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Curb Cravings

09/30/2008 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

In this sluggish housing market, we know that buyers can afford to be choosy. The slightest thing can make all the difference to a homebuyer these days. So if you’re looking to sell, or simply to do your part to make your neighborhood a little snazzier, improving your curb appeal is just the thing to do.

Erin Attardi, Executive Associate Realtor for Lyon Real Estate has sold many homes in Roseville and Folsom areas. “Buyers make an emotional connection with the home they ultimately purchase and want to see themselves living there,” she says. “If a buyer is turned off by the home’s exterior appearance, they immediately think that [it is a] reflection of the interior’s condition.”

The exterior may be the last thing on a seller’s priority list of updates to be made before putting their home on the market, but the importance of curb appeal should not be underestimated. “I have had buyers in my car ask me to keep driving when we have pulled up to a home with an unkempt front yard. The interior could have been spotless, but those buyers would have never known,” Attardi adds.

With so many more homes that on the market that meet a buyer’s specifications, enhanced curb appeal could give your home an edge over those that are not as appealing upon first glance.

Rest assured, though, there are several things a homeowner can do to improve the first impression of potential buyers. If you have no idea where to start, the experts suggest figuring out a budget first. “Creating a master plan will allow you to phase the work as time and your budget will allow,” explains Jeff Ambrosia, principal at Yamasaki Landscape Architects in Auburn. “A licensed landscape contractor can walk you through the process and help you anticipate your needs and desires. They will then put this information to paper and create a set of landscape construction documents that will allow you successfully send your project out to bid to contractors,” Ambrosia says.

If you’re more inclined to do-it-yourself projects, cleaning up your home’s exterior doesn’t need to be a chore. According to Debby Evans, owner and principal designer of Folsom’s Debby Evans Garden Designs, “If you will be doing the work yourself, there are many worthy Websites and periodicals that illustrate how to spruce up a garden. The Master Gardener Association of Sacramento County is very helpful,” she says.

The easiest approach? Prune overgrown trees and shrubs, pull the weeds, and mow and edge the lawn. As trivial as that may seem, simple yard maintenance can make a tremendous difference in attracting buyers and make a good first impression. Kiel Myers, owner and president of Myers Landscape, Inc. in Folsom suggests updating the look of the yard. “Many yards that are overgrown and/or outdated can be spruced up with a clean up, new plant selections, and new bark mulch,” he says. Plus clearing and trimming allows more light to shine in the yard, which helps to give off an airy, bright, welcoming feeling to visitors and potential buyers.

Some other easy fixes: power-wash the driveway, front walkways, and front siding of your home. Plant colorful flowers, replace existing exterior lights with new, contemporary fixtures on either side of the garage and on the front porch near the door. Consider adding landscape lighting to accent all your hard work. And of course, if time allows, a fresh coat of paint couldn’t hurt.

With a little effort, increasing your curb appeal can be an easy, effective way to give your home the edge it needs to sell.


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