By Charlene Storozuk, guest contributor
Being the car enthusiast my husband is, when we were shopping for our home, the first thing he wanted to see was the garage. After checking it out, some of the homes would only get a cursory glance before he’d announce that he didn’t like it. There were some that I had to agree with him on; however, there were others that I thought were “the one”.
Finally, I got him to put into words what it was that he didn’t like about them. In a lot of cases, it was the garage. If it was being used as a dumping site, he was put right off. Like many buyers, he couldn’t visualize its potential.
To make your home appeal to the car enthusiasts out there, here are a few simple ideas for the garage:
· Don’t use the garage as a storage facility. Rent a unit to store all of your extra furniture and unnecessary belongings. Storage units can be pricey, but the benefit of having one definitely outweighs the cost. Not only will your garage look great, but other areas of your home will also be less cluttered.
· If you have a double car garage, you may want to set up a portion of it as a workshop (unless you are fortunate enough to have a separate workshop in your home). It’s not necessary to go to a lot of great expense. A set of saw horses underneath a piece of ¾” plywood will create an instant work area.
· Good lighting is very important in a garage. Buy a three- pronged fluorescent light fixture, hang it from chains and plug it into the ceiling receptacle socket. You can even remove it when you move and replace it with a standard light bulb. However, be sure to exclude the fixture from your agreement with the buyer.
· Keep your gardening and workshop tools organized by installing pegboards on the wall. It’s an easy DIY project that will add bonus storage space.
· In a large garage, create a loft storage area by installing ceiling mounted shelving units. If possible, don’t install them above where your car(s) will be parked.
· If you have a very small garage that just manages to fit your car, you may want to have it parked in there for showings. Potential buyers will see that a car fits in there. If the garage is empty, they may not be sure if one will fit.
· The floor of the garage should be clean. Remove oil stains as best you can. A solution of TSP works well, however, you may need to visit your local hardware store to get advice on what to use for your floor. If you’re really serious, fill in any cracks and roll a concrete sealer onto the floor followed by a primer and top coat of white paint. Your garage will look cleaner and brighter and may possibly seem a little larger.
These tips will help your home become more attractive to potential buyers. Believe it or not, there are people out there that put a lot of emphasis on the garage when house hunting. I don’t think my hubby is the only one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of DEZIGNER DIGZ, a professional home staging, interior decorating and redesign firm based in Burlington, Ontario Canada. She is certified as an International Staging Professional, International Design & Decorating Professional, Professional Colour Consultant, and Feng Shui Design Professional. Her work is published in the book “FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager,” 2009 edition. Storozuk is recognized as a local leader in the home staging industry. She founded the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth Real Estate Staging Association Chapter and served on the association’s Executive Committee for two years as Regional Vice-President, Canada. Storozuk is a past recipient of RESA North American Leadership Awards for Chapter President of the Year (2007) and Regional Vice-President of the Year (2011). For ideas on how to bring “WOW” Factor to your home, follow her HIP TIPZ Series for daily home staging, design and decor inspiration. HIP TIPZ can be found on the Dezigner Digz Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter: @dezigner_digz .