I see many homes for sale and the majority of the sellers have made the same mistake. They know we are coming and they have worked very hard to make their home look it’s best but the thing they most commonly overlook is the front door. Curb appeal is very important. It is the first impression a buyer will have. I am sure everyone drives by certain homes and there is just something about them that stands out among all the other homes in the neighborhood. Even when all the homes are similar in price range and style, there are those certain ones that just look more inviting and desirable. That is curb appeal.
One thing that you can do to make your home have more curb appeal is to spruce up the entry. The first thing you can do that is also the easiest is to wipe away all the cobwebs. Most homes I see have years worth of cobwebs built up and after a while, the older cobwebs collect dirt and look very bad. Another thing that is easy to remedy and wont cost a thing is to wipe off the door. Doors get constant use and often times fingerprints get left behind, scuff marks add up, and those pieces of tape left behind by all those advertisements start to build up. Clean it up. Polish the door knob. Make sure there is no sticky residue on them from the 10 kids your child brought home after school last week. Sweep off the porch and steps. Scrub off those old chalk drawings and melted popsicles. (Get rid of the dead mouse your cat left for you on the porch before the buyers show up…this really happened to me when showing a home once)
Next, sweep the dust off the house around the entry. It does not matter if your home is brick or siding, etc. There is dust that has accumulated over the years and makes the house less “shiny”. Sweeping works well or squirt it off with a hose. You can even used a power wash. Make it look new again.
More ideas from there could include adding a nice flower pot full of blooms on the porch. The fragrance will be enticing as well as the nice look. Keep weeds at bay in the flower beds leading to the entry. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and trim always does wonders. (Another thing that commonly get overlooked is the trim around the garage door. I have seen so many homes for sale that appear older than need be because the paint on the trim around the garage door is worn and peeling).
Whether or not you are trying to sell your home, the entry to your home is the first impression the buyer or your guests are going to have. You don’t want to turn them off before they even get in the house. Most of these suggestions will cost nothing. A little elbow grease is all it takes to make a big difference in the curb appeal of your home.
Filed under: Real Estate
— Susan @ 8:44 pm
Utah has not had a good record in recent years for foreclosure rates. We seem to top the charts year after year because of our high rate of foreclosures but at the moment, we are ranked 39th in the country as only 11 other states have better/lower rates of foreclosures than Utah. This is good news since the experts are determining that the reason for this improvement is that our ecomony is good and our share of the sub-prime loans is lower than the other states. (I talked about sub-prime loans in an earlier post.)
Jim Diffley, an economist with Global Insight said, “Utahn’s share of subprime lending is not as high as many other states…, Utah also doesn’t have falling [real estate] prices . . . and you still have a strong economy. All of those things bode for better relative performance than the rest of the country.”
Utah is experiencing very low unemployment rates right now and our real estate market is going strong. This is good news for Utah homeowners. Now if we could only do something about getting our loan fraud numbers down.
I read yet another article today about the looming, ready to burst, “housing bubble”. It is hard to realize that things are really as bad as the media makes it sound in other areas when here in Utah, we are ranked #1 in the country for appreciation. We experienced a 17% appreciation the first quarter. The average appreciation on home prices for the rest of the country is 6%. I do not think that 6% is a bad return on an investment. Sure, we would all like to make a killing on a real estate investment but 6% appreciation is not that bad. I know it is not as good as the higher rates parts of the country were experiencing before the “burst” but I repeat, 6% appreciation is not that bad. It is healthier for the ecomony when the appreciation rates remain steady and true. There are a few investors that can get in and make a lot of money when it is booming but I think that in the long run, the average homeowner should prefer a stable market.
Filed under: Real Estate
— Susan @ 6:52 pm
I had someone email me from my website and have decided to post the answer here as it may be useful to others.
“Susan, I am excited to purchase my first home when I return to Utah in a few weeks. As a newly wed with some graduate school debt, my husband and I are considering a six month buy a house goal. Does this seem feasible–especially if we are both working full time jobs? Thanks’
Six months may be reasonable depending on your situation. I do know that most lenders will require at least 2 months paystubs to verify employment. As far as your student loan debt, it is going to depend on what your income/debt ratio is. There are things that can be done and I recommend you contact a reputable lender as soon as you get here. If things are not possible immediately, he/she can recommend strategies that will improve your future opportunites as well as lessen the impact of any negative elements in your credit history etc.
I have worked with several lenders that have done an exceptional job on my transactions. I have also worked with a few that I would not be able to bring myself to give a good recommendation. Let me know if you would like some names to use as a starting point. Keep in touch and let me know when you are ready. Good luck!
Filed under: Real Estate
— Susan @ 11:05 pm