Spring Into Action: Boost Your Curb Appeal

Spring is official here – which means planting and landscaping will be in full swing. These activities are not just wonderful hobbies enjoyed by millions, they are key to creating great curb appeal.

The importance of curb appeal

Curb appeal is the aesthetic charm of a property and its surroundings when viewed from the street. In real estate, first impressions make an important impact and curb appeal matters!

Most buyers form an opinion about a property before they step inside – this is valuable to remember whether your clients are buying or selling. A property with an exterior wow factor maximizes its value. At first blush, curb appeal presents itself by the condition of the lawn, trimmed trees and shrubs, planted or potted flowers, fresh mulch, and an inviting entryway.

If a buyer already feels like they are home before even stepping foot inside, sellers are ahead of the game.

Where should homeowners start when looking to boost their curb appeal?

A good overall power washing of the home, porch, garage and driveway will provide a clean slate to work from. It will also reveal whether or not a fresh coat of paint is necessary. If a home requires major repairs such a new roof, paint, driveway, siding or gutters, these are best taken care of before putting the home on the market. Most buyers don’t want to be out of pocket before they’ve even moved in. Smaller projects such as painting the trim or front door can freshen up a home as well as set the palette of your curb appeal projects. Working with the colors of a home and its natural landscape can tie in an overall impression.

What to plant?

When considering adding flower value to a property, it’s a good idea to know which flowers offer the most bang for your buck. Potted and planted annuals offer a quick and immediate fix to a home’s charm and appeal. Annuals are great for filling bare spots in garden beds, adding a pop of color to your front entry or hanging from a basket. Some annuals reseed and will pop up again the following year. Perennials are unfussy, long-lived plants which will bloom year after year. They like to be planted in spring or fall to get a healthy start.

Roses: Most traditional types of roses only have a blooming period of a few weeks. Instead of having a limited bloom time, consider Knock Out Roses. These hearty roses are low maintenance and bloom throughout spring, summer and fall.

Geraniums: These come in a wide array of colors which stay in all summer long. These colorful flowers also pack an extra bonus: their fragrant scent is natural mosquito repellant.

Petunias: Petunias look beautiful and classic in hanging baskets. They also come in a variety of colors to complement a home’s color palette.

Impatiens: These shade-tolerant plants work hard to beautify tree bases, borders and garden beds.

Marigolds: Just like their color implies, these blooms love full sun and are extremely hearty.

Violets: These perennials are purple and low growing, adding a beautiful edge to any border or bed.

Before you plant permanent landscaping plants and shrubs, head to The National Gardening Association website to see which survive best in their specific climate zone(s).

The overall physical condition of a house will be complemented by a great curb appeal. Remember, curb appeal doesn’t have to be elaborate. A freshly cut lawn, clean driveway, inviting entryway and weeded sidewalk present a home that is neat, taken care of, and respected.

Is Moving Up More Affordable in 2018?

If you are considering selling your current home, to either move up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed.

Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:

“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.

Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.

Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”

Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:

Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years | Keeping Current Matters

 

The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.
(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)

In DFW, the median sales price for February 2018 was $248,250 which is an increase of 5.6% of appreciation whereas normal appreciation rates are between 2-4% per year.

There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.

Bottom Line
If you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come. Let New Avenue Realty at Keller Williams help you learn your options to your future. Contact us at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com.

2 Ways to Get the Most from the Sale of Your Home

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.