Real NEastate: Curb appeal

Q: My home is for sale in Wissinoming, and a comment a buyer recently made was that my property had no curb appeal. My front “yard” is only two feet long. What kind of curb appeal is really possible to do for the front of my home besides cut the patch of grass?

A: Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home with a critical eye. Think to yourself, “Would I be proud to call this my new home, without even walking in the door?” Although two feet of front lawn is very small, there are thousands of  properties in Philadelphia that have even less than you and manage to add curb appeal simply with shutters and window boxes.

Here are 10 tips for curb appeal in Northeast Philly:

  1. Is the front door clean and inviting or old and crusty? How about the screen door? A new door or even a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Stick with traditional nuetral colors, no bright purple or orange, please!
  2. Once your door is painted, don’t ignore the hardware. Install new doorknobs.
  3. Has your welcome mat seen better days? Not so welcoming, huh? Replace that tired old mat with a new doormat.
  4. Ever walk into a home for sale in the summer with Frosty the Snowman still hanging on the door? I have. One of the easiest things you can do it hang an attractive seasonal wreath on your door.
  5. How rusty has your mailbox become? Upgrade your mailbox or take a paint brush to it to match your front door.
  6. Maybe your porch light came with the house. Upgrade your outside lighting and install new energy efficient bulbs.
  7. Is your address clearly visible? Polish or replace your house numbers.
  8. Clean your windows, inside and outside. Sparkling clean windows make a statement that the home is well maintained.
  9. Clear the walk! It’s easy to ignore debris when flyers and papers litter your walk on a regular basis. Tidy up in front of your house AND your neighbors’. If you can, repair any cracks in the driveway or sidewalk.
  10. And last but not least, flowers or plants do so much for curb appeal. Plant a couple of easy-to-care-for plants, like hastas, or buy a pot or two of bright flowers on your top step, near your doorway.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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