Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Purple Paradise

..::As published on the William Allen White Website 6.19.06::..

Someone once said that for every neighborhood, there's a purple house. Whether she had heard that or not, Brindy Supernaw, a massage therapist from California, agreed.

Inspired by the brightly colored houses of old San Francisco, Supernaw moved into a small three-bedroom house on Lyon Street in North Lawrence in April 2005 and immediately painted it.

White exterior siding, she painted deep purple, her living room a bright shade of teal, the kitchen and bathroom floor checkered in both. For her daughter Ninas room, she chose a mixture of oranges and pinks, the computer room a cobalt blue, and for her and fiancé Jesse Fitzpatricks bedroom, neon pink.

"The houses they build today are all white, off white, cream, beige..taupe. They're boring," Supernaw said. "I like old houses with character, and certainly something that doesn't look like everything else on the block."

Because her fiancé is too tall for the house, Supernaw, however, is moving. But her house, listed for $124,900, is not selling.

Although she doesnt regret painting it, Supernaw is finding it difficult to sell her home, along with many others in Lawrence. In her neighborhood alone, 10 houses are listed. But does the color of a house really affect its attractiveness in the market? Absolutely, says local realtor Larry Northrop.

"Most of your builders and remodelers are going to stay in the safe zone which are the earth tones and not venture out into the purples and greens and blues," Northrop said. "Those are what I like to refer to as love/hate colors. You either love them or you hate them, and if you hate them, you're not going to buy the house."

It may even affect the sell-ability of other houses in the neighborhood, he said. Neighbors many times like uniformity in the color of every house on their block.

Helen Smith, a neighbor to the home since 1943, doesn't care for purple houses.
"I was disappointed when I saw it," Smith said. "Somebody said it would grow on me, but it really hasnt. I dont like bright colors on a house."

But not all people feel that way. Supernaw said one neighbor commented how she loved the color of the house, because every morning when she woke up and looked out her window, it made her smile.

Supernaw also said that when she was painting the house many people dropped by with positive comments on the color.

"We are having trouble selling the house," Supernaw said. "I'm not sure it has so much to do with the color, but more with the way the market is right now."

According to the results from the Census Bureau, between July 2004 and July 2005 Lawrence lost approximately 26 residents, the first time in 30 years it has recorded an annual population decline. Shattering the traditional 2 opulation increase recorded every other year.

Northrop said that he usually suggests to sellers of brightly colored houses that before listing them they should paint their homes a more neutral color.

"Especially if they want to maximize the amount they can make out of their house," he added.
"If you keep the house a bright color, you're restricted to a smaller buying pool," he said. "You might have 10 buyers look at it and nine of them not like the color, but maybe one loves the purple, he said. In the end, it affects the price of the property."

But Supernaw is hopeful.

"I dont think I should have to paint it," she said. "I thought I would live here forever I want someone who wants a purple house."

In addition to her deep purple home, other non-neutral colored houses in her neighborhood include a baby yellow house, several shades of blue, two painted saffron orange, and one light avocado green.

No comments: