Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do you have curb appeal or is your home a steal of a deal?


Curb appeal is the first impression people make of your home. You do not want your home to be a drive-by so it is important to make a good first impression. When my husband and I started our search for our home we were focused on certain neighbourhoods, square footage and lot sizes, we viewed many homes and when we finally made our decision on which home to purchase our friends and family were most surprised - shocked might be a more accurate description! We chose our home in spite of the lack of curb appeal and we ended up getting a steal of a deal because the seller had the house on the market for a while and there was little interest in the home.

Our house had obviously been neglected for some time. The front garden was more like a jungle, the plants were so overgrown and out of control that they were actually taller than me! The tree in the front yard had not been maintained at all and was full of dead branches that not only looked awful but they could be quite dangerous should there be a sudden strong wind. The gutters were so clogged with dead leaves and rotting maple keys that we had plants in there that had begun to take root. The garage door desperately needed replacing ;it was rusted and dented and did not open without a struggle. The front door had never been painted and looked very unfinished and uninviting. After reading the description of our home, you are probably wondering how we made it past the front door. Well, the house is located in a fantastic and established neighbourhood with mature trees and great schools. It is on a quite street facing a park (perfect for a young family). It is a three bedroom, with three full bathrooms, a fireplace, large kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances, all hardwood floors and an in ground pool. Sounds like a great place, right? But it was on the market for quite a while without any bites due to the lack of curb appeal. How did we end up with our dream home? We were able to get past the ugly exterior and see the potential.

The house needed some work both inside and out but now when our friends and family come over they are amazed at how we ended up with such a great home in a fantastic area! The before and after is quite astonishing and it took a lot of work and we still have some more work to do but it was all worth it. It just goes to show that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

If you are looking to improve your curb appeal, here are some inexpensive tips - courtesy of the Bennett Real Estate Pros (http://www.bennettpros.com/)

1. Clean the gutters!
2. Clean the windows and the doors (front and garage). Does the front door need a paint job?
3. Check the roof. Does it need replacing or repair?
4. Cut the grass, rake the lawn, weed the garden and trim the bushes.
5. Clear off the driveway and sidewalk.
6. Make it friendly by adding some colour with flower pots, pull back the drapes and/or add seasonal decor such as a fall or winter wreath.
7. Make sure your address numbers are clear and visible - you do not want potential buyers to not be able to find your home.
Remember, if you are in the shoes of the seller you want to sell your home to the highest bidder not the only one. In order to maximize your profit, you'll have to put some hardwork into the home before you put it up for sale. It is just as important to have an appealing exterior as it is an appealing interior. You don't want your home to be a drive by!

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