I know you’ve heard it said many times….”Curb Appeal”. What does this really mean and how can you improve it when it comes to preparing your home for sale?
The first thing I’d recommend you do is to get in your car and drive around your neighborhood and look at other homes. How do they look to you? What features do you find attractive? What places look unappealing and why? OK…now that you’ve done that, come back to your place and pull up in front. How does it look?
- Does it appear well-kept?
- Does it look like it needs work?
- How does the front door look? If it has a screen door, is it in good shape?
- Is the front walkway and porch inviting?
- Are the shrubs trimmed away from the house?
- Do trees block the view of the house from the road?
Sometimes, very little change needs to happen to make your home much more attractive to buyers. The big trees that you’ve always loved because they give you privacy, may not be helping the appearance of your home. Taking some limbs off at the bottom of the tree, may make the house look more approachable. If the screen door is older and the dog may have knocked parts of it loose, take it off and store it in the garage or repair it. Little things like a scratched up front door or trim that’s showing some exposed wood, will give the impression that the house “needs a lot of work”, when maybe it doesn’t. If you have children and pets, the doors can take a real beating but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the condition of the home. A little paint can go a long way and is a very inexpensive way to improve the buyer’s first impression of your home.
Spring is an excellent time to put your home on the market and a pot of flowers on the porch (next to your freshly-painted front door), will send the message that this is a house that feels like “home”….
Doesn't everybody yearn for a 2nd home?…. A beautiful place to go and do nothing but relax and spend time with friends and family…drinking nice wine, eating yummy food and reading those books you've always wanted to have time to read.
Unfortunately, it's often hard to justify the expense of a 2nd home when the upkeep of the primary residence sometimes seems overwhelming.
As someone who traded in my primary residence to live in my "2nd" home on a full-time basis, I understand this dilemma all too well, but did you know there are some awesome tax benefits to having a second home? For one thing, interest is deductible for your first 1.1 million in debt. (you can buy a darn nice home for 1.1 million) Also, if you rent it out for less than 14 days/year, you don't have to pay taxes on that rental income….cool! If you yourself use it for less than 14 days/year, the vacation home is considered a business and up to $25,000 in losses can be deducted each year. So you ask…."why have a vacation home that I can only use 14 days a year?" Well, here's the loophole…Days spent "maintaining" the home, aren't considered personal use days. Hmmm….maybe that's why I see so much window washing and deck sweeping going on.. I'm not making this stuff up. There's a great article on Kiplinger.com that tells all about it.
I may not be able to do your taxes, but I can sure show you some wonderful San Juan Island properties that will tempt you to live your "dream".