Spring Is Here

Spring is, well,...springing!
 
If you’re like most homeowners, the warmer weather has you out in your yard, picking up winter debris and thinking about better-weather projects.
 
We too have been making the rounds of our property, contemplating spring projects. However, our thoughts, of late, have taken on more urgency, as we’ve been discussing a possible home sale. “What fixes,” we ask each other, “would maximize our sale price?”
 
I know what you’re thinking. “You’re real estate agents--that should be a snap!” Well, truth be told, it isn’t easy, even for realtors, when it comes to one’s own home.
 
It’s difficult to be objective about your own home—to see what outsiders see. You’re more likely to give in to an “emotional appraisal.” The corner of that gutter that drips in the rain stand out for you, for example, because it’s been an irritant for years, yet you’re blind to the age of your fence or the paint on your trim, some of the first things outsiders notice. You’re proud of your front garden gnome collection or that bird house your daughter built, but others would not be so enamoured.
 
So when it comes to your own home, be aware of your emotional involvement, step back, and force yourself to undertake a more sober, objective assessment.

The Appraisal  
Stand on the curb in front of your house and ask:
 

  • What does our siding look like? Is it clean? Is there anything loose?
  • What do the front and garage doors look like? Do they need a fresh coat of paint or replacement?
  • Is the roof in good repair?
  • What is the condition of our driveway? Is it worn, cracked or weedy?
  • What does our walkway look like? Is it level and in good repair?
     
    Next, wander into your backyard (not nearly as unpleasant a task for us at this time of year since our dog passed away--dog owners know what I mean!) and ask:
     
  • What shape is the deck in? Is it level? Do boards need to be replaced?
  • What is the condition of the fence?
  • Is the landscaping neat and tidy?
 
Next, make a list of possible projects to improve your home’s “curb appeal.” Some fixes will be quick and inexpensive, others will require more time and money. For each potential project, however, the investment you put in should result in a return when it comes time to sell.

Prepping for Curb Appeal

 
Webster defines curb appeal as “the visual attractiveness of the exterior of a house as seen from the street.” Maximizing curb appeal is obviously the goal, but 2 factors should be considered each time you take on a project—money and time.
 
The tiles on our patio stone front walkway, for example, need to be leveled out and, in some cases, replaced. Repeated freeze/thaw cycles have taken their toll. The question is—should we replace the tiles? Upgrading to interlocking bricks, for instance, would provide a more sophisticated look and definitely enhance curb appeal. But when you consider that such a replacement may only result in a 25% or so return when selling, this idea no longer makes much sense. You would be better off putting this money into another project that would yield a higher return.
 
Time is the second important factor to consider. You may be able to do a number of projects yourself, for example, which would save money, but do you have the time? If you’re looking to sell by June, so that you can move your family in summer, you may not have enough time to do all the jobs you are thinking of, particularly since spring weather can often delay outdoor work.
 
So for every project, ask yourself: Is worth the money? And do we have the time? By answering these questions first, you could save yourself a lot of grief and, best of all, maximize your selling price!
 
If you would like more information about how we can help you or our services, please contact us.