Saturday, May 29, 2010

Faux Foreclosure

First let me just say that I don't have anything against faux finishing. My favorite Aunt Ninny does beautiful faux finishes and I had the pleasure of having her do most of one of my houses. It came out gorgeous and even Mister C (aka "Mr Everything Should Be White") really liked it. Having said that, there are a lot of people who should really consider putting down the paint and backing away from the walls. Because something that looks good when done well and in moderation, will make future buyers stop in their tracks with jaws agape when it's done on every surface and not necessarily all that well.

As a case in point, we have the following home that I showed to some prospective buyers. Now, the house had other issues aside from the paint that made it less than desirable to my clients.

First of all, the house almost backs to a major intersection. Standing in the backyard we couldn't even talk because we couldn't hear each other over the traffic. It was not a big yard to begin with and I'm not sure you could get enough trees into it to muffle the sound of the cars and trucks going by all day and night long. Hence, the backyard is largely unusable.

Secondly, and also why we couldn't talk in the backyard, were the F-16s from the (very) close by Luke Air Force Base flying over every few minutes. The house is in the flight path of the base. Personally, I love the "sound of freedom" and I'm always happy to hear and see them flying over my own home which is also in the flight path of the base. But this house was REALLY close and the jets are REALLY low when they go over it. How low? Well, let's just say if the pilots flew shirtless I could probably tell you if they had tattoos. That low.

Thirdly, it would have needed work even without considering the paint. The house had no counter tops in the kitchen and the cabinets were sub-par at best. The master bath had been "re-done" but apparently when the owners realized they were losing the house they decided to "undo" most of it. They had pulled out the fancy shower head and managed to completely obliterate the tile when doing so. There was no toilet. As a side note, I do see a lot of missing toilets. People must really love their toilets.

So anyway, on top of all of the previously mentioned drawbacks, and the unreasonable price the bank was hoping for, we have the following faux finishing going on.

This is the master bedroom. I don't find this particularly offensive. I think they did a fairly decent job and I do like the crown molding they've added. But if you look out the door, you can see a different type of finish in a different color. Add in the two different types of flooring and it starts to get a bit overwhelming on the eyes.

This is the doorway to the hallway where the bedrooms are. The wall finish is poorly executed and the color choice is a I have no idea what the thing above the doorway is supposed to be. I really don't. Maybe someone out there has a clue, but it's not me.

Here we see where the original homeowner has painted the door to look like wood. Sort of. It's not a horrible job, just a bit too obviously painted. That and the fact that this was one of only two doors in the house where they had done this makes it stick out like a sore thumb. This is a better look at the amateur technique employed by the painter. The door finish does not help the paint look any better.

And this is the island. It's not painted in a faux finish, but it is covered in faux stones and I think that qualifies for our purposes. Again, not horrible, just overwhelming when taken in with all the other surfaces.

On the plus side, the floor tile is nicely chosen and well installed, the neighborhood seems pretty stable and the small yard will be easy to keep landscaped. And if you time it right you might be able to get that yard work done in between the F-16s flying overhead with their half-naked pilots.