HOW TO MAKE A BETTER FIRST IMPRESSION

Want to know how to make your home more inviting with memorable curb appeal? Of course you do. It’s called creating a better first impression. So not sure where to start?

Begin with the lawn. Remove any clutter such as kid’s toys and bikes, excessive lawn sculptures and flower pots, as well as garden tools and put them in an orderly fashion inside the garage or shed. Additionally, park the car in the garage as well as the lawn mower. Now look for ways to spruce up the landscaping such as repairing any bare patches on the lawn itself with plugs or patches of sod, make sure the lawn is well manicured and that all shrubbery and trees are trimmed; add color and texture to flower beds choosing plants or flowers that are not only low maintenance but give dimension and add interest to the home. Add additional interest and timeless appeal by installing attractive edging along gardens, or by installing pavers or stones for walkways. Be sure to weed in flower beds and breaks in walkways as well.

Now it’s time to enhance the entry of your home. The front entry is the main focal point of a home’s exterior. The way it is designed and enhanced must exude ‘welcome’ and that it is an inviting home to come into. Place topiaries on either side of the door, or proportionate pots planted with small palms or tropical foliage, or put an arbor in front of the entry with lovely passion vines meanderingly winding throughout. Look at the condition of the front door. Does it need a slight makeover? Just applying a new coat of paint, stain, or sealant can really give a homes’ entry a boost. In addition, look at the hardware making sure that it sparkles and is free of tarnish. Observe the entry’s exterior light fixtures and replace with more modern ones the compliment the entryway.

One element that is often overlooked in the home is the driveway. Often there are grease stains, cracks or pits that need to be repaired. By simply pressure washing a driveway, and filling in these cracks and holes, can make quite a difference in the outward appearance of the home. For a wow factor, consider replacing the entire driveway with pavers, which are available in a variety of colors and materials such as brick, stone, slate and marble. Another item of concern related to the driveway is the garage door. Just like the front door of the home, a splash of color can make a big difference as well as framing the garage door with trellis and planting attractive vines such as mandavilla’s or alamanda’s that are perfect for the Florida tropical climate.

Is the paint on the exterior of the home chipping, peeling or cracked? Is the roof showing a bit of wear and tear or damaged from fallen tree limbs or is it missing shingles? These items must be taken care of with importance being put of course on the roof, then the painting of the home to be addressed afterwards.

Think lighting next. Enhance your home’s appeal in the dark hours by installing solar lights or lights that align a driveway, showcase a particular tree or trees, which will create such luminosity giving your home a more inviting feel.

Have unsightly or bulky items that cannot be moved anywhere out of sight such as an air conditioner or trash receptacles? You can keep these from view by installing lattice fencing around them or by planting shrubs.

Create an outdoor sanctuary. Place a cozy sitting area out in the garden under the shade of an oak tree with colorful weatherproof pillows and perhaps a water feature and tasteful yard art that not only are welcoming, but show your sense of design and flair.

Simple ideas such as these not only help to boost a home’s first impression but create a most memorable and unforgettable one helping you get the best possible price for your home.

Tim Ryan specializes in helping buyers find Naples real estate.  Tim particularly focuses on the Vanderbilt Beach area.

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