What happens when you find your dream house, but there’s one element that is anything but what you have in mind? You can walk away – or see if there’s a way to make things work, creating the dream house you want. One couple who found a house that checked every box except for the kitchen, with a little help and vision from their brokers, turned a house into their home in time for the holidays.
The real estate team of Kupferberg Orlando, specializing in North Shore real estate for Douglas Elliman, found their client a charming brick colonial in Manhasset. The couple, first-time homebuyers, loved the house, school district and location, a walk from the train station. Then there was the kitchen, which hadn’t been updated.
Kupferberg Orlando, whose services include staging, a free consultation with an interior designer as well as help selling and marketing, made recommendations.
The buyer bought the house and updated the kitchen countertop, backsplash, appliances, sink, faucet and hardware, more than adding paint, but much easier than gutting a kitchen. Kupferberg-Orlando didn’t just help “find” a dream house; they helped create it, not by doing the kitchen refresh, but with recommendations, references and resources.
“It was a fraction of the cost of gutting and doing a total renovation,” Tracey Murray Kupferberg, who leads the team, says. “When we have a buyer, we can say this can be done and give examples of helping make the kitchen look like the kitchen of their dreams.”
A team with over $150 million in sales, they offer sales, success, references, resources, recommendations and results.
Tracey Murray Kupferberg leads the team, Terry Orlando (certified by the International Association of Staging Professionals) stages houses, Lindsay Kupferberg brings marketing expertise.
“Some people have dated finishes not to their tastes,” Lindsay says. “If they love the house and location, these can be easy fixes. We can help guide them through the process.”
“Without a major renovation, we made it work,” Tracey says. “We’ll find the majority of things you’re looking for. And we can help you fix some of the things you’re not happy with.”
While the goal is to find the right house, amid a lower inventory, the ability and vision to make a house right also helps.
An established a team who live and work on the North Shore, they bring connections and knowledge. An agent since 2013, Tracey was a real estate paralegal before that, learning the ins and outs of the real estate industry over decades.
“I’ve been doing things real estate related for over 20 years.” Tracey says. “We live here, we work here. We’re part of the community and have a lot of resources.”
While the winter may be cold with lower inventory, buyers can benefit from the fact that there are fewer buyers as well and the lack of summer’s landscape luster. Sellers can benefit from low inventory, which means less competition, as the holidays bring challenges and some benefits.
“The kitchen can be the heart of the home,” Lindsay says of that room’s importance. “Especially around Thanksgiving and other holidays.”
There are ways to make houses more appealing during winter showings, even without the burst of colors from landscaping.
They help stage houses, adding cozy throws, refreshing couches with pillows, offering hot chocolate and otherwise making would-be buyers feel more at home. And in some cases, they do much more to bring out the best in a house.
“Sometimes a few simple touches can make the home feel very welcoming,” Tracey says. ”Someone can come in and see this is where I can entertain, have friends.”
They were selling a beautiful home in Brookville with French doors opening onto what in other seasons would have been a beautiful backyard that in the winter looked bare. The pool was covered, providing an invisible amenity.
“We turned it around and made it a winter wonderland with a cozy firepit,” Lindsay says. “We got a buyer in the winter and our seller was very happy.”