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STUDIO CITY FAMILY'S QUEST FOR CONDO SALE GETS TV MAKEOVER HELP.

Byline: Rick Coca Valley News Writer

Like many San Fernando Valley residents, Danielle Katz-Ham and her husband, Terry Ham, were in a homeowner's quandary.

Feeling squeezed in their Studio City condominium with the recent addition of 3-month-old Jackson to the family, the Hams - who also have an energetic 2-year-old named Jesse - were hoping to move into a bigger home with a yard.

But in today's housing market, the Hams were hard-pressed to find a home they could afford in a neighborhood they would like to live in. They considered renting a home to save money, but even rentals were high.

They decided they would sell their condominium and hope and pray they'd receive a good offer. For that to happen, Katz-Ham, a real estate agent, knew they would have to renovate their condominium - something that would be difficult to do with a newborn in the house.

On a whim, Katz-Ham filled out an online application for her family's home to appear on the HGTV television show, ``Designed to Sell,'' which helps homeowners renovate their homes before selling. Within a half-hour of deciding to sell their condominium, she and her husband learned they were selected to be on the show.

With a $2,000 budget for materials, the show will offer the Hams a designer, free of charge, who will renovate three rooms of their three-bedroom home, with the kitchen receiving the most attention.

Roger Ham works as an assistant director in the entertainment industry and was a little uneasy about being in front of the camera, but Katz-Ham said any misgivings they had have been dispelled.

``The host (Clive Pearse) was making it very fun,'' Katz-Ham said of one of the early segments they taped.

And they are more than happy with what Lisa LaPorta, the show's designer, wants to do to their condominium. ``I think I would want to hire the designer anyway, although, I probably couldn't afford her,'' Katz-Ham said.

The show will film eight different segments at the Hams' condominium, complete with the couple pitching in as part of the labor crew. The show will then host an open house March 5, when potential buyers will visit, which for the Hams, will be the moment of truth.

Katz-Ham knows how fortunate they are to have an opportunity like this, and despite their earlier dilemma, she knows things could have been a lot worse.

``I definitely feel a little bit lucky that we're even in this position to have something to sell,'' she said.

Another San Fernando Valley resident appearing on HGTV is Cyndi Goretski of Sunland. Her home was featured on ``Landscapers' Challenge.'' On that show, Goretski paid for the labor and materials, but was able to choose from three potential designers who brought in their plans and showed her what they wanted to do. Goretski settled on Steve Terry of California Pool to redesign her backyard.

``I think I made the right choice of the three designers,'' Goretski said. She appreciated that Terry incorporated some of her ideas.

``I wanted a swimming pool/spa,'' Goretski said. ``I call it a 'spool.' It's larger than your normal spa and smaller than your average pool.''

The design included a renovated arbor and a riverbed that cut through the yard and spilled into the pool. Goretski was happy with the results. It was the first time she ever worked with a contractor.

She thought it was an old wives' tale when people told her that if a contractor says a job is going to take six weeks, it really means 12 weeks.

``Things do take longer than expected,'' Goretski said.

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

Photo:

(1) Danielle Katz-Ham and Terry Ham, here with their sons, Jackson and big brother Jesse, are thankful for the opportunity to increase the value of their Studio City condominium.

(2) Far right: Cyndi Goretski and California Pools manager and designer Steve Terry go over plans in her Sunland backyard.
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Title Annotation:Valley News
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 15, 2006
Words:655
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