Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal

Keeping things light, bright, open and charming inside may lead to an early sale if you're trying to sell, or just enjoying your home more if you're there to stay.

In this article from the NBC29 HomePlace web page (http://www.nbc29.com/Global/story.asp?S=6386172), are some ideas that can create curb appeal for the exterior of your home as well, which is so important if you're selling.

Five Quick Fixes That Improve Curb Appeal for Under $500

- It's a known fact: Good-looking, well-maintained homes sell faster (and command a higher price) than houses that appear worn down and tired. In today's attractive roller coaster real-estate market enhancing curb appeal -- the first impression of a house as seen from the street -- can mean the difference between attracting serious buyers and resulting in a sale, or having the property languish for months as unsold. "Adding curb appeal is a quick and easy way to liven up the home's exterior and improve the value of the home," says Leslie Segrete, home improvement expert and television personality of The Learning Channel's (TLC) Trading Spaces and While You Were Out. Segrete offers the following tips for under $500:

Tip # 1: Refresh Exterior Wood

One of the most significant curb-appeal improvements homeowners can make is to refresh all exterior wood surfaces. Check wood siding, trim, doors, mailboxes, decks and fences for fading, dirt and peeling paint. If the wood is unfinished, use a wood cleaner; if it's finished, use a wood stripping solution. Next, add a fresh coat of stain so these wood surfaces look clean and new again. Consider adding color to outdoor wood furniture with an exterior wood stain; it's an inexpensive way to "decorate"
outdoors. The Flood Company's CWF-UV5 Designer Colors Premium Wood Finish is
available in eight sheer tones, including colors like Spring Moss and Grapevine
Grey. This premium exterior wood finish is also ideal for wood decks, siding and
fences because it's guaranteed to protect against water damage, peeling,
blistering and graying of the surface due to ultraviolet exposure. The Flood
Company also offers a line of wood cleaning and prep products.

Tip # 2: Prune Foliage and Shrubs, Add Mulch, Trim shrubs and trees, and
manicure the lawn.

Consider energizing the landscape by planting fresh flowers
-- simply adding $100 in brightly colored annuals will instantly improve the
total appearance of the yard. Take time to prune dead branches, trim back
overgrown shrubbery and spread mulch or bark around trees, shrubs and flowers
for a weed-free, well-kept look. Also, small shrubs are great for concealing
unattractive aspects of a home's exterior, including unappealing
air-conditioning units.

Tip # 3: Freshen Up Windows, Shutters and Gutters

Clean windows that flank the front door and repair broken windows and torn screens. Repair and clean shutters to complement the revitalized front entrance, and remember to clean surrounding gutters as they can instantly ruin a first impression.

Tip #4: Lighten Up

To add warmth and add interest, consider installing exterior lighting fixtures to shed some light on a favorite tree, or illuminate the walkway. Remember to clean existing light fixtures and replace burnt-out bulbs.

Tip #5: Accessorize

A small number of accessories adds charm, especially at the home's entryway. Consider adding a few understated ornaments like burgeoning flowerpots, a colorful welcome mat, a name plate or a small rocking chair to make the space look "homey" and welcome. These small additions will attract homebuyers who can envision themselves in the lovely space.

Quick, easy and inexpensive, these five tips will infuse instant energy and appeal into any home's exterior. For printable guides on exterior home maintenance and
additional tips, visit http://www.flood.com/ or call (800) 321-3444. If you have used or plan to use a Flood Company product to brighten up your exterior space, enter
Flood's monthly "before and after" photo contest for a chance to win a $100 gift
certificate to Smith & Hawken or Crate&Barrel. Visit www.flood.com/flood/DIY/IdeaGallery/BeforeandAfter for more details.

Courtesy of ARAcontent


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