March 21, 2012

How to Help Your Home Make a Great First Impression

Here are 10 tips to put your property’s best face forward, whether it’s for drive-by or online real-estate hunters

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and a recent story on HGTV’s U.S. website frontdoor.com spells out the reasons why. If they’re stopping by your home — whether it’s a drive-by or an online search — what will they see? Here are the site’s 10 ways to up your home’s curb appeal.

1. Act like a buyer
Walk around your entire home’s exterior with a critical eye and a notepad and pen. Take notes on what looks “off” and needs repairing, replacing or cleaning. Get in your car and drive by slowly from both directions during the day and night. You might see something you’ve never noticed before.

2. Don’t forget to look up
Most homeowners don’t give their roofs a second glance, but the roof is an important curb appeal item that buyers do notice. A good cleaning or a roof replacement might be in order.

3. Numbers matter
If your house numbers aren’t easy to see, replacing them carries a tremendous impact. Consider the style of your house — traditional, transitional or modern — and create a harmonious or contrasting effect with new numbers

4. Get a second opinion
Homeowners often get used to certain defects — chipped paint on the front door from the keys banging against it, cobwebs on the porch ceiling, cracked or stained steps — and might need a new set of eyes to help them prioritize what needs to be fixed and cleaned up.

5. Put the pressure on
Budget-conscious homeowners will love this tip: Pressure-washing the dirty siding and deck, as well as the oil-stained driveway, and faded walkways is an extremely cost-efficient way to increase your home’s appeal.

6. Add a little colour
Except for the dead of winter, some types of annual plants are always in bloom. Spruce up your porch containers, window boxes and front beds with some colour.

7. Let the light shine in
Make sure your home is flooded with any natural light available (occasionally a challenge in the Lower Mainland).

8. Light your landscape
Give your walkway an edge with solar light fixtures, which are affordable and easy to install. Solar lights are inexpensive.

9. Add some polish
Paint can be an inexpensive way to transform tired outside areas like trim and shutters. Other inexpensive fix-ups: a new mailbox, a new porch light fixture and a cheery welcome mat.

10. It all starts online
Photos are critical to grab browsers’ attention. Take pictures of your home in sunlight, and make sure you declutter first. It’s first impression that counts.

The Vancouver Sun

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