Improving curb appeal

LISTING: de la Cabane garden

August is a great month to sit outside and contemplate your property, so this month my blog is focused on seeing your property with a fresh eye. I’ve commissioned a series of four articles on curb appeal because when my clients spruce up their yards to sell their homes, they often say, “I wish I had done that a long time ago to enjoy it while living here!”

We’ve all seen shows on TV that show how a team comes in and makes a few strategic changes (for a reasonable budget) and Poof! – the value of the house goes up, not to mention the homeowner’s opinion of his/her home. A classic example of that is the Housewarming column in the Homefront section of the Saturday Montreal Gazette. Designer Suzanne Rowe takes homes from plain to beautiful with a few paint and landscape changes. The style is always clean and inviting.

So this weekend, we’re looking at the front yard. Take your coffee outside and get comfortable in your favorite garden chair. Our goal is curb appeal – that wonderful first impression people get when a house looks appealing from the street view. You’re going to be looking at several things:

•    Driveway
•    Lawn
•    Trees
•    Gardens
•    Porch & surrounding area
•    Front door
•    Windows

Now imagine you’re seeing this house for the first time and you’re evaluating it. What do you see? What do you like about it? And what would you like to fix? Does it look like it needs updating? Is something out of balance or just doesn’t look right? What bugs you?

Next comes the HOW. How can we improve this on our budget? Budgets vary, so you may have the cash flow to hire someone or you may have very little to devote to this. The key is to have a plan. Maybe just a little clean-up, with a paint refresher on the door and a couple of well-placed plants will do the trick. If it needs more, you can create a multi-step, and even a multi-year plan, to get to where you want to be. If you’re lost, you can always talk to 2-3 landscapers and ask them if they can help you freshen up your curb appeal within your budget. They could supply the plan and you do the work. Magazines and TV shows can provide tips and ideas too.

The key is to take a deep breath, forget about the $50,000 landscape job and just love and appreciate what you have. A little bit of tweaking can go a long way.

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This article was written by Arlene Griffin, Marketing Consultant & Writer. Visit her website at www.arlenewrites.com.

Andree Lavigne is a real estate broker in the region of Vaudreuil-Soulanges. She partners with you to get the best value for the home you are selling, and find your next dream home at a price you can live with. Andree works with professionalism, integrity and compassion to make your family’s life changes easier. Contact Andree here.