Realtor Stacy Haas had a challenge.
The home at 7257 Greystone St., in the Country Club of Lakewood Ranch was about to go on the market, but it needed work.
Lots of work.
Sold in January as a project for $775,000, Haas knew the home couldn't compete in the current Lakewood Ranch market.
"People love Lakewood Ranch Country Club," Haas said. "But they don't want to renovate. And they especially don't want to renovate when there is so much new construction available. They don't want older construction floor plans and older finishes. They want a certain design element."
While the home was just 13 years old, it was sold in January for almost half of its 2007 price of $1.378 million. She knew the home had the bones to command a much higher price, but could a total renovation be accomplished so the home could be marketed at an attractive price that would reflect value on the current market?
Perhaps not in conventional ways, so Haas fell upon her background as an interior designer — she owned Stacy Haas Interiors in Lakewood Ranch for a decade before dissolving the business in 2007 — to plan the renovation herself.
The project was finished in August and the home now is on the market for $1.625 million.
Haas walked around her finished product, looked around and shook her head.
"It had yellow tile everywhere," she said. "But cool tones are in."
It was just the start of a gut job that Haas said was needed to "change the way people would think about the home."
She had contractors rip out columns that led to the front door and simply took up that open space people seek. She did away with a useless hallway and wine bar area off the kitchen and turned it into the walk-in pantry, complete with wood shelves, the home lacked. She replaced 43 windows in the home with hurricane grade glass that included two accordion doors to add a seamless look to the outdoors. The windows alone cost $150,000 to replace with one accordion door going for $50,000 and the other $40,000.
However, it was the type of luxury Haas wanted to convey the home's newfound elegance.
Every bit of flooring in the home is new and she installed two new air conditioners, a new hot water heater and energy efficient impact doors. She added sleek kitchen appliances, new cabinets and Taj Mahal Matte Leathered Quartzite counters. A fireplace with marble chevron tile found a home. The pavers in the lanai are all new and the outdoor kitchen was rebuilt.
The additions went on and on.
Looking back at her role as the designer, Haas admits it was more work than she intended to take on, but she believes the finished product fits well on the market.