The Biggest “White Lie”​ Told to New Home Buyers

“A coat of paint will fix that! Paint is cheap…” This statement has to be one of the most overused and misguiding statements in Real Estate. It has been my experience most new home buyers choose to purchase at the top of their price bracket vs. the bottom. Purchasing at the high end of the price bracket often leaves new home buyers with very little money in the bank after a home purchase. Understanding new home buyer habits it makes sense that most new home buyers are forced to utilize most if not all of their savings to meet the required down payment and inspection fees…. so what is “cheap”? I believe anything over a few hundred dollars is expensive and out of reach in the first months of a new home purchase.

It’s true paint is relatively cheap when compared to other home home improvements such as a kitchen or bath remodel, but is it cheap? I would guess for most home buyers painting is defiantly not as inexpensive as they predicted and I can prove it. Keep in mind as I discuss pricing that a more expensive home often translates into more wall space, more paint, and more money.

A standard 10’x12′ room requires 1 to 2 gallons of paint at $35 a gallon, edge tape at $9 a roll, protective floor paper at $5 a roll, a brush at $5 to $18 dollars, and a roller at $10. So a typical “small” room can be estimated at roughly $100 if done correctly. A “small” home at 1,700 sqft should be estimated at roughly $1,416. For the average home buyer this is not cheap. $1,416 assumes the home owner is going to perform the work. This number can increase considerable if work is performed by a professional.

So far we have only examined the white lie of cheap paint for the interior of the home, now lets look at the projected cost of painting the outside of the home. The 2019 average cost to paint the exterior of a home is $1,811 to $3,201 or $0.60 to $1.60 per square foot. Depending on the region you live in a home needs to be pressure washed or have old paint scrapped away. Windows and trim must be tapped and protected. Bushes and plants have to covered with drop cloths. Opening SHOULD be caulked. Then and only then can the the exterior of a home be painted. Also, fingers crossed the paint samples look just as good on the whole house as they do on the 1’x1′ test square.