Melanie Atkinson: Aging Gracefully

You use lotion, your house needs paint! Help your home age as gracefully as you!

My halfway-to-seventy year is over now and I am officially three dozen.  The babies born on the day I turned 18 are becoming adults themselves today. 

My own age doesn’t bother me yet.  I find that the age of my kids makes me feel older than my actual number.  While my age may not be a problem for me mentally, physically, I require far more maintenance than I did just a few years ago.  I have never had so many lotions in my life.  Face lotion, sun screen lotion, firming body lotion, self tanning body lotion, night eye cream, tinted face lotion, nightly hand lotion, and about 100 other sample lotions that the Sephora ladies stick in my bag.  Aging gracefully is work.

Last week the exterior of my house was painted.  As I stared at it from across the street I realized that, like me, my house was aging and diligent maintenance is the best way for both of us to age gracefully.  I put on nightly, collagen producing face cream, and my house puts on a new coat of paint.  We both look better in the morning light.

My house is a baby compared to me, but as I travel the Tampa Bay area looking at homes of various ages, it is remarkable to see how different homes age.  Just like people, some homes age beautifully.  People talk about these homes having “character” and “history.”  On the flip side, other homes whose owners were not as diligent in applying lotion throughout the years, are described as “run down” and “dated.”  I don’t know about you, but that is not how I want to be described as I age, and if your house could talk, it wouldn’t want that either. 

Since your home is a reflection of you, it benefits both of you to help it age gracefully.  Here are my 5 tips.

1)      Exterior pain.  So, so important, especially with the strong Florida sun and the fact that most of us have stucco homes, to keep a good coat of paint on your house.  Visually, your house will look like it has had a face lift.  People will say your house looks “refreshed!”

2)      Flooring.  Just like a fabulous pair of shoes can make you feel fabulous, new flooring make your home look super chic.  Replace that carpet that is worn and dated.  Take out those 12” tiles and replace them with modern 20” ones on a diagonal.  And the sin of all flooring sins…carpet in the bathroom.  If you have carpet in your bathroom, take it out today!

3)      Windows.  Old windows can be very energy inefficient.  They can also be very dark and in some cases, unsafe.  And, yes, buyers do notice old windows.  New windows can make your house look brighter and save you money on energy bills.

4)      Lights.  Apparently, lamps used to be very popular.  That is the only explanation as to why there are so few overhead lights in older homes.  Lighting is so important in making a house look modern.  Add overhead lights in rooms where there are none—yes, I am referring to the formal living room.  Younger buyers want to flip a switch and have the room illuminated, they don’t want to fumble around looking for a switch to turn.

5)      Hardware & Fixtures.  If your fixtures are original and your house was built in the last 50 years, chances are they looked very dated.  Brass was the blue eye shadow of the 80’s.  Yes, it looked ravishing back then, but today it needs to be done with a modern touch for it to work.  It is ok if you love gold toned fixtures, they can work really well, but invest in the newer options.

Happy aging to you and your home!  Don’t forget your lotion!


Melanie Atkinson is a Realtor with The Wood Team at Coldwell Banker.  She can be reached at 813-368-6084 or Melanie@woodteamrealty.com

Follow Melanie on Twitter @CBMelanieA or “Like” The Wood Team on Facebook.

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Melanie Atkinson October 23, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Sorry for the typo--it shold be "Exterior Paint" not exterior pain :)


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