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[07/31/08 - 08:49 AM]
TLC Premieres 'Hope for Your Home', Hosted by Kirsten Kemp Becker
The series, due on August 9, will "take on the tough circumstances so many homeowners in this country are facing today."

[via press release from TLC]

TLC Premieres 'HOPE FOR YOUR HOME', Hosted by Kirsten Kemp Becker

New series helps homeowners tackle the national mortgage crisis

LOS ANGELES, July 31 -- TLC will premiere the new series HOPE FOR YOUR HOME on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 8:30PM ET/PT, adding a timely take on the property genre to the network's slate of real life reality programming. The series, hosted by real estate expert Kirsten Kemp Becker (PROPERTY LADDER), will take on the tough circumstances so many homeowners in this country are facing today.

In each of the half hour episodes, Kirsten will work with one family in financial need, by giving them critical resources to make improvements to their property. Kirsten advises the homeowners on what improvements will actually increase a home's value, while a contractor ensures that all projects are done properly and safely. Once the improvements are complete, a real estate agent and a mortgage broker tour the home, examine the upgrades, and determine a market value. In the end, the homeowners have the option to refinance and stay in their newly renovated home, or sell their home and find something more affordable.

"In a slow, or dare I say declining real estate market, it is important to set yourself apart from other homes on the market when yours is listed for sale. If you need to refinance, the same holds true," explains Kirsten. "Fortunately, there are high impact low cost improvements homeowners can achieve over a weekend with help from friends and family, which we'll share with our viewers each week on this new series."

Kirsten, a veteran realtor, author and real estate expert, and owner of a successful design company, offers these five tips for all homeowners to consider that can increase the value of their property, especially in the current economic climate:

1. Plants on the outside:

The best bang for your buck results from curb appeal and a fresh interior. The most economic way to achieve curb appeal is by refining your landscaping at the front of your house and by making sure the front door is a focal point. Guests, buyers and appraisers will take notice of the entry experience and homeowners/sellers need to establish that emotional connection from the moment they pull up to your home.

Get them out of the car it doesn't matter how nice your house is on the inside.

Also remember the details: trim weeds, fix broken screens, hide the trash cans from view and plant some fresh flowers in prominent planters.

2. Paint on the inside

The biggest transformation in the shortest period of time results from paint. It can lighten a room, create an accent wall and provide flow from one space to another. If you can't afford new lighting or higher ceilings try painting a neutral color on the walls and a shade lighter on the ceiling. To give a room a focal point or create more drama around one wall, try your hand at some color by painting it a shade of chocolate or charcoal to achieve a designer's touch. If you can't afford to remodel the entire house and change your floor plan to make each room transition smoothly, try using the same shade of paint in all the public areas and down hallways - consistency of tone adds a feeling of congruency and openness. Paint is inexpensive, labor intensive but instantly gratifying and the whole family can help contribute towards a successful makeover.

Wall color and freshly painted trim are one of the most effective ways to completely change an area from old and dated to fresh and inviting. It is an effective way to create added value in your home.

3. Kitchens and Baths

Invest time and money into updating kitchens and bathrooms, but it doesn't mean ripping it all out and starting over - you can enhance what is already there. For example, maybe the kitchen cabinets and need refinishing or a fresh coat of paint but their lay out and function still work. Learn to distract buyers' eyes from that which is not perfect by directing them towards areas that have been completely updated. A coat of paint and new hardware on existing cabinets and bathroom vanities can instantly update dated countertops tiles and fixtures. Take it one step further by using epoxy over existing tile or re-grout to avoid demolishing and installing new tile, which saves time and money.

4. Declutter

Furnishings and decor catalogs (free!) and architectural home improvement magazines (not free) are a great way to stay on top of current paint colors, room layouts and fixture finishes. It's important to be careful not to over decorate or purchase anything too trendy. Stick with the timeless tried and true paint colors, accessories and furniture in order to maximize the length of time and enjoyment out of your investment.

Paramount to this is how you maintain your home. There is nothing like clutter to bury a home's value. If a professional can't see the space, appreciate the finishes or easily navigate around personal belongings and oversized furniture, they can't appraise it or sell it for top dollar.

5. Clean clean then clean again

Even if a house has a poor floor plan, limited landscaping or outdated bathrooms and kitchens, everything looks more valuable when it is well- maintained and dust-free. Pride of ownership shines through in a house that is clean and well cared for which translates into higher profits in a sale and more attractive loan options for a refinance.

About TLC

TLC's innovative docu-series and reality-based programming include favorites What Not to Wear, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Little People Big World and LA Ink. The channel introduced Miss America Reality Check in 2007, which helped drive the Miss America Pageant to its highest rating in years. TLC defined home design with Trading Spaces and continues to renovate the genre with series such as Holmes on Homes. TLC's daytime lineup includes the Emmy Award- winning A Baby Story as well as Take Home Chef, featuring one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men, Curtis Stone. The channel is available in more than 96 million homes in the US, nearly 8 million homes in Canada and through the website at http://www.tlc.com. TLC is part of Discovery Communications which is owned by Discovery Holding Co. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman.





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