A wise man once told me that real estate should be considered a contact sport. As a big sports fan, that immediately spoke to me, but then I realized the legitimate truth of the statement and how it relates to my every day life. In my experience working with consumers, I often found myself wanting to pursue answers to the questions that people find important to them as home owners.
I commonly hear people ask “What should I look for to add value to my home?”. Consumers always want to know where to put their dollars in order to effectively recoup their investment, ideally with a small amount of profit on top. It’s an age-old debate, as most people assume “money in, money out”. Unfortunately this isn’t always the reality of the situation, and I’m a firm believer, by virtue and by experience, that there is such a thing as smart investments when it comes to adding value to your home. Have you ever heard Scott Mcgillivray from HGTV’s Income Properties mention “smart renovations”? He’s (correctly) referring to strategically putting your money into aspects of your home that will boost its appeal, as selling price almost always comes down to WHAT A BUYER WILL PAY, and that’s strongly influenced by how the home makes them feel.
There is a lot we could cover on this topic when it comes to your home, but given the summer season and the outdoor-friendly weather we’ve been enjoying lately, I thought I’d gear my focus towards the outdoors and talk about how your home’s exterior can factor into this equation. People often forget about the concept of curb appeal. I see it all the time when I visit homes in my area. Have you ever walked out to your car in the morning and glanced across the street and noticed that the grass (or weeds) on the front lawn of the house two doors down is a foot high? It usually elicits the “why don’t they cut their grass?” reaction, or “wow, that looks awful” sentiment. Many will even go as far as to think that the unkept lawn negatively influences the appeal of the surrounding homes, including their own if you’re close enough. This truly speaks to the importance and impact of curb appeal. It’s undeniable. I hear it all the time when I’m showing people new homes. And often the result of poor curb appeal is a lost buyer or tenant, before they even enter the home.
That example was an extreme and relates more to proper, or improper, maintenance, but there are ways to alter curb appeal and use yours home’s exterior that can add both value and appeal, a recipe for success. Here are a few ideas:
Give yourself some privacy: Instead of trying to plant big trees along the property line, achieve more privacy with something smaller by creating separation where you actually need it, as this will save money and achieve the same goal. Add privacy with a decorative lattice or tri-fold screen on the edge of the patio.
Revolutionize your small space : Many people living in the urban GTA area can attest to coping with a smaller than desirable back yard. Don’t underestimate the benefits of a small yard! With living walls and ways to grow vertical gardens, you can have a green space without giving up any square footage. Whether you’re after privacy or just simply adding tasteful green décor, there’s a lot you can do with your yard space to make even the smallest of yards stand out. A well-designed yard can maximize every inch!
Spotlight your home’s best features : Make an impact with guests and potential homebuyers by adding outdoor lighting. Set your house apart with decorative lights, accentuating the positive aspects of your property. Solar lights are a great choice for the obvious energy saving benefits.
Treasure the shade: One of the most relaxing and saleable features of your home can be a big shade tree. The Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (yes, this exists) has said that a healthy shade tree on a property can have an appraised value of up to $10,000! Shade is also a great way to escape the heat outdoors and save on air conditioning costs indoors where trees shield the house from the sun.
It’s important to highlight these features yourself but incorporating them also allows them to speak for themselves. These ideas are (just a few) examples of how you can make the most of your outdoor space, big or small. Capture people’s attention in a positive way from the get go and you won’t regret it!