It would be more accurate to say that I have been getting it ready to sell since 2007, but we are finally getting to it.
In 2007, after the infamous Vancouver leaky condo rainscreening upgrade (if your strata development was built in the last 35 years, it was a leaky one, because of poor design and construction as well as an inadequate building code and careless inspections of the building envelope) we did a complete reno of the 27-year-old apartment.
In my usual OCD way, I hand-made all the green and small black kitchen tiles. I know, who does that??? Just be glad that I stopped at the edges of the one back wall. Originally, I was planning to do the side walls, too, but some reason prevailed in the hidden recesses of my mind.
The kitchen tiles kinda set the tone for the apartment – a little on the retro side. I figure someone looking for a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in a wonderful part of the city will either love it or vehemently hate it!
About a year after our big reno, the condo flooded. (A leak from 2 floors above.) All our hard work literally down the drain. (Do you know that the first responders (firemen in our case) in a flood tear out the toilet so that the flood water settles, in its inimitable way, down the toilet drain? They used large push brooms to direct the water toward the bathroom.)
But, to be a Pollyanna about that sad and destructive event, it did give us a chance to make even more changes to the condo, during the 7 months it took to reclaim the unit to its better-than-former glory.
That allowed us to remove the “popcorn” ceiling and replace it with the much more contemporary smooth finish. I learned that there is a method of building apartment ceilings that effectively sound-proofs us from the unit above.
We removed the awkward closet in the small bedroom, liberating an additional 15 square feet when we replaced the swinging door with a slider, and the closet with a built-in unit. (Hired an engineer and carpenter to beef up the bedroom wall with a laminated beam over the sliding door.)
I considered feng shui in the placement of the elements, including plants, lighting, rounded shapes. (I can feel you rolling your eyes, D, so don’t bother telling me!) For instance, I placed the bed against a wall rather than the windows, with an upholstered headboard. While sleeping, our feet do not point to the room exit.
And of course, de-cluttering is one of the main feng shui treatments. I worked for two weeks to declutter this condo and patio that was a little untidy before, removing almost all items on surfaces, and when the realtor came to see the apartment, she said, “you will need to de-clutter.” Whaaat? I don’t think she liked the colour-coordinated coffee cups on the coffee bar or the hats artistically lined up along the sideboard!
We’ll see how all this goes. Now that we’ve worked the standard advice about staging a home for sale, we have to have faith that this retro look and such luxuries as a jacuzzi tub, heated bathroom floor, security system, marbled gas fireplace, and extra storage will offer something a little different in the cookie-cutter world of condos in this city.
Wish us luck.