Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Popular Curb Appeal Trends for 2017: New Ideas for First Impressions

Popular Curb Appeal Trends for 2017: New Ideas for First Impressions

Never underestimate the value of a pretty face.. These new ideas and trends should get your creative juices flowing.

Rethink the Front Door
REALTORS® have long advised that the front door - one of the first things a visitor touches - should look well-kept and attractive. The cheapest option is to repaint it, and people are getting more adventurous with color choices for doors. No longer feel bound to match your door to the window and shutter hue. Contrast is good, and some homes benefit from brighter colors.

For just a few more dollars, replace old, corroded hardware - knobs, kickplate, etc. For a professional look, and to save yourself some time and cleanup, install the new hardware after painting.

Replacing the entire door might cost you $500 or more, but if you are bored or unhappy with your plain door, or if the door will affect the value of the home, peruse the latest new styles.

If you really want a big change, consider adding an arched doorway, windows on either side or expanding to a double-door. Ironically, one new trend is to go old and ornate.

Light the Way
Some home-building companies scrimp on the porch or entrance-way lighting. If you weren't involved in the original lighting decisions - or even if you were - over time, glass fixtures become dim from dirt, dead moths or old bulbs.

Cleaning globes and replacing bulbs instantly brings new life to your evening facade. New fixtures are inexpensive and can usually be owner-installed. You will likely be delighted - no pun intended - to discover that advanced lighting technology has gone beyond fluorescent with the introduction of LED bulbs. LEDs provide more lumens with less power, resulting in brighter entryways while saving on electricity.

The options are nearly limitless for affordable and novel ways to illuminate your home's front porch or portico.

Install Stone Veneer
For many homes, a major transformation from a common, run-of-the-mill appearance to a luxury look is achieved with stone veneer. No doubt about it: Stone veneer is an up-and-coming trend for home upgrades. Once installed, stone veneer is nearly indistinguishable from full stonework. The key difference is cost and ease of installation. Stonework speaks to craftsmanship, and veneer gives your home an expensive look for less. Stone veneer also has advantages beyond cosmetic:

  • It's rugged and never needs painting.
  • It comes in a wide variety of textures and colors.
  • You can use it for an entire house, a single wall or just the skirting.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how it sets your home apart from others on your street while increasing its value and marketability.

Refinish Sidewalks and Driveways
Just as the upscale look of stone upgrades exterior walls, stone or brick makes a huge improvement to unsightly cracked concrete walks and drives. Different types and shapes of stone can create a variety of patterns, and hiring a professional installer on a complete tear-and-replace will save time and your back.

If your property's asphalt or concrete drive is in good condition, bordering it with brick pavers can add a touch of class. Trims can be a do-it-yourself project requiring minimal skill, effort and cost.

Add Color to Landscaping
You'll want the lawn and hedges manicured. Go further. Green is great, but dots of color lift your yard to a higher level of beauty.

Over the last decade, most cities have upgraded cosmetics, realizing that public street corners beg for flowers and professional landscaping. Eyes have come to expect more color and design street-side, and in desirable neighborhoods, that expectation translates over to the look of your curb.

Again, a tiny expenditure equals a major step-up. Bulbs, shrubs, borders, fencing and mulch are all things to consider.

Once you have totally updated and upgraded your home, you may not want to sell it.  But.... if you do, we are here to guide you.  Just go to and let's get started.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How to Increase Your Home's Value

Before you begin any value-increasing projects, remember not to raise the value of your property too far above others in the neighborhood. People who want expensive homes shop exclusively in pricier neighborhoods. A good rule of thumb: keep the value of your property within 15 to 20 percent of your neighbors’. Find your current home value here.

How much of your improvement costs can you expect to recoup according to Realtor Magazine:
Minor kitchen remodel (88%)
  Bathroom remodel (85%)
    Major kitchen remodel (81%)
      Family room addition (80%)
        Deck addition (77%)
          Master suite (75%)
            Siding replacement (73%)
              Window replacement (69%)

Projects that may increase your home’s value include: Jacuzzi (4 jets or more); permanent hot tub; in-ground pool with nice deck area; security system; sprinkler system; substantial out buildings such as a two-car garage or finished workshop; and vaulted or trey ceilings. 

Think twice about the following projects however, as they may not add value to your house:     
  Above-ground pool
    Ceiling fans 
      Garden pond
        Light fixtures.

Some tips when attempting value-increasing remodeling:

 Remodel with mass appeal in mind. Potential buyers are usually attracted more to neutral, mainstream design.
Don’t go cheap when it comes to construction. Use durable, quality materials. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, honestly evaluate your ability to do it right.
Don’t remodel in a different style from the rest of the house. Additions and improvements that look “tacked on” may detract from a home’s appeal.
Turning a bedroom into a bathroom is a mistake – it reduces the number of bedrooms, a chief selling point.
Don’t do a $30,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 house – unless you plan to continue living there. It is a waste of money.
Make sure the outside of your home is spic-and-span. Clean out the gutters. Wash the windows and remove cobwebs and bugs. Trim the hedges, cut and edge the lawn, sweep the sidewalks and driveway. Plant some colorful flowers out front.

You may want to add to or improve your landscaping while you’re at it. According to a study conducted by Money Magazine, landscaping may be the best investment to improve a home's value. The study found that well-planned, attractive landscaping was estimated to have an actual recovery rate 100 to 200 percent higher than a kitchen or bathroom renovation.