First Impressions Last... Especially if You Want to Impress a Buyer

You never get another chance to make a good first impression and there is literal truth to this adage, especially when it comes to catching a buyers eye (or you are simply house proud) by creating curb appeal.  

potted green plants on garden 
From the fence to the front door - firsts impressions last. Since spring has sprung, the snow is melting, blossoms are blooming, and lawns are bouncing back into life, these early days of Spring are an opportune time to work on these outside features of your property.  

The front entrance, in particular, is one of the first things guests and neighbours see when they drive past or visit your home. Most people focus on repairing and staging the interior of a house when selling, however, the exterior is just as important for making a sale. Improving your curb appeal can help increase the value of your home and impress buyers the moment they step foot on the property. Meanwhile, poorly maintained exteriors can deter anyone from wanting to go inside.

When it comes to improving your curb appeal, you’ll be considering what repairs and upgrades are going to be most affordable and effective. Here's a list of four key areas that will give you the best return and help you put your best foot forward when selling.

A Tidy and Lush Lawn

This seems so simple, but mowing the lawns makes a huge difference to the aesthetics of your property or ‘vibe’ buyers will experience when they pull up to view your home. Remove toys, bikes, sports equipment, rubbish bins, RVs/truck campers and give your lawn some lovin’.

Having luscious green grass instantly signals to potential buyers that your house is cared for and well-maintained. Try watering and reseeding the patchy areas and if you’re feeling motivated, pull the weeds first and edge the grass along paths and the driveway. The outside of a house automatically looks beautiful and new when the grass is thick, lush, and green.

green and black lawnmower on green grass

Landscaping to Create a Little Oasis

Landscaping is about more than just making a yard beautiful.  Landscape design is about transforming your yard into your own little oasis.  In our coastal mountain climate, I would opt for low-maintenance, hardy perennial plants wherever possible. If you’re not sure about how to landscape a garden, on a strict budget, or don’t have a yard, adding a few potted plants instantly helps improve curb appeal. Use planters and place them around your front door, porch and walkway (or whatever space you have).

If you have a large property, it can be difficult to create private areas. Landscape design makes it possible to break up even a large yard into secluded, inviting, areas or nooks.

The right design can create an outdoor living room framed by trees or shrubs to block out the noise of the neighbourhood and foster a feeling of being out in nature. Consider how you plan to use the space and get creative with your design to create your ideal environment. The options are only limited by your imagination.

This fence was looking tired and was very low despite being the divider between the neighbour's backyard. I propped it up using reclaimed woven cedar, added additional pickets made from recycled wood between the existing pickets and painted the fence grey with leftover paint.  This improvement cost me next to nothing.

Don't Overlook the Hardscaping

Before listing your home, concentrate on getting these three things looking mint: the driveway, walkway and porch. Fix any cracks, fill holes and make repairs as needed.  It's well worth getting a professional involved if you’re not a DIY expert as you can make very simple but extremely effective changes to these exterior features that won’t break the bank.

The main doorway of the house is a focal point and gets the most use. Add a bench seat or porch seats, and flowers either hanging planters or in pots. Make sure that any railings are newly painted and in good shape, along with the door.  An easy upgrade to your porch could include an update of the flooring. Exterior stone and tile can spruce up a tired-looking porch and make the space easier to clean also.

One thing that most new houses have in common is a shiny, dark, newly paved driveway. If yours happens to be made of rocks, then paving it is super practical to make the value of your home increase ten-fold. Or a fresh layer of stones will also do the trick.

My time spent in Hawaii inspired this upcycle. By simply rearranging these old pickets into a different geometric pattern you can create visual rhythm and interest.

Front Door Design

Your front door design, condition, and colour are extremely important for curb appeal and should be eye-catching at first glance. Take a good look at your front door and ask yourself a few key questions. Is it serving its purpose especially in the wind, rain or hot sun? Is it aesthetically appealing? Maybe a fresh coat of paint or replacing an old doorknob with new hardware is another easy way to make your door look new.  Your front door is also a chance to incorporate your personal style and add some flair to your home.

An entrance is one of the first features visitors or prospective buyers notice when they walk, drive by or visit your home. By using recycled and salvaged cedar boards I’ve added a new layer of richer, natural and more textural material that creates an inexpensive architectural element to an otherwise bland and uninspiring home entry.

This may all sound like a lot of work, but if you devote a few hours regularly, then it won't become overwhelming. No matter if your home is six months old or sixty years, the exterior can always look beautiful and new with the proper care. Remember: a home that looks inviting from the outside will encourage people to want to take a look inside.

By owning and operating and successful construction company, Beresford Fine Homes Inc., I also bring over 25 years' experience of building and renovating homes to the table when I view a property. My creative problem-solving skills were honed in that environment and will create success in challenging situations. I am always looking for solutions and love putting my craftsman skills and expertise to use for clients allowing them to make informed decisions and achieve the best outcome possible.

If you're thinking of buying or selling in the Sea to Sky and want a builder's perspective to your real estate transaction, then please reach out.