Real Estate Blog
Friday, September 28 2012
A report from the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau says 4.3 million tourists contributed more than $520 million to the area economy last year. The bi-annual study also found that visitors spent more in 2011 compared to 2009. The bureau points to the Jehovah's Witness Convention, Frog Follies car show and youth sporting events as drivers of dollars.
The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau issued their bi-annual report on the economic impact of tourism for Evansville and Vanderburgh County. Since 1998, Certec, Inc. has conducted this study to quantify the amount of expenditures, employment and tax dollars generated by the tourism industry. It also identifies where visitors come from, what they do and how much they spend.
In 2011, Evansville and Vanderburgh County economy realized $523.6 million dollars contributed by 4.3 million visitors. This generated $153 million in total tax revenues, 6,110 jobs which paid $103.8 million in wages earned. The study's findings report the top four points of origin for visitors are Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee with notable activity from Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Colorado.
The typical visitor is most likely a college graduate, working in a professional or technical job or is retired. They usually stay one to three nights in a hotel and have visited Evansville before. They travel with 3.2 people in their party. In 2011, 80 percent of the respondents mentioned they used the Internet to make their travel plans – this is up from 67.3 percent of those questioned in 2009. The top activities were going to Casino Aztar, the Ford Center, shopping malls and local restaurants.
It should be noted that the number of tourists remained comparable between 2009 and 2011 but the economic impact and direct expenditures increased by 1 percent. There was also a 1.33 percent increase in industry wages paid. Another increase was the per person per day expenditure which increased from $93.41 to $99.51 by those visitors who stayed in hotels.
The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau uses this and other studies to measure the economic benefits of tourism for our community. They are also useful in identifying the demographics of our visitors which will be used in future marketing campaigns.
Source: The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=55821
Thursday, September 27 2012
Choosing a color for your repainting job is harder than it seems. Follow these suggestions in picking the right paint color to make sure that you can achieve the look that you want for your home.
Any home decorator will tell you that repainting is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to radically change the look and feel of a room. With just the right shade, a room can feel anywhere from warm and welcoming to cool and tranquil.
Don’t take this task too lightly, though; choosing a color of paint is perhaps the trickiest part of redesigning a home. You only need to look at a an entire set of paint chips to realize that picking one out of a fishbowl is not the way to go with this. If you want to make sure that you select the right hue, pay attention to these tips.
1. Determine what kind of mood you want the room to have. Each room in the house might represent a certain feeling you want people to experience in them, so choose carefully. For instance, if you like having people over for meals all the time, go for bright colors to evoke warmth. Family rooms are made for relaxing, so blues and greens may work best for them.
2. Choose a certain object that you plan on keeping in the room and draw inspiration from it. Whether it’s a pillow or a piece of art, it can serve as your basis for the main color of the room. If you want, you can also use this color in different saturation levels by looking up its “family” in paint samples in the hardware store.
3. Consider the room’s lighting when choosing colors. Different colors project various effects when exposed to certain kinds of light, so make sure that you take into account the kind of light you have or plan to install. Incandescent lights accentuate yellow and other warm tones, fluorescent lighting tends to shed an intense bluish hue and daylight presents colors in their proper forms.
4. Use a color wheel. A color wheel displays hues according to what complements them the most. You can use it as your guide in knowing which colors go together and which ones don’t.
5. Don’t forget the ceiling. A white ceiling can be a bit distracting if your walls are a different color. Make sure that, whatever color you use on the walls, you choose paint that’s a couple of shades lighter for the ceiling. To be sure that you’re still on the right track, consult a paint color strip or take the same paint that you used on the wall and add white to it to get a brighter tinge.
6. Select the right finish. One color can have various projections when you use different finishes for it. A matte or flat finish can work well for the wall itself, but use a semi-gloss or satin finish for the trim. This will not only add depth to a room, but will also create the impression of various textures in the same shade.
The most important advice that you can get when picking paint colors is to take your time in choosing the color you really want. You may reach the point of frustration in your quest to choose one shade, but what’s worse is if you start painting a room and stop halfway when you realize it’s not the look you were going for in the first place.
Wednesday, September 26 2012
It’s an excellent all-purpose cleaner, deodorizer, stain remover, and descaler.
Vinegar is a ubiquitous item in many kitchens, and savvy householders know that it has many uses
beyond recipes. It’s also an excellent all-purpose cleaner, deodorizer, stain remover, and descaler.
Distilled white vinegar tends to be the most effective for these purposes, although some people prefer
apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar for personal care. Strongly flavored dark vinegars like balsamic
should be reserved for recipes.
One classic use for vinegar is in cleaning. Used straight or in a one to one dilution, it can be used to
wipe down a variety of surfaces to remove grime without leaving streaks or buildup. Windows, hard
floors, counters, ceramic, and metal appliances can all benefit from a wipedown with vinegar to keep
them clean and polished. Heavier concentrations can be useful for locations like shower tile, where the
acidic vinegar can be used to remove scale from hard water.
For slow or smelly drains, pour vinegar down the drain and flush with hot water. You can also make
a more aggressive drain deodorizer by pouring a mix of baking soda and vinegar down the drain to
agitate material caught on the walls of the pipe, flushing it out to leave the drain smelling more fresh
and moving more quickly.
Stains also tend to be very responsive to vinegar. For marks including stains from pens (beware: vinegar does not always work for ink stains), mildew, glues, and gums in carpeting, on walls, and on furniture, try blotting with vinegar and a clean cloth to gently remove the mark. The fresher the stain, the more successful you will be. On clothing, many stains including tough red wine and other bold colors can be eradicated if they’re blotted with vinegar within 24 hours. Gently pat the stain with a dampened towel to remove it, and run the garment in a wash with cold water and more vinegar to remove any clinging remains.
Adding a cup of vinegar to the last rinse on the laundry can help if clothes have been emerging stiff and scratchy. The vinegar cuts through soaps and hard water to flush them out of fabric, making it soft and smooth. This is especially useful for baby clothes, which can irritate sensitive skin if not thoroughly
rinsed. The vinegar also acts as a deodorizer, a concern with gym equipment and other heavily soiled
For people with hard water or hair that’s accumulating residue from soaps, try rinsing with vinegar and
cool water at the end of a shower to help the hair stay soft and shiny. Vinegar can also be blotted on
itchy or sunburned skin to soothe it, and it can be effective for insect stings as well. If you’re working
in a smoky environment or around foods like onions, try wearing a rag soaked in vinegar over your
nose and mouth to help yourself breathe more easily. Vinegar can also be used to flush the eyes if
they’re red and irritated, but if the irritation persists for more than a day, consult a doctor!
There are even uses for vinegar outdoors! If you have a patio or walkway that’s getting slippery with
moss in winter or has a lot of weeds, use straight vinegar and a scrub brush to clean it and scour the
surface so it will be safer. If your soil is highly alkaline and you want to grow acid-loving plants like
rhododendrons, you can add some vinegar to the soil to up the acid content. Make sure to use a soil test first to make sure you’re adding an appropriate amount, because excessively acidic soil can damage the plants instead of helping them uptake nutrients.
Friday, September 21 2012
Homebuilders haven’t been this confident about sales, the outlook of future sales, and buyer traffic since June 2006, which is right before the housing crisis took hold, a new index shows.
For September, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which measures builders’ outlook on current sales, future sales, and buyer demand, reached its highest level in six years. Plus, homebuilders expect the housing recovery to strengthen within the next six months.
Homebuilders say they’ve experienced some of the best sales levels they've had in six years, and buyer traffic has returned to May 2006 levels, the index shows.
"We think things have turned around and this recovery is sustainable," Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight, told the Associated Press.
The index has been edging higher since last October, coinciding with reports that show sales and home prices inching up too.
Source: “Index of US Homebuilder Confidence Improves; Builders Anticipate Sales Strengthening into '13,” Associated Press (Sept. 18, 2012)
Thursday, September 20 2012
Most grout stains are surface stains. Try sandpaper or a Magic Eraser-type sponge to remove them. (Even a pencil eraser works well.)
If you still have stains, try a grout cleaner or a mix of bleach and water. Make sure you're in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to protect your skin.
Vinegar is a great cleaning agent for baths. Using a spray bottle, spray vinegar all over the tub. Leave for 15 minutes, then wipe down the tub and rinse.
For stubborn stains, try a mix of lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar. Work the paste over the stains with a sponge and rinse.
Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup Borax. Sprinkle in the sink and scrub with a sponge. The mixture is a natural and mild abrasive that will lift any stains.
To clean and rejuvenate wood cabinets, try a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Use a sponge to remove grease and buildup. (Avoid using steel wool or scrub brushes since they can damage the cabinets' finish.) A paste of water and baking soda can be applied to remove any stubborn stains.
To restore shine, try a mix of 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 cup vinegar. Using a spray bottle, spray your cabinets with the solution and buff with a soft cloth.
Wednesday, September 19 2012
September is a transition time for almost everybody. Here inEvansville, the kids have shifted into school gear, adults have moved out of vacation mode, and businesses are already sprucing up for the (believe it or not) Holiday Season.
Inreal estate, we are looking with more than casual interest at what’s going on nationally. Especially those measures that tend to affect Evansville home sales. The largest professional association in the country is our own National Association of Realtors®. At the beginning of the month, they broke another piece of welcome news. This one looks like the difference between ‘indicators’ of a strengthening home sales market -- and signs that it’s already fact.
The NAR release was about TOM. No, as you have probably guessed, TOM isn’t some real estate broker’s name -- it’s the Time On Market measure. For Evansville homeowners who are selling (or planning to sell) their properties, it’s a vital measurement of one of the two most important characteristics of how things are going – a tip to what they may expect when they list. Along with median price trends, it tells the story of whether the market is hot, cool, or somewhere in between.
For some years now, TOM has been an uncooperative sort of fellow. At least when it came to Evansville home sales. Following the financial crisis came skyrocketing foreclosures…then the fallout from that -- painfully long TOMs marking the lengthening time it took to move homes through the market. TOM had stretched out to a painfully long median of 98 days – close to the longest ever.
The good news: TOM is just about back to normal. From the cyclical peak hit in 2009, by mid-summer, he was back “in the range of historic norms for a balanced market.” Traditional sellers were reporting the median TOM had returned to the balanced range of six to seven weeks. IOW, TOM is finally behaving himself.
And what about that other half of the picture that helps guide home sales expectations?
I think it’s too soon to tell for sure, but the head economist at NAR knows what history tells us to expect when this kind of balanced market returns. According to him (Lawrence Yun), “Our current forecast is for the median existing home price to rise 4.5% to 5% this year.” Plus another 5% in 2013!
So the transition that September means for everyone else seems to be underway in the real estate world: and it’s a transition back to home sales normalcy. In light of what we were looking at a just couple of years ago, I think it’s fair to say we are delighted that ‘normal’ is the ‘new normal!’
Tuesday, September 18 2012
The other day I read an opinion piece that I really couldn’t agree with. The writer expected a pause in the pace of the residential market upturn now that many of the most obvious bargains have been snapped up. He thought that was to be expected, and that a further rebound would be likely to follow. His idea was based on the notion that many otherwise well-qualified prospects – buyers who may have narrowly missed the bottom of the market -- would now be waiting for prices to fall again. They would only reappear once they realize that those super bargains were a once-in-a-lifetime affair.
I’d have to say, ‘not so much.’
In my experience, individuals who are even half-serious about buying homes in Evansvilleare usually not motivated by squeezing every cent from the bottom line. Pricing is certainly a factor, but just one of many. When you are impressed with a neighborhood, or its school district, or the particularly appealing floor plan of a particularly appealing house -- those are what prompt you to have your agent write up an offer. Buying homes is not like supermarket shopping. You don’t expect any Double Coupon Days or Two-for-One Sales. You are finding the best place for your family to live -- it’s a different animal.
I also suspect that the author had overlooked a major factor (possibly the major factor) that has shifted since the start of the year. It’s at least partly psychological.
Everybody has to live somewhere, and when you evaluate whether your own best course is to buy or rent, you want to know that the investment portion of the purchase isn’t a foolish one. There is a huge difference between buying homes in a falling market and buying homes in a flat or rising market. When an investment is tumbling in value, it just feels like you should wait to buy it. Even when it’s clear that you are getting more than your money’s worth, it can feel as if you are being self-indulgent by acting instead of waiting.
That was a pretty substantial roadblock throughout the whole period following the financial meltdown. Then, as the market bottomed out, I think it began to disappear from peoples’ minds. Now that the national press is reporting steadily rising prices, it’s gone entirely (last week, for instance, Fannie Mae raised its original home sales forecast for this year by another 5%). If I am right, that is a very big deal.
Whether you are scouting for a new home or thinking that the time is right to list your own property, I am here to answer your questions and help you get started. Call me anytime! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234.
Monday, September 17 2012
Retirees are increasingly flocking to cooler climates and smaller towns than sunny, southern havens in states like Florida or Arizona that generally are popular retirement hot-spots. Baby boomers are looking elsewhere, from Maine to Washington.
"Boomers and retirees these days are considering a much wider range of destinations for retirement, often choosing states that don't commonly come to mind, such as Maine and Montana," says Mary Lu Abbott, editor of Where to Retire magazine. "Yes, the Sun Belt remains popular, but many people prefer a four-season climate and enjoy the changing of seasons. They seek towns that are safe and have active, appealing downtowns and good hospitals nearby, and increasingly they're looking for places with a lower cost of living and lower overall tax rate."
As they retire, baby boomers are increasingly looking at places that are familiar to them, such as where they’ve once vacationed or spent time at as a child, David Savageau, author of "Retirement Places Rated," told the Associated Press. They’re looking for places that are walkable and have volunteer opportunities and college courses, he adds.
Florida and golf communities are "the old view of retirement," Savageau says. "And it's kind of dying out, the desert Southwest and South Florida. That was for our parents; for us it might be somewhere closer to home, a college town, a ski resort or a historical area that gets some kind of tourism in season."
Source: "Cooler Climates, Small Towns Become Popular Retirement Destinations for Baby Boomers," Associated Press (Sept. 16, 2012)
Friday, September 14 2012
The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that, in an effort to re-ignite economic recovery, it was taking aim at mortgage rates — a move that will likely take rates even lower from their current record lows.
The Federal Reserve announced it will purchase $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities that will help boost the recovery in the housing market. What’s more, the central bank said that it will continue with the purchase program until the economy shows greater improvement, particularly with unemployment.
"These actions, which together will increase the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year, should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative," according to the Fed in a public statement.
The Fed says the economy still has a long way to go toward recovery. The Fed predicts the jobless rate will stay above 7 percent well into 2014 and that economic growth will remain slow in the coming months.
At its Thursday meeting, the Fed left its funds rate unchanged at near-zero, but announced the rate — which has a bearing on mortgages — would remain at "exceptionally low levels" until at least mid-2015.
As mortgage rates sink lower, home shoppers have been taking advantage. The Mortgage Bankers Association announced this week that mortgage applications for home purchases were up 8.1 percent for the week ending Sept. 7. Mortgage applications for purchases also were up 7 percent from year-ago levels, MBA said.
"While low interest rates impose some costs, Americans will ultimately benefit most from the healthy and growing economy that low interest rates promote," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday following the Fed committee’s meeting.
Source: “Fed Pulls Trigger, to Buy Mortgages in Effort to Lower Rates,” CNBC (Sept. 13, 2012)
Thursday, September 13 2012
Millions of Americans have refinanced their mortgages as rates have dipped to new lows.
However, mortgage lenders say: If home owners had shopped around more, they probably could have snagged an even lower rate and more savings.
Many borrowers settle on the first rate they're quoted, lenders say. LendingTree says that rates can vary by more than a percentage point for a borrower looking for a 30-year fixed loan.
Mortgage Daily illustrates the loss to the customer in the following example: "A consumer with a credit score of 759 and a loan amount of $260,000 might have received quotes from lenders in early August ranging from 3.25 percent to 4.625 percent. By choosing the lowest rate, the borrower would save $214 a month, $2,568 a year, and nearly $74,000 over the life of the loan."
Fewer than half of home owners say they shopped around when refinancing their loan, according to a survey by Harris Interactive of more than 1,000 home owners. On the other hand, 9 in ten American adults say they compare prices when shopping for major purchases.
"Consumers need to be engaged," says Doug Lebda, chief executive of LendingTree. "A lot of them are just happy to have it over with rather than hang in there to get the best deal."
Source: "Mortgage Shoppers Sell Themselves Short," Mortgage Daily (Sept. 10, 2012)
Wednesday, September 12 2012
A new measure shows the typical amount of time it takes to sell a home is shrinking, and for traditional sellers is now in the range of historic norms for a balanced market, well below the cyclical peak reached in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors®
The median time a home was listed for sale on the market1 was 69 days in July, down 29.6 percent from 98 days in July 2011. The median reflects a wide spectrum; one-third of homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, while one in five was on the market for at least six months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there is a clear relationship between inventory supply and time on market. “As inventory has tightened homes have been selling more quickly,” he said. “A notable shortening of time on market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren’t often languish on the market.”
At the end July there was a 6.4-month supply of homes on the market at the current sales pace, which is 31.2 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.3-month supply.
Read more here: http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/09/homes-selling-more-quickly-time-on-market-down-with-tighter-supplies
Tuesday, September 11 2012
As Hurricane Isaac relief efforts continue, American Red Cross chapters nationwide are uniting to help every family create a disaster plan.
Whether it’s a hurricane, earthquake or house fire that threatens, families need a disaster plan first to make sure they are ready when emergencies happen. “Just like no coach would bring a team onto a field without a game plan, every family needs their own game plan for emergencies,” said Russ Paulsen, executive director of Community Preparedness and Resilience at the Red Cross. “When disaster strikes, it’s too late.”
Disaster plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, a location where everyone should meet if they can't go home and an out-of-area contact who can help connect separated family members. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach other family members.
The Red Cross has tools to make it easier for people to make or update their plan. The American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone and Android smart phones helps people create a plan and share it with household members and over social networks. In addition, a template to build a plan is available at redcross.org/npm.
“Being prepared is a family’s best defense,” said Richard Bissell, Ph.D., chair of American Red Cross Preparedness Sub-Council and member of its Scientific Advisory Council. “Having a plan is vital to making sure all household members know what to do in an emergency.”
OTHER WAYS TO GET READY
The Red Cross has several programs to help people, businesses, schools and communities be better prepared.
Be Red Cross Ready is a web-based, interactive tutorial that teaches people how to be ready for emergencies.
Red Cross Ready Rating™ is a free, web-based membership program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
The Ready When the Time Comes program trains employees from businesses so they can be used as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.
Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training courses provide participants with the knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.
People can visit redcross.org for information on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters.
“We can’t control Mother Nature,” said Paulsen, “but we can control what we do. And having a plan can make all the difference.”
Monday, September 10 2012
There are more honors for a popular southern Indiana tourist attraction. Holiday World & Spashin' Safari in Santa Claus says its Wildebeest and Mammoth water coasters were among the winners at this weekend's Golden Ticket Awards in Tennessee.
SANTA CLAUS, IND.----- Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari’s two water coasters took top honors during this weekend’s Golden Ticket Awards ceremony, held at Dollywood theme park.
For the third year in a row, Holiday World’s Wildebeest water coaster was named the World’s #1 Waterpark Ride. This top honor was announced by Amusement Today magazine, which presented the results of its annual survey of the “best of the best” in the amusement park industry during the annual Golden Ticket Awards ceremony.
In addition, Holiday World’s new water coaster, Mammoth, was named the Best New Waterpark Ride of 2012. Mammoth, the world’s longest water coaster, was lauded by park guests and news media alike this season, with coverage on the Travel Channel, CNN.com, ABCNews.com, the Los Angeles Times, plus Forbes and Wired magazines.
“With so many amazing rides around the world, it’s an incredible honor to have our Mammoth and Wildebeest named the very best,” says Holiday World & Splashin' Safari’s president, Dan Koch.
For the thirteenth consecutive year, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari were named the #1 Cleanest Park, outranking such parks as Disney World, Kings Island, Dollywood, and Cedar Point.
“For this award, we thank our wonderful Hosts and Hostesses,” says Koch. “They worked together all summer long in record heat to keep our parks clean.”
Amusement Today is an international monthly trade journal for the amusement and water park industries, based in Arlington, Texas. The Golden Ticket Awards are determined by surveys submitted by well-traveled park enthusiasts from around the world.
Holiday World will reopen to the public for six additional weekends starting Saturday, September 22, including the new Happy Halloween Weekends event during October. For more information, visit the parks’ website at HolidayWorld.com or call 1-877-463-2645.
Source: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=55545
Thursday, September 06 2012
Don’t assume your storm-damaged tree needs to be cut down. Trees can easily bounce back if you follow these tips for pruning and storm protection
Many tree-care professionals don’t have experience working on battered trees, cautions Ed Gilman, a University of Florida professor who researches the restoration of storm-damaged trees.
Too often, inexperienced arborists recommend thinning interior branches. That’s exactly the wrong thing to do to avoid storm damage.
“For storm protection and recovery, you should be doing the opposite,” Gilman says. “Removing branches from the end of long limbs and retaining the interior branches.”
Even if a storm is strong enough to blow the leaves completely off a tree and bust branches, the tree can remain viable and ready for a comeback. “One episode from a storm is not enough to kill the tree,” Gilman says. The energy reserved in the tree’s roots and limbs will fuel new leaves either that year or the next year.
Storm recovery tips for trees
- Remove broken, separated, or hanging branches, but don’t prune any live wood that’s healthy. The tree needs the energy stored in its limbs to heal itself.
- Check for cracks where branches connect to larger limbs. If you see cracks, cut the limb back to the next healthy, whole branch.
- Make smooth pruning cuts — don’t leave small stumps or ragged pieces jutting out from your damaged tree. Leave the collar — the thickened base of a limb where it attaches to the tree — intact. Collars help heal pruning cuts.
- Straighten and stake a small damaged tree (4” trunk diameter or less) that’s knocked down. Water it frequently as you would a new tree.
- After flooding from a hurricane, water trees and plants freely to flush the salt water out of the soil.
When a tree can’t be saved
- If a tree leans over your house, car, or areas where people walk or play, it has to come down.
- If your tree is hanging over or touching power lines, removing it isn’t a do-it-yourself task. Call a professional tree removal firm for help.
Cost for tree removal varies according to the size and location of the tree. Expect to pay between $800 and $3,000 to remove a medium-sized tree.
Check tree roots after the storm
A few months after the storm, use a pitch fork to check the big roots coming out of the trunk to make sure they’re alive beyond the first foot or two of their length. Healthy roots are brownish or gray with hard, whitish centers. Dying roots are soft.
If your pitchfork hits solid root, great. If not, you may have to take down your tree before it falls down.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/plants-trees/save-tree-storm-damage/#ixzz25hBa5pwg
Tuesday, September 04 2012
Success in Evansville home sales depends on many factors -- and when your own home is the one that is being offered, you want to do the most you can with any factor you control Your home’s interior condition and design are likely to be the key considerations after a buyer has decided to make an offer. However, it’s the exterior – the view that initially catches potential buyers’ eyes – that can have a disproportionate impact on whether they get to that stage. Much of how they perceive the entire property will be influenced by that first impression. It’s the home sales industry’s well known ‘curb appeal.’
Any home’s appeal will, of course, benefit from fresh, clean looking surfaces overall. Scrubbing and painting may the first order of the day, but there are a host of other ideas that can enhance that first impression.
Stepping out to the actual curb to consciously register the view as a first-time onlooker sees it is absolutely necessary. Look at the scene the way a designer does. Is there balance? Natural symmetry is pleasing to the eye, and sometimes achieving that can be as simple as adding a balance of light fixtures or front door accents that repeat some detail.
If what your eye registers is fresh and clean -- yet also dull and uninteresting – you might add splashes of excitement by introducing colorful plants. An instant garden can be created via containers or window planters. Often, such simple touches add so much life that a home’s entire impact is transformed.
Along the same lines, home sales suffer when the details aren’t given enough thought. If you have gotten used to mix-and-match hardware at the entranceway, it’s time to pay a visit to the home improvement center. It’s not a bad idea to snap a few pictures on your way out: they will help you better imagine what styles and finishes will work with the existing design elements. Bringing along a current snapshot has prevented many a return trip. It will also help salespeople suggest ideas you might not have considered.
Another area is easy to overlook even though it can make a real difference in building home sales potential. It’s the nighttime impact – what passersby experience during all the non-daylight hours. It's amazing what adding a little bit of light can do. The thoughtful placement of outdoor lighting along a walkway or near a flowerbed can add a lot of shine to any home. Sometimes as little as $50-$100 can buy a line of do-it-yourself solar lights. Especially as we head into the shorter days of fall,adding some evening sparkle can make a big difference. By boosting your home's curb appeal, you help move it toward the front of the Evansviollehome sales market.
Care to add to the curb enthusiasm even more? Call me -- we can schedule a complimentary in-home consultation to go over more of your options! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234.