporary look, just like painting old wood.
Tile and bench paints give an old kitchen an immediate youthful look. Mix an old fireplace in the wall behind with textured paint.
âFunctional walls can distract from something else, for example, if you have to keep an ugly space heater,â says Lucena-Orr. âUse another wall with a beautiful color and a beautiful paint. “
With many of us at home, she recommends differentiating spaces with paint. âIt’s fantastic to have a different color in your workspace, because when you step out of it to another more relaxing space, it triggers the feeling of being at home. “
And to really make this new home your own, forget about the choice of colors for a future resale. “You buy it to make it your own.”
It’s a view that Melbourne-based psychologist Meredith Fuller endorses. You won’t fall in love with a house if you move out thinking about getting rid of it, she says.
“It’s really important to remember that as long as you’re in this space your home is a reflection of you, so the space you live in has to be something you’re comfortable with.”
Fuller says buyers need to be thinking, âWhat I can do is create the best I can here to reflect my style, my needs, my values.
“Some people spit the dummy, say, ‘This is not a house I want to stay in for the long haul,’ and they won’t get attached to her, so they feel alienated and cranky.”
Color can be crucial in creating warmth, coziness, and a reflection of personality and is easily achieved, Fuller says.
Also think about the flow of the house and what is boring or inconvenient. You do not like him ? Change it.
âFor example, change where you place your bedroom rather than where the bedroom ‘should’ be,â she says.
Fuller’s house, renovated with psychologist husband Brian Walsh, was a wreck when they bought it.
She recommends tackling the pieces one at a time or it gets overwhelming.
Fuller says personal touches, from family photos to travel memories, are touchstones that enhance the feel of a space. Her home is comfortable, with bookcases filled with books on the couple’s interests, photos of special people, and keepsakes.
âIn this way, our rooms are warm, welcoming, soothing and grounded. Our bedroom has two walls of books behind the bed for easy access. We have arranged our rooms to our liking.
âThe more objects you have that tell you somethingâ¦ the more energy you get from the place that reflects you. It is your energy that makes a place come alive.
Putting that energy into small improvements can mean big changes, says stylist Kim Hallis, director of real estate and interior design firm Create Expectations.
These include filling the bathroom, steam cleaning the carpets, using the state government energy upgrade program to switch from halogen lights to hot LEDs, giving a feeling of luxury. with beautiful cushions and find interesting works of art.
The key is planning, says Hallis. Determine your colors and how they fit together, and make sure the furniture is the right size.
âMy advice is to plan things out, create a mood board or an inspiration board,â she says. âIf you can’t have what you want, you can create something beautiful for yourself.
âIt’s about putting your whole heart into it. Think, ‘I’m going to make this as beautiful as possible and enjoy it.
Fuller says this process should begin on the day of purchase.
âThe settling-in period gives you time to anticipate being home,â she says, and recommends visiting your new neighborhood to start bonding with it.
âIt’s really a mental attitude,â Fuller said. “It’s about saying, ‘It’s my right now and I’m going to make the most of it,’ because the more joyful you have, the more chance you’ll have to create happiness.”