Curb Appeal, Part 1

When it comes to the value of your home, first impressions definitely matter, and for those homeowners trying to see their homes or those just trying to make their houses feel more like home, the at-a-glance attractiveness called curb appeal is more important than ever before.
Maybe your house lacks character, or maybe perhaps its past charm was stripped away by a misguided renovation. Or more likely, maybe it's located in a subdivision where most of the houses have the same appearance-- from the vinyl siding to the landscaping in the front yard. But take heart. I'm going to share with you ways to make your house a home and generate real curb appeal-- without breaking the bank.
Curb appeal quite simply is the impression a house gives when you first approach it. If you've got a "for sale" sign in your yard, curb appeal will probably determine if a prospective buyer will give your home a second look. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 70 percent of prospective buyers get their first look at a house from a picture online. If the house is unappealing, most people won't look any further.
"Without the current levels of inventory that are on the market, there's a lot of competition. Without curb appeal, you're not going to get your buyer through the front door."
Even if you are not selling your home, you should still care about keeping your biggest asset in top condition. Curb appeal may increase the real estate value of your property by as much as 15 to 20 percent.
How do you know if your home lack's curb appeal? The next time you come home, park where someone else would and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Then ask yourself these questions: What is your first impression of the house and yard area? What are the best exterior features of the house or lot?
How can you enhance them? What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them? Once the homeowner has completed this exercise and decided some curb appeal help is needed, the home can undergo a dramatic change by adding just a few minor elements.

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