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Moving up and sometimes moving on

Driveway curb appeal when selling your home

June is the season for moving up and moving on. It marks major changes for some: graduations, weddings or retirements. A friend of mine had the last of his four children graduate college and his first child finish law school. Now he and his wife are looking to sell their large family home for something more suitable with their “empty nest” phase of life.

When selling a home it is good to remember…

…that a large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house or take it seriously based on its “curb appeal”—the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing. Adding curb appeal to a home helps make a connection with the buyer and invites them to come inside.

It’s difficult to look at our own house in the same way that potential buyers do, because when we become accustomed to the way something looks and functions, we often can’t see its faults. Your home may be the largest asset you ever own. It is a commodity that you would want to sell for the highest amount possible. Take a look at your home from the buyer’s perspective.

Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won’t take a second look at a house if the first look doesn’t appeal to them. Home buyers who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect you to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work they plan to do.

Curb Appeal Exercise

The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings.

  • What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
  • What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
  • What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?

Park where a potential buyer would and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Is the approach clean and tidy? What could you do to make it more attractive?

Take photos of the home’s exterior. If you have a digital camera, view the color versions first, then remove the color and look at it in black and white, because it’s easier to see problems when color isn’t around to affect our senses.

Make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle clean up and repair chores first, then put some time into projects that make the grounds more attractive.

For many homes, the driveway is one of the largest visual elements of the home’s overall curb appeal, ranking right up there with siding, the roof and the lawn. If winter was rough on your driveway, it’s time to think of making repairs. Existing chipseal can crack and crumble, and asphalt can develop potholes. Both can be repaired quickly and easily. Call us for an evaluation and we can give you an honest opinion and estimate if needed.

Put the shine on your mailbox

It sits at the end of your driveway and often plays a key role in helping guests find your house. But do you give your mailbox the attention – and the credit – it’s due? Little things can mean a lot when it comes to creating curb appeal. While a mailbox that looks good might not get much attention, one that’s ugly or shabby is sure to draw the kind of attention you don’t want.

If you live in a community that restricts what type of mailbox you can have, simply give your rusted, stained mailbox and the post it sits on a fresh coat of paint in its original color. If your community has no standards for mailboxes, you can swap out an ordinary looking box with something that compliments your exterior design. Does your home have a brick facade? Consider a mailbox set in or on a brick pillar. If your house features fieldstone accents, consider carrying that over to the mailbox with a small, stone-trimmed planting bed at its base.

Lavish your front door with some TLC

The door is the point where your exterior design meets your interior décor. It’s also an element that significantly impacts how visitors view your home. Give yours a fresh coat of paint or stain, and don’t forget the trim around the door.

Next, consider lighting. Is the area around the door well lit? Good lighting is key not only for safety at night, but also to enhance the appeal of the area. Consider sconces beside the door or an attractive overhead fixture if your door has an awning, porch or overhang. Ground lights can accent the effect, either illuminating the pathway that leads to the door or lighting up the door itself.

Finally, take a look at the door hardware. Is the handle or knob looking rusted and shabby? Replacing worn or dated door hardware is an easy, cost-effective way to improve the overall look of your entryway.

Anyone hoping to sell their home during warmer months can greatly enhance curb appeal by investing in these seemingly minor design elements. If you plan to stay in your house, boosting the curb appeal will make you feel even better about coming home every day to a fresh, beautiful house.

Enjoy your summer!

Additional source:
A recent article in the News-Herald


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