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Posts Tagged Curb Appeal

How to Boost Curb Appeal – Starting with the Front Door!

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It’s time for an exterior makeover to add more curb appeal!  Whether you’re a real estate agent preparing a house to sell or a homeowner in need of a fresh new look, here are some simple front door tricks that can help boost curb appeal, and ensure visitors and home buyers get a good first impression as soon as they arrive at the doorstep.

GlassAccents2Make a statement.

A home’s front door is one of the first things people notice. Is it drab, drafty or just plain past its prime? Make a bold statement and improve home energy efficiency with a new Energy Star-qualified front door. Consider options with decorative glass accents and stunning sidelights to add more natural light while maintaining a sense of style and privacy.

“When replacing your old front door, choose from one that accents your home’s style, with high-performance features that help keep out air and water, and low-maintenance convenience like durable pre-finished options with coordinating trim,” says door and window expert Kathy Krafka Harkema.

DoorHardwareAccessorize with new hardware.

Replace the front door hardware for a quick, easy facelift. Choose hardware finishes consistent with those included in the light fixtures, mailbox and house numbers to maintain a polished, cohesive look. You’ll be surprised what a difference new front door hardware can make in creating a positive look and feel.

stormdoorRefresh exterior and trim colors.

Now’s also time to add a new storm door to help keep out the elements, or to add a refreshing coat of paint on your existing exterior doors for a fresh look.

For a dramatic change, repaint the exterior. You can also change trim color to refresh the home’s exterior impact. When updating trim, choose color schemes that match its primary exterior color, or complement it with a fresh twist.

SolarLightsAccent with lighting.

For night-time curb appeal and safety, add a row of exterior accent lighting to illuminate a walking path with ground-insert solar lights. Or consider solar spotlights to bring out landscaping or architectural focal points. Install new matching light fixtures outside the front door, garage door or patio door to create an inviting feel and provide well-lit doorways to greet visiting neighbors, guests, or potential home buyers.

FrontDoorPlantsCreate points of interest with plants.

Add pops of color by arranging potted plants around the front door, or on a porch or deck. Incorporate planters or container gardens of varied sizes, shapes and colors to add visual interest. Also, planting flowerbeds along driveways and walkways gives off a softer, more inviting feel.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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The Ultimate Guide to Homeowners Associations

by Courtney Soinski

neighborhoodDo you have mixed feelings about living under the Homeowners Association?  Have you heard horror stories from friends or family about their HOA? We’re here to set the record straight.  Residing in a neighborhood controlled and monitored by this type of association can have many drawbacks, but it also offers significant advantages.  Here are some pros and cons of buying a home within the Homeowners Association:

CONS:

  1. Monthly Dues.  Owing monthly dues to the Homeowners Association is just another expense when evaluating how much home you can afford.  This is something that should be budgeted for in advance because they can increase over the years, without warning.  If you do not pay your dues within a set frame time, an HOA can put a lien on your house or force a foreclosure of a property.
  2. Strict Regulations.  Any structural modifications to your home must be approved by the Homeowners Association.  You also may be charged assessment fees for improvements and modifications to the neighborhood.  If an HOA decides that the clubhouse needs a new roof or the neighborhood pool has a leak and needs to be refaced, you will be assessed a fee from the HOA to make the repair.
  3. Selling or Renting Out your Home.  When deciding to sell your home or have it rented, the potential occupant must be approved and screened by the Homeowners Association board.  The HOA also has the power to regulate how much you can charge for rent or when the occupant is allowed to move in.

PROS:

  1. Neighborhood Curb Appeal.  Homeowners Associations maintain things that would otherwise be your responsibility.  This includes landscaping, home maintenance, and roof repair.  This is great if you’re busy and don’t have the extra time to dedicate to maintaining your house.  You will not have to worry about hiring an outside company to mow your lawn or taking care of these services yourself.
  2. Landscaped Entrance and Amenities.  Homeowners Associations provide a well-maintained and attractive entrance to your neighborhood and often provides residents with a neighborhood pool, playground, tennis and basketball courts, golf course, and club house, all of which is in excellent condition year round.  This results in an increase of property value.
  3. “Expected” Community Lifestyle.  Living in a neighborhood governed by a HOA means you do not need to worry about noisy neighbors, trash in other yards, cars parked on the street, or loud parties that last all night.  Homeowners Associations have strict regulations and will not allow it.  They also do a good job of resolving neighbor disputes.

If you’re buying a home in a Homeowners Association, always do your research first.  Before signing the purchase agreement, make sure you get personal copies of the rules, regulations and bylaws.  It is also a good idea to look at the budget and financial records from the HOA board.  This will give you a better idea of how well the organization is run.  Consider everything and then ask yourself:  Is a home in a HOA right for you?

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