Love it or leave it?

Platinum Ba
Should Mark. B of Mentor leave the home he was living in and move into a new home, or love it and stay in the home he had done extensive renovations to?

By Mimi Vanderhaven

True confession, darlings: Love it or List it on HGTV is my all-time fave binge-worthy show.

Last month I was chatting and sipping dee-vine hot cocoa from Fiona’s in downtown Willoughby with my dear, dear friend, Denise Zervos of Platinum Real Estate the Neighborhood Experts. As she was relating a story about a client who was in the midst of a love-it-or-list-it-style decision, it hit Mimi like a lightning bolt! Let’s run a Mimi-fied story called “Love it or Leave it.”

And just for fun (why would you do anything if it wasn’t fun?!?), we decided to include you delightful readers in the scheme.

We’ll give you all the deets here about Mark B. of Mentor, who had a big decision to make. Should he leave the home he was living in and move into a new home, or love it and stay in the home he had done extensive renovations to?

You tell us what you think he ended up doing.

Mark (who btw is one super nice guy) bought his home on Ohio Street in Mentor in 2014. His son and daughter were in high school at the time, and it was integral to him to be close to where his ex-wife lived, less than an eighth of a mile, so his kids could go back and forth easily.

He purchased the 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom split-level on foreclosure. Built in 1974, the place needed a ton of work, but he was willing to put some of his own sweat equity into it.

Working closely with Denise, he opened up the floor plan, taking down a wall to connect the kitchen to the dining room (which created an inviting breakfast bar and added loads of sunlight), and renovated every inch of the home, replacing atrocious blood red carpeting with pleasingly neutral off-white carpet, and yanking out dated paneling and repainted with a Denise-recommended palette.

“Mark consulted me with each decision, evaluating the best choices for resale value, versus making the home more inviting and livable,” says Denise. “We thought the new breakfast bar would make the perfect spot for his kids to hang out, do their homework, and converse. Mark is the perfect person to flip a home, since he was capable of doing much of the renovation work himself.”

Here’s the math to consider in the decision:

Purchase price of Ohio Street home: $102,500
(+) Cost of Renovations $ 45,000

Selling price: $200,000
(-) Closing Costs & Fees -$ 13,500

Mark’s net potential profit in selling would be $39,000.

Fast-forward to now: his kiddos are in college, and not home as much.


Mark went to Denise and said that if he could get $200,000 for the Ohio Street house—doubling what he paid for it just five years ago—he’d think about moving. She was confident he would.

His reasons for wanting to move were to live in more of a close-knit neighborhood with cul-de-sacs, sidewalks and less traffic.

In searching for another home, the one he liked best was a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom ranch built in 2001 on Primavera Drive in Mentor. Priced at $299,900 it offered a three-car garage, lots of storage and a full basement, also big perks for Mark.

Stay tuned darlings, we will reveal what he did in next month’s issue.

Did Mark "Love it or Leave it?" Click here to cast your vote!

Platinum Real Estate has 14 offices in Northeast Ohio and Columbus and eight in Florida. For a confidential appointment or to get more information, call 216-990-2100 or 440-974-SALE and visit

Categories: Professional Services