Thursday, August 2, 2018

Double the value of your home

I have stumbled upon a relatively inexpensive way to double the value of your home. Hear me out on this one. It will work. But it has a couple of provisos. The first proviso is that all your neighbors have to go in on it too, not every neighbor in your whole neighborhood. But all of them within a few blocks will have to do it with you. The second proviso is that your housing stock for the area has to be generally dense and have some architectural charm. Suburban sprawl on big lots, or too much bland fifties to eighties design and you're out.

But if you've made it this far...


Yes, that's it, color. Bright, diverse, high key color. Pastel, primary, full on, painted color.

This is the trick.

Wait. Let me step back a little bit.

 At my house we are generally planning a trip to Europe at any given time. Right now we are going to Copenhagen for a short, four day trip. As soon as we had the tickets bought and the apartment booked I went to the library and got all our Copenhagen travel guides. That was too paltry so I got all the Denmark guide books too. And I still wasn't satisfied so I got the Scandinavia guides as well. And I soon noticed that they all had one thing in common: Nyhavn. Their big "This is Scandinavia" or "This is Copenhagen" picture on the cover was of one singular, same place. It was a shot of Nyhavn in Copenhagen. Nyhavn is a little stretch along one of the many canals there and the buildings are all painted in big blocks of bright color, red, yellow, blue, orange. It's super charming. No wonder it is the photogenic highlight of Scandinavian cities.

But now that I have looked at a lot of pictures of Copenhagen I am also aware that the only thing that separates this area from a dozen other charming streets and waterfronts is that all the houses are painted in bright colors. Because everyone painted these buildings in bright colors you can forget about staying here. It's all too valuable for the common person to afford. We're staying in an equally appealing place painted in plainer colors.

And it occurred to me Nyhavn is not the only one. This same device has been applied with wild success in Cinque Terra, Italy, the painted ladies of San Francisco, Burano near Venice, Capitola California, Santorini in Greece, Alicante in Spain and countless of other tourist destinations. And you can bet that the real estate in each of these places far exceeds that of any of its like, but less colorful neighbors.

But maybe you don't want to live in a tourist attraction with people all gawking at and photographing your house into the wee hours. So sell. Move to a similar house at half the cost, and bring your left over yellow paint. Hell, bring all your neighbors, painting your way across the country until you're all rich. 

Rich enough to live in Nyhavn.

I hear it's nice there, but expensive.

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