Maximize Your Home Investment with Paint

Did you know that color choices can make a big difference when buying or selling a home?

When a three-generation family of women decided it was time to exit the drear and damp of their Northern California home – and simultaneously kiss their exes a permanent goodbye – they wanted to do it in a hurry. With money from a quick cash sale in their pocket, they were looking for a deal in the desert that would still leave plenty of green free to plump up their savings account. Thanks to an artist’s vision, this was easy peasy.

The artist wanted his house to stand out from the norm, so he took his standard Mediterranean-style house and painted it a dusty black with a wide terra cotta stripe. It worked for him, but when he was ready to sell the house his unique look kept buyer interest low. The women from Northern California were able to scoop up the house at a greatly discounted price. By repainting the house Witness-Protection beige, they now match the rest of the neighborhood both in color and in home value.

Unfortunately, they blend in a little too well and it’s easy to miss the house until you’re halfway down the block. The good news is that there’s a happy medium between artsy and dull, as these before and after photos for the Two Dads house attest.

The Two Dads who own this particular home were ready for a change and wanted their home to stand out without being too far out.

They stayed with a classic look for their Mediterranean-style house, using warm-toned colors to compliment the tile roof, but gave it a modern take with bolder accents to bring out the architecture of their home. The next step in their revitalization plan—landscaping —will add even more pizazz. They don’t plan to sell their house at present, but with a color scheme like this, they’ve added curb appeal without turning away buyers in a future sale.

Psst…the dads and several other families on their street used Doug De Oliveria, owner of D&D Painting, for painting services. 

Unsure what colors to use?

You can always hire a designer to advise you, but if you’re not that high-toned, paint stores and paint departments in big box stores often have brochures and pamphlets with color suggestions that are right for your area. Drive around your area, look at the color schemes of other houses in your style and see what jumps out at you. Still not sure? Sherwin-Williams has an online quiz to help you find your color ID for a palette that fits your unique personality without tanking your home value.

Your painter will also have suggestions for you. 

Get estimates from three different painters before making your decision. Ask neighbors and online neighborhood groups for recommendations. The quote from each painter should cover more than just the final price. It should include prep work, like scraping and sanding, stucco repair, caulking, and primer. Each quote will also include the amount of paint needed and how many coats of paint will be applied. Two or even three is typical.

One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet. Multiply the perimeter of your house in feet by the height of your house in feet, then subtract all of the windows (they average 15 square feet each) and doors (21 square feet), and divide by 400. Ta Da! That’s how much paint you’ll need per coat. Check the math to make sure your painter’s estimate is on target.

The last part of each quote is an estimate of when they can start and how long the job is expected to take. Mix all these factors together – neighbor recommendation, the price, the start date, and the work to be done – and voila! You have your perfect painter!

2019 HomeLight survey of more than 900 real estate agents found that the estimated cost of painting a home’s exterior was $2,803, while the estimated value it added was $4,228. That’s a 51% return on investment that doesn’t just freshen the look of your home, it also protects it from the elements. Want a second opinion on whether or not a fresh coat of paint will help move your home on the market? That’s what I’m here for.

I’m Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.