Susan Fung's Blog
An outdoor entrance that provides an attractive, welcoming appearance not only has the ability to enhance the curb appeal of your property, it also makes household residents and visitors with a warm visual reception to your home. You probably already know that hanging baskets and planters brimming with blooming flowers provide vibrant accents from spring through autumn, but entryways need more than flowers, particularly during late autumn, winter, and early spring. Here's what you can do to keep your outdoor entry area looking pulled together and appealing no matter what the season.
Whether you place a dwarf spruce or Norfolk pine in a planter or plant arborvitae or another upright conifer tree in the ground near your steps, some kind of greenery is usually necessary to make an outdoor entryway look fully dressed. It also helps keep a bit of color going during the cold season. As an added bonus, you can decorate your evergreens with holiday lights and other embellishments during the celebratory season.
Create a Small Seating Area
Even if all you've got is a set of steps leading to a tiny landing, try to find room for a chair or a bench. This is functional as well as welcoming because it provides a place for people to sit and remove outer footwear before entering the home or to simply sit and relax for a minute or two before going inside after a long day at work. If you've got the room, a small bistro set made from weather-resistant materials adds a nice touch and provides a fun way to enjoy a casual family meal or round of beverages.
Install an Exposed Aggregate Walkway
Exposed aggregate walkways do double duty by serving as a highly attractive introduction to your home and providing a slip-proof surface that helps keep household residents and guests safe from potentially harmful slip-and-fall accidents. You can get as creative as you like with these and use aggregates in a variety of colors or simply stick with an understated, monochromatic look. For instance, you can use agate aggregate for a multicolored effect and oyster shell aggregate for a lustrous look. Add ground-level solar lights along the sides to show it off after dark.
Other ideas for creating a fabulous outdoor entryway include hanging a decorative door with features such as carved floral accents or stained glass, putting down rustic outdoor rugs in front of the door, and placing accent items such as basketry or statuary on each side of the door. Have fun with it and don't be afraid to put some personality into it.
Please feel free to reach out to us for more advice on making the most of your home's appearance.
There are many ways you can make your house attractive to prospective buyers. Curb appeal goes a long way when it comes to first impressions. Your yard is one indication of the amount of time you’ve spent caring for your property in general. Buyers are undoubtedly attracted to homes that have been properly maintained so if you plan to sell your property, don’t neglect your landscaping. Just like washing the dishes and vacuuming floors positively impacts the look of your interior spaces, regular yard maintenance will do the same for your exterior spaces.
The following tips can help give you a good head start:
Plan to mow your lawn at least once a week. Use a weed wacker or edger to clean up around fences or play yards where your lawnmower might not reach.
Remove weeds, leaves and clippings from walkways and patios. After you mow the lawn, use a leaf blower or broom to remove lawn clippings from walkways. If you have a brick or stone pathway, pull the weeds that may grow between the pavers.
Create clean edges between your grass and planting areas. You don’t need to install special materials to achieve this look. Use a straight-edge shovel to create or refresh an existing edge then add a fresh layer of mulch or stone to complete the transition.
Overgrown plants can be hard for homebuyers to overlook. Neglected shrubs and bushes may block the view of your house, they may interfere with walkways, doors, or other plantings and often just look untidy. Invest in a pair of loppers or hand pruners that can handle the plantings on your property. If you are not familiar with how to approach trimming the shrubs or trees you have, be sure to do some research before you start cutting. A local nursery or landscaper can provide advice on how and during which season you should prune your plantings.
A smart way to attract prospective buyers is to improve the landscaping around your home. Consult with your real estate agent for more ways to improve your curb appeal and for local landscaping resources.
Home improvements are often considered arduous tasks. Of course, the thought of improving certain aspects of the home crosses the mind at some point in time. But, you may discard such ideas when considering the technicality associated with home improvements.The issue of time, funds, energy, workforce and a host of others crop up as soon as a home improvement topic comes to mind. These deterrent factors add up quickly, and home improvement ends up at the back burner.
Here, you will learn a few benefits you stand to gain by embarking on home improvement projects from time to time.
- Allows for Expansion. Home improvement involves rearranging, break down, and restructuring. These activities de-clutter your home, making available some space you never thought were there. You could comfortably play host to friends, keep an uninterrupted line of sight on your kids, not to mention the superb view it provides. It is entirely worth it!
- Appreciates the Value of Your Home. An improvement on the home extends beyond short-term gains. Every home improvement project adds value to your home, increasing your chances of attracting potential buyers and upselling the property. Although the intent behind the improvement to various sections of the house might not directly target attracting buyers, undertaking such projects boosts the appearance of your home which, in turn, spikes the market value of the home to the roof.
- Beautifies Your Home. The beautification of the home is one of the most common and obvious reasons why many homeowners embark on home improvement projects. Nobody wants to live in an old and dilapidated house. Which is why homeowners are compelled to improve and update the look of their home from time to time. A beautiful home is the pride of the homeowner and the envy of passersby..
- Preserves the Glamour. Like other things in life, your home requires constant maintenance to live a useful life. Without active efforts, your flawless paradise may become a place of ruin in no time. Therefore, home improvement projects are crucial to help preserve the glamour that your home deserves. Be sure to give basic installations such as doors, windows, roofing, handles, a lift to ensure proper function and preserved beauty.
An investment in the home is an investment in the future. Although plans may not be in motion to sell the house anytime soon, it is the wish of every homeowner to live in a stylish and exquisite home. Pick up those tools and get to work today!
Yes, prepping your home for sale seems like a lot of work, but its definitely worth it! Selling your home "as-is" can increase the time on the market and decrease the sale price. Depending on how much you can to invest, its possible to go all-out with the exterior design process but you can make great strides with just a few dollars in your pocket and a weekend to work on it.
Your real estate professional can give you specific suggestions after viewing your property, but here are a few that help just about everyone:
Start with the Garden
First things first, clean up your yard and garden. Getting rid of those fall leaves you've neglected to pick up, and dead branches hanging on your trees and bushes makes a big difference. If you have a lawn, make certain it’s mown down to a practical level so that it always looks clean and cared for. If you have a xeriscape, make sure your ground coverings are spread evenly. Mulch, gravel, and rubber are all easy to rake back into place with standard gardening tools. A cared for landscape will draw in buyers, helping them fall in love with the vibe of your home.
Add Some Color
Adding some window boxes or planters with seasonal flowers can brighten up your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Be careful not to over-water them and clean up any old blooms to keep them looking fresh. Worried about the upkeep? You can simplify your gardening efforts by adding a drip-irrigation system. Not only are they automatic, but the EPA also says they save water and are more efficient than sprinkler systems.
A lot of buyers drive around their favorite neighborhoods looking for just the right home. Want to make sure they can find your property? Check to see just how visible your house number is. The easier it is for a home seeker to find you, the faster your property is likely to sell. If you have existing door numbers, try a metal polish to clean up brass or steel numbers or a new coat of paint for wooden or even plastic ones. If your home is missing digits, or they are hard to see from the street, check out your local home improvement and craft stores for larger or more decorative options.
Do Some Painting (but just a little)
It can be expensive to repaint your entire home, and that's not in every budget. It's okay! Start by just cleaning off your existing paint. Use a proper hose attachment or rent a power sprayer from your local home improvement store and see just how much brighter and more inviting your home is when the paint is clean. To add that extra something, consider repainting your door and window shutters with a matching or contrasting color. Just that little bit of fresh paint at the focal points can make your home much more inviting. Make sure you do a clean job though, paint on door handles and windows won't help your cause.
Make it Bright
If you have existing outdoor lighting, now's the time for some elbow grease. Make sure all your lights are clean of dust and grime, so they show at their best. Get some bright new bulbs for them to ensure none are burnt out. Need some extra appeal? Try adding lights along your driveway, walkway or to accent a specific part of your landscape like a tree, statue or fountain. Landscaping lights can be easy to set up, just look for solar-powered LED lights. Available in a variety of colors, with no batteries or cords required, just stick them where you want for a dramatic evening look.
Your property may benefit from a couple weekends spent in the yard. Ask your real estate professional for specific advice about how to best show off your home.
Whether you're looking to buy a house or sell one, a helpful saying to keep in mind is the one about recognizing a duck:
"If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it's a duck!" As silly as that expression may be, there's a lot of wisdom in its message.
The reason it applies to real estate transactions is that people sometimes tend to overlook, justify, and gloss over potential or actual problems that need to be dealt with (and not ignored). Here are some examples, as they relate to home sellers and buyers:
Selling a home: As a home seller, one of the most important things you can do to make your home more appealing and marketable is staging. Not only is it beneficial to apply a fresh coat of paint where needed, but parts of your home may need to be repaired, upgraded, touched up, or cleaned.
One false assumption home sellers sometimes make it that prospective buyers won't notice or care about broken tiles in the bathroom, peeling paint on the front steps, cracks in the ceiling, or mold in the basement. While there are a lot of factors that help sell a house quickly or cause it to linger on the market for months, sometimes it's the little things that can impact the desirability of a house. If there's an imperfection, flaw, or cosmetic problem in your home that you've been noticing for months or years, there's a good chance prospective buyers will take note of it, too.
Whenever you can affordably correct a cosmetic problem in your home or property, it will usually be to your advantage as a home seller. If the problem looks like it could be a potential deal breaker, there's a chance it will be.
When you need an objective opinion on matters such as home staging, curb appeal, or increasing the marketability of your home, an experienced real estate agent is often your best source for advice and guidance.
Buying a home: There are a lot of factors that need to be evaluated when searching for your ideal home. While optimism is an essential state of mind to cultivate when you're navigating the sometimes bumpy road of house hunting, it's also important to balance that positive attitude with a drop of caution and skepticism. If you get too caught up in the excitement of buying a new house, you might miss red flags along the way that could lead to future problems or expenses.
By hiring a reputable property inspector to check everything in the house from structural integrity to the condition of mechanical systems, you can be alerted to potential safety hazards, possible water damage, malfunctioning electrical circuitry, and dozens of other issues that need to be identified, and hopefully resolved, before you become the new owner of a house.