8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home

By: Pat Curry, HouseLogic

 

Here are eight ways to help your home put its best face forward.

 

Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell. We’re not talking about replacing vinyl siding with redwood siding; we’re talking about maintenance and beautifying tasks you’d like to live with anyway.

The way your house looks from the street -- attractively landscaped and well-maintained -- can add thousands to its value and cut the time it takes to sell. But which projects pump up curb appeal most? Some spit and polish goes a long way, and so does a dose of color.

Tip #1: Wash Your House’s Face

Before you scrape any paint or plant more azaleas, wash the dirt, mildew, and general grunge off the outside of your house. REALTORS® say washing a house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale prices of some houses. 

A bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush can remove the dust and dirt that have splashed onto your wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick, and fiber cement siding. Power washers (rental: $75 per day) can reveal the true color of your flagstone walkways.

Wash your windows inside and out, swipe cobwebs from eaves, and hose down downspouts. Don’t forget your garage door, which was once bright white. If you can’t spray off the dirt, scrub it off with a solution of 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate -- TSP, available at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home improvement centers -- dissolved in 1 gallon of water. 

You and a friend can make your house sparkle in a few weekends. A professional cleaning crew will cost hundreds -- depending on the size of the house and number of windows -- but will finish in a couple of days.

Tip #2: Freshen the Paint Job

The most commonly offered curb appeal advice from real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it, and appraisers will value it. Of course, painting is an expensive and time-consuming facelift. To paint a 3,000-square-foot home, figure on spending $375 to $600 on paint; $1,500 to $3,000 on labor.

Your best bet is to match the paint you already have: Scrape off a little and ask your local paint store to match it. Resist the urge to make a statement with color. An appraiser will mark down the value of a house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition.

Tip #3: Regard the Roof

The condition of your roof is one of the first things buyers notice and appraisers assess. Missing, curled, or faded shingles add nothing to the look or value of your house. If your neighbors have maintained or replaced their roofs, yours will look especially shabby.

You can pay for roof repairs now, or pay for them later in a lower appraisal; appraisers will mark down the value by the cost of the repair. According to the "2015 Remodeling Impact Report" from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the national median cost of a new asphalt shingle roof is about $7,600.

Some tired roofs look a lot better after you remove 25 years of dirt, moss, lichens, and algae. Don’t try cleaning your roof yourself: call a professional with the right tools and technique to clean it without damaging it. A 2,000-square-foot roof will take a day and $400 to $600 to clean professionally.

Tip #4: Neaten the Yard

A well-manicured lawn, fresh mulch, and pruned shrubs boost the curb appeal of any home.

Replace overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals. Surround bushes and trees with dark or reddish-brown bark mulch, which gives a rich feel to the yard. Put a crisp edge on garden beds, pull weeds and invasive vines, and plant a few geraniums in pots.

Green up your grass with lawn food and water. Cover bare spots with seeds and sod, get rid of crab grass, and mow regularly.

Tip #5: Add a Color Splash

Even a little color attracts and pleases the eye of would-be buyers.

Plant a tulip border in the fall that will bloom in the spring. Dig a flowerbed by the mailbox and plant some pansies. Place a brightly colored bench or Adirondack chair on the front porch. Get a little daring, and paint the front door red or blue.

These colorful touches won’t add to the value of our house: Appraisers don’t give you extra points for a blue bench. But beautiful colors enhance curb appeal and help your house to sell faster.

Tip #6: Glam Your Mailbox

An upscale mailbox, architectural house numbers, or address plaques can make your house stand out. 

High-style die cast aluminum mailboxes range from $100 to $350. You can pick up a handsome, hand-painted mailbox for about $50. If you don’t buy new, at least give your old mailbox a facelift with paint and new house numbers. 

These days, your local home improvement center or hardware stores has an impressive selection of decorative numbers. Architectural address plaques, which you tack to the house or plant in the yard, typically range from $80 to $200. Brass house numbers range from $3 to $11 each, depending on size and style.

Tip #7: Fence Yourself In

A picket fence with a garden gate to frame the yard is an asset. Not only does it add visual punch to your property, appraisers will give extra value to a fence in good condition, although it has more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community. 

Expect to pay $2,000 to $3,500 for a professionally installed gated picket fence 3 feet high and 100 feet long.

If you already have a fence, make sure it’s clean and in good condition. Replace broken gates and tighten loose latches.

Tip #8: Maintenance Is a Must

Nothing looks worse from the curb -- and sets off subconscious alarms -- like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or peeling paint. Not only can these deferred maintenance items damage your home, but they can decrease the value of your house by 10%.

Here are some maintenance chores that will dramatically help the look of your house:

  • Refasten sagging gutters.
  • Repoint bricks that have lost their mortar.
  • Reseal cracked asphalt.
  • Straighten shutters.
  • Replace cracked windows.

 

Jan. 15, 2019

It's Good to be Smart in Greenville!

Sprint Announces Greenville, S.C. as World's First Smart City with Curiosity IoT Powered by 5G

"Greenville government officials and staff are placing their trust in Sprint to power what will be one of the most forward-thinking smart city ecosystems on the planet, leveraging the power of Sprint mobile 5G and Curiosity IoT networks to bring smart city use cases to life," said Ivo Rook, senior vice president, IoT & product development at Sprint. "We are proud to be supporting the fourth fastest growing city in the country to develop the infrastructure of the future."

Just another great reason to be in Greenville South Carolina.

Come work with the Yukich Team to find your next home. 

www.MyGreenvilleSCRealEstate.com

 

Jan. 14, 2019

Restaurant Week in Greenville SC

Restaurant Week in Greenville is January 10-20th. How will you celebrate? Find all the restaurants at Restaurant Week in Greenville.
Once you find out about the great things to do in Greenville and the surrounding towns, your next step is to find a new home with #TheYukichTeam. Contact the team at 864-360-0390 for personal professional service!
Dec. 26, 2018

How to Save Thousands of Dollars on your Mortgage:

If you have a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home ($250,000) with a 5% interest rate, you’ll be responsible for a $1,342.05 monthly principal and interest payment.
Over the course of the loan, if you pay your exact monthly payment, you will have paid $233,133.89 in interest alone!
 
Paying a Little Extra Can Pay Off Big
1. Pay an additional 1/12th of your mortgage payment every month
Benefit: This will shorten the term of your loan by 4 years and 8 months, all while saving you $42,000 in interest!
 
2. Pay an additional $50 per month towards your mortgage
Benefit: That small amount will save you over $21,000 in interest and will take over 2 years off the end of your loan.
 
3. Make one-time lump sum payments when you can
Benefit: Paying extra when you can towards the principal can cut your costs.
Dec. 18, 2018

Schools are Important to Real Estate Transactions

One of the many questions we as REALTORs are asked is: HOW ARE THE SCHOOLS? This report provides information to help both parents and non-parents (those interested in resale value) while they search for the perfect home.

The Greenville Journal published a report on school report cards:

See how Greenville County Schools fared on state report cards

When you find your perfect location, let The Yukich Team find you the perfect home!

Posted in Real Estate
Dec. 6, 2018

Home Buying Tips

If 2019 will be "Happy New HOUSE Year" for you, these tips will help you get on track! This is a great article from our Allen Tate Blog:

Tips for Home Buying

Then find your new home at www.MyGreenvilleSCRealEstate.com and contact The Yukich Team!

Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 28, 2018

Renters Think Winter is a Good Time to Buy

Hey Renters, Find your next home at www.MyGreenvilleSCRealEstate.com.
According to Bank of America’s annual Home Buyer Insights Report, 41% of renters surveyed agree that spring is the BEST TIME TO BUY A HOME. The surprising result, however, is that when ranking the seasons, WINTER comes in second at 24%.
Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 14, 2018

Actual Cash Value

If fire destroyed your home and contents, would you be able to replace everything? That's largely dependent on what type of insurance coverage you carry. Actual Cash Value (ACV) will pay the value of the lost items - but will factor in depreciation. Replacement Cost - a more expensive option - will allow you to replace lost items with ones of comparable value in today's market. An Allen Tate Insurance Agent can advise which is best for your needs! Contact:

Melanie Hatch

Allen Tate Insurance Agent

Office: (704) 367-7252

Fax: (980) 233-3957

 

Email: Melanie.Hatch@allentate.com

Allen Tate Insurance

 

 

Posted in Real Estate
Oct. 4, 2018

Purchasing Power

How will your "Purchasing Power" change if you wait?
As interest rates go up, your Power goes down!
If it's time to discover what your "Purchasing Power" is, contact The Yukich Team at 864-360-0390
Posted in Real Estate
Sept. 20, 2018

What's Up with Real Estate?

Thanks to the KCM Group, this is a very good explanation of what has happened in real estate over the last eleven years...kind of long, but a good read if you're confused (like many are!).
 
The housing market has been anything but normal for the last eleven years. In a normal real estate market, home prices appreciate 3.7% annually. Below, however, are the price swings since 2007 according to the latest Home Price Expectation Survey:
 
After the bubble burst in June 2007, values depreciated 6.1% annually until February 2012. From March 2012 to today, the market has been recovering with values appreciating 6.2% annually.
 
These wild swings in values were caused by abnormal ratios between the available supply of inventory and buyer demand in the market. In a normal market, there would be a 6-month supply of housing inventory.
 
When the market hit its peak in 2007, homeowners and builders were trying to take advantage of a market that was fueled by an “irrational exuberance.”
 
Inventory levels grew to 7+ months. With that many homes available for sale, there weren’t enough buyers to satisfy the number of homeowners/builders trying to sell, so prices began to fall.
 
Then, foreclosures came to market. We eventually hit 11 months inventory which caused prices to crash until early 2012. By that time, inventory levels had fallen to 6.2 months and the market began its recovery.
 
Over the last five years, inventory levels have remained well below the 6-month supply needed for prices to continue to level off. As a result, home prices have increased over that time at percentages well above the appreciation levels seen in a more normal market.
 
That was the past. What about the future?
We currently have about 4.5-months inventory. This means prices should continue to appreciate at above-normal levels which most experts believe will happen for the next year. However, two things have just occurred that are pointing to the fact that we may be returning to a more normal market.
 
1. Listing Supply is Increasing
Both existing and new construction inventory is on the rise. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that inventory has increased over the last two months after thirty-seven consecutive months of declining inventory. At the same time, building permits are also increasing which means more new construction is about to come to market.
 
2. Buyer Demand is Softening
Ivy Zelman, who is widely respected as an industry expert, reported in her latest ‘Z’ Report:
 
“While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Survey does suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets.
 
Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0- 100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.”
 
With supply increasing and demand waning, we may soon be back to a more normal real estate market. We will no longer be in a buyers’ market (like 2007-February 2012) or a sellers’ market (like March 2012- Today).
 
Prices won’t appreciate at the levels we’ve seen recently, nor will they depreciate. It will be a balanced market where prices remain steady, where buyers will be better able to afford a home, and where sellers will more easily be able to move-up or move-down to a home that better suits their current lifestyles.
 
Bottom Line
Returning to a normal market is a good thing. However, after the zaniness of the last eleven years, it might feel strange. If you are going 85 miles per hour on a road with a 60 MPH speed limit and you see a police car ahead, you’re going to slow down quickly. But, after going 85 MPH, 60 MPH will feel like you’re crawling. It is the normal speed limit, yet, it will feel strange.
 
That’s what is about to happen in real estate. The housing market is not falling apart. We are just returning to a more normal market which, in the long run, will be much healthier for you whether you are a buyer or a seller.
Posted in Real Estate
Sept. 11, 2018

September 11, 2001

We say September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten, but with the passing of time, we do forget. Let's not forget all those who lost their lives that day. (Sorry about the commercial.)
Posted in Real Estate