Landscape Your Way to Better Curb Appeal

You have just one chance to make a great first impression to your potential buyer, and a neat and tidy front-yard landscape makes sure they’ll be impressed. The National Association of Realtors says that 63% of buyers will do a drive-by to see a home after they’ve looked at it online. When they do, you’ll get that one chance. Your front landscaping needs to reflect on the potential buyer what they can expect inside, too. A well-maintained front yard means a well-maintained home.

Here are just a few ways to transform your front landscape into something that makes your potential buyers want to inspect your home further:

1. Flowers of Course


The sight and scent of healthy flowers make your yard – and therefore your home – seem welcoming and well cared for. You don’t need a lot of space, and you can even utilize planters instead of digging into your current landscaping to add flowers. Choose bright, happy colors, and keep the look of your planters similar for a more cohesive look. If you want to plant flowers in the ground, make sure you look into municipality rules and homeowners association rules before you do.

2. Walkways With Personality


A plain front walkway is just boring. Add a bit of style by edging the walkway with easy to care for hostas, and choose something other than basic cement for the walkway itself. Flagstone and pavers give your front walk personality and are easy to install and upkeep. Consider adding some solar walkway lights, too, for added appeal.

3. Patio Appeal


The addition of a small front porch or patio will give you a place to sit and read the paper while saying hello to the neighbors. Surround the patio with flowers, or a low hedge to add a feeling of intimacy without seeming unfriendly. While this isn’t a fast or inexpensive project, it will be seen as a benefit for those buyers who love spending time outdoors.

4. Groundcover for Slopes


A grassy slope can be a lawnmower’s nightmare, so keep it easy by planting a pretty groundcover and letting it grow and expand, or choose the slope as a place to plant your flower garden. Mix and match groundcovers, grasses, and annuals with beautiful stones for an unforgettable garden with unbelievable curb appeal.

5. Let Nature Lend a Hand


Utilize flowers, plants, and landscaping materials that are naturally occurring in your region. Plant a butterfly or dragonfly garden with your region’s species in mind. Add a bird bath to enhance the look and the enjoyment of watching the wildlife.

6. Don’t Forget The Green


Tall native grasses can add as much to your landscape as flowers, so don’t forget to mix in the greenery, too, for a variety of textures and colors.

7. Indoor Appeal


Make sure your landscaping looks as good from the inside as it does on the outside. People normally spend more time indoors than outdoors, so make sure that your front yard is nice to enjoy from through the windows, too.

8. Hedge Your Privacy


For some privacy, create a buffer of plants around your property. Utilize different sizes, shapes, and varieties to add visual interest and appeal.

9. Pretty Up Your Pathways


Utilize containers for plants and flowers along walkways, stairs, and anywhere else that looks like it needs a pick me up. Install some glass bulb waterers for easy maintenance.

10. Use Creative Borders


A curved border adds elegance to your front yard with very little effort. If your yard seems like a large expanse of green, break it up by planting some rows of flowers right through it. Just make sure you allow a few inches on either side of the row for the lawnmower to do its job without ruining the plantings.

11. Don’t Over Do It


If you’re working with a very small yard, be careful not to overdo it. The use of too many types of plants and flowers could overwhelm a small space, so utilize just a few types over and over again.

12. Ranch Home Landscaping


Your landscaping is especially important if you are selling a small ranch home, which is generally very ordinary looking. Your great landscaping will set your home apart from the sea of similar homes. Don’t be afraid to call attention to your home by the use of a white or ornamental arbor to mark the entrance.

13. Use Bold Elements


Bold elements can really make a statement in your landscaping. When building in these bold elements, be sure they fit with the type of home you already have. For instance, the walkway of a small ranch home would look out of place flanked by dramatic spiral-pruned junipers.

14. Balance is Everything


If you have an intricate walkway created with a distinct brick pattern, go for a similar level of intricacy in your landscaping. Use color to your advantage by blending your gardens with the color of your home, and using a few contrasting colors for interest.

15. Perimeter Planters


If you have a grand front porch, call attention to it by placing railing planters filled with gorgeous flowers all around the perimeter – and don’t forget the stairs, too!


87% Of Buyers Purchased Real Estate Through An Agent Or Broker In 2018

Between the historic inventory shortage, intense competition, and rapidly rising prices, navigating the real estate market in 2018 was a real challenge for buyers—and that’s why the vast majority of them partnered with real estate professionals for their home search.

According to the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors, 87% percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. The main reason? Buyers wanted an agent to help them find the right home for them and their families (52%). An overwhelming percentage of those buyers were satisfied with their experience (90% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others).

The Takeaway: If you’re thinking about purchasing a home in the upcoming year, make sure you work with a qualified real estate professional. There’s a reason nine out of 10 buyers partner with an agent or broker to find and purchase their dream home!


June Is National Homeownership Month

Are you aware that June is National Homeownership month?

Probably not. Because you’re too busy working to afford the home you live in, whether you rent it or own it.

Why should you care?

If you poke around and read anything you can find about it, you’re being urged to recognize and celebrate the benefits of homeownership.

That seems kind of a weird thing to ask you to do. Do you really have the time or care? What’re you supposed to do, throw a party? Sit alone and contemplate it? Invite some friends out for coffee and chat about it?

You’ve got to figure that the people who actively promote it probably have their reasons and motives for pushing it. (You know, like real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and the government.)

It makes you wonder…

Why do they push it, other than to make money?

Is it really the “American Dream”? Or is it just a packaged ploy?

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? What about all the people who were recently hurt by the housing market and getting in over their heads?

What about the economy and jobs? What about making enough money to even afford a house?

And, what about all the headaches and worries that come with homeownership?

Are you being sold on something unachievable, or not even all that desirable?

Maybe you shouldn’t own a home

OK, first off…

Homeownership is not for everyone.

There always seems to be this push to increase the percentage of homeowners. It gets wrapped in reasons why it’s good for you, your community, the country as a whole…maybe even the whole universe.

Pushing to increase the percentage of homeownership for the sake of statistics and percentages is wrong.

Lots of people shouldn’t own a home. Maybe some people shouldn’t even be allowed to own a home even if they qualify financially. That’s what leads to problems because it’s a responsibility not everyone can handle.

Besides, if everyone owned property it wouldn’t be as special. As coveted. As much of a dream.

So, if you do question whether homeownership is “worth it”, maybe it isn’t the worst thing. Maybe you shouldn’t own a home.

It’s easy enough to let the people who really want to own property, and believe in the value of it, own all of the real estate.

Just don’t buy any…

Let them enjoy the “pride”

One of the catchphrases you’ve probably heard is, “There’s pride in homeownership.”

That’s kind of the cover-all reason given as to why more and more people should own their own homes.

You can’t entirely diminish the fact that there is pride and value in owning real estate. There is.

Nor can you entirely diminish the actual benefits of ownership, like building wealth, tax incentives, and not throwing money out the window and building someone else’s wealth.

But there’s certainly an inability for some people to buy real estate. Some people will never achieve homeownership.

And there’s certainly risk and worry involved. Not everyone can handle that.

It’s certainly understandable that lots of people shy away from buying real estate so soon after the real estate bubble burst, and the slow recovery. Some people are still recovering financially. Some people watched their parents struggle and worry, only to lose their home.

But for those who can and do own real estate, there is pride. And there’s appreciation.

Because while not everyone should own real estate…at least now everyone can.

You get to choose, not be chosen to own land

It used to be only a select few who could own land.

Now almost everyone has the right to own property…if they want to and have the ability.

This isn’t the feudal system where there are only a handful of Lords who’ve been granted a piece of land to look after by a King. (Side note: Do you think any Lords ever questioned the value of owning land?)

You can choose to be the lord of some land. You just have to want to, and be financially qualified to.

While you don’t have to be “chosen”…nobody’s giving it to you either.

So, if you can financially afford to, there should be some pride and appreciation in owning a little (or large) piece of this planet, with a “castle” to call your own.

So, when you do decide to buy some real estate, you should enjoy the pride, appreciation, and respect for the right and privilege to do so. You are essentially choosing to be your own land Lord.

There are places in this world you still can’t. So, imagine that. Imagine not having the choice.

Is it worth you recognizing and celebrating?

With all that in mind, is National Homeownership Month more meaningful to you?

Does it put homeownership in an objective light? Is it appealing to you? Does it make you want to own real estate? Does it make you want to own more real estate if you already own some?

Don’t get swept up in the hype of homeownership month, or anyone just trying to persuade you of the benefits of homeownership, no matter what month it is.

The best way to figure out if you should be a homeowner is to speak with a serious, objective real estate agent. One who takes counseling clients more seriously than pushing the pride of homeownership, just so they can make a sale.

Give me a ring if you’re looking for some good, objective counsel. I’d love to be part of that round table.