Ask Kim Marie...

Dear Kim Marie,


Why is curb appeal so important and what can I do to enhance the appearance of my home?


Curb appeal is so important because it is the first thing prospective buyers see and what their family, friends, and possibly clients and coworkers will see when visiting.  Many buyers drive by homes and rule them out before they even see inside.  The good news is you can do a lot to prevent this.  Texas Tech researchers found that curb appeal can boost the value of a home by as much as 17% and ranks 2nd only to the size of the home in weighing the home’s value. 


Part of the reason is that home improvement shows and magazines have drilled the importance of curb appeal into the minds of homeowners looking to increase the value and appearance of their homes.  So what can you do to enhance curb appeal?  A lot, and it can be affordable; it just depends on how much you want to spend. 


Here are 5 tips: 


1. Update the front door; just a fresh coat of paint can achieve this along with a shiny, ornamental new doorknob. 

2. Lighten up the exterior by installing stylish, modern, outdoor light fixtures to add a touch of elegance and make your landscape stand out. Which brings us to suggestion #3.

3. Liven up the landscape itself.  This can be as simple as trimming overgrowth and pulling weeds to give an appearance of neatness which makes a yard look bigger and the other plants more vibrant. A 2015 study showed 62% of American homeowners said the lawn influenced their home buying decision. 

4. Put furniture on the porch.  Nothing is more inviting or nostalgic than rocking chairs or porch swings, both of which come in modern, chic styles. 

5. Upgrade the garage door.  Garage doors can represent 40% of the homes curb appeal in markets where lot sizes are narrow and builders have no choice but to position the garage on the front of the house.  In the last 15 years garage doors have ranked among the top 5 home improvement projects and homeowners have so many more choices now to customize their door to fit their home perfectly and to make a statement.  It can also be as simple and inexpensive as applying a fresh coat of paint. 


In conclusion, remember that it can be the little things that make a difference and the buyer can perceive how the whole home has been maintained just by judging the exterior and the lawn. 


I'm thinking about making some updates to my home. What is the trendy color this year?


Color authority Pantone has a system that helps manufactures define color precisely.  Every year they poll décor and fashion designers as well as manufacturers and retailers on what colors they plan to use, then pick the color of the year.  This year, for the first time, they picked two colors: rose quartz and serenity, shades of pale pink and baby blue.  They are, however, more neutral than the traditional shades.  The leader of Pantone describes the colors as inducing feelings of stability, constancy, comfort and relaxation; she also states that they create balance in today’s chaotic world.



What is the easiest way to brighten a room?


First and foremost, remove drapes, open any and all blinds and make sure windows are clear of branches from outside which block natural light from flowing properly.  One of the easiest ways to brighten a room is to have light neutral walls but add a pop of color to draw the eye.  Many shades of blue are perennially popular in home goods and generally appeal to both genders.  Blues are also flattering to any skin color and bright blues like cobalt or turquoise are vivid against neutrals.  Finally, lighting itself in interior design is broken into 3 categories: general, task and accent.  The type of lighting recommended to brighten a room is general (or ambient) which includes natural light and overhead lighting because it will illuminate a large area and bounce off the walls maximizing the reach of the light.   



I am getting ready to list my home, what is all the talk about staging and what should I be doing?


Staging is very popular for many reasons, large in part because studies unequivocally show that houses sell faster, closest to the asking price and appeal to more people when staged by an expert.  What you can do to start is remove absolutely all clutter and depersonalize your home by removing anything personal such as photos and religious items.  This is to make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.  After you do this, our stager can help you by using their expertise with past experience and current trends, by knowing what will photograph well, incorporate the concept of Feng shui, and help you stage your home for prospective buyers using all the techniques such as sight, smells, lighting, etc. to make prospective buyers consciously and subconsciously envision themselves in your home.




How long does it typically take to build a new home?


Of course it depends on the size and the community.  Typically, we can get you into a new home within 6 months.  If we do several custom upgrades and there are grading changes with the lot it may take a little longer.  Most of my clients have determined that it was worth the wait!



What are the advantages of building a new home versus purchasing an exisiting home?


When building a new home you have a lot more lenience as far as the features you are looking to include. Constructing a new home can give you a sense of pride in knowing that you had a hand in shaping your dream into reality.



This all sounds great! I think we've found the answers that we need. When do we get started?


Your first step is to contact Kim Marie Sells Luruxy Real Estate and we will schedule a convenient time to get together.  After we determine your needs and define your preferences, the fun begins!  Before you know it we're handing over your key to a brand new home.