To our Family, friends and clients….
- Curb appeal is defined as the level of attractiveness displayed by a property when viewed from the street.
- The wide array of low-cost projects makes elevating curb appeal on a budget entirely possible.
- To get started, explore some expert summer curb appeal ideas and tips below.
Summer is quickly approaching, and perhaps you have started brainstorming lists of home improvement projects you would like to tackle. If you were mainly thinking about your interior spaces, perhaps a list of curb appeal ideas can spur some inspiration, to think of ways to spruce up the appearance of your property exterior. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 63% of homebuyers have experienced visiting and walking through a property they found online. On the other hand, 43% of homebuyers who found a property online will look just at the exterior of the home and decide not to walk through it. This 20% difference demonstrates the importance of curb appeal in the home buying process. With warming temperatures and longer days, summer makes an ideal time to tackle the curb appeal landscape projects you have been putting off for months.
What Is Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal is defined as the level of attractiveness displayed by a property, specifically when viewed from the street or sidewalk. This can include the property’s front landscaping, exterior walls, windows and trim, front entrance, and even interior lighting and drapery that shows through the windows. Curb appeal is also thought of as an important factor of property value and helping a property sell.
How Much Value Does Curb Appeal Add?
Curb appeal adds value, but in such a way that can be hard to quantify in an exact dollar amount. The exterior of a property creates the very first impression for homebuyers, making it the most important non-verbal selling pitch. Homebuyers and real estate professionals will often sort through online property listings by looking at photos before reading details, and will sometimes view your property in person from the street. Thus, the level of curb appeal portrayed by a property can be the deciding factor for whether or not shoppers will want to see the inside, or move on to the next listing. In that sense, the value of curb appeal can be equated to the difference between receiving multiple offers that increase your sales price, or not receiving any offers at all. For these reasons, curb appeal adds a lot of value that cannot be ignored, even for those who do not plan to list their property any time soon.
Is Curb Appeal On A Budget Possible?
Elevating your curb appeal on a budget is definitely possible, and there are plenty of curb appeal ideas that are relatively inexpensive to execute. The key is to look for low-cost projects that provide the most visual impact, and select projects where you can carry out the grunt work, rather than having to hire a professional. For example, the average property owner is well qualified to re-paint their front door and install some exterior lighting, while they may not have access to the property supplies or expertise to execute the re-paving of a driveway. If you have a limited budget it may not be possible to execute all of your curb appeal ideas at once. By prioritizing your wants and needs, you can always save projects you could not complete during your summer curb appeal timeline for the next season.
Summer Curb Appeal Tips
- Start with a plan: It is only natural to have a long wish list of curb appeal ideas, making it difficult to know where to start. Drafting out a plan is a good idea no matter what type of project you are launching. First, start by writing down your list of ideas, and then estimate the cost for each. This process can help you prioritize the type of projects you can realistically accomplish while sticking to your curb appeal budget, and saving excess ideas for another time. If you plan to make changes to your landscaping or hardscaping, drawing a visual plan can be helpful as well.
- Perform a cleanup: No property is immune to the gradual build-up of dirt, grime and cobwebs, and a thorough cleaning can have a surprising amount of impact on your curb appeal. Start by taking out any weeds and trimming down any unruly plants and shrubs, especially those that are starting to creep up exterior walls or blocking any pathways. Next, consider renting a power washer to get grime and cobwebs off of your exterior walls, trim, porch and hardscaping. This thorough cleaning process will give your exterior appearance a noticeable boost.
- Think like a buyer: As a homeowner, you may find yourself making excuses for shortcomings around your property, such as chipping paint or design elements that look outdated. Perform a thorough walkthrough around the exterior of the property, and pretend as though you were a potential homebuyer instead. Making a note of any items you notice that look like they need repairs or replacement will help you create a project list. Make sure to check what your exterior looks like at night as well.
- Get a second opinion: Becoming objective by putting yourself completely in the shoes of a potential buyer or agent can be quite difficult, so ask a friend or neighbor to provide a second opinion. Chances are, they will notice areas for improvement that would never occur to you. If your budget allows, consider getting a professional opinion on how to best improve your curb appeal.
- Take pictures: The majority of today’s homebuyers will search through listings online before deciding whether or not they would want to see a property in person. Because of this, how well your property translates for real estate photography is an important matter to investigate. During the process of completing projects, try taking photos of your progress to help you see how well your efforts will translate for representation for the web. This process can also help you edit down any decorations that seem excessive.
- Pay attention to the roof: When completing your walkthroughs and drafting a plan for your summer curb appeal project, it can be easy to focus on the grounds so much so that you forget to look up. Make sure to include the roof in your inspection to see if there are any missing shingles, or if gutters need a good cleaning. The roof is an important aspect of curb appeal that will be noticed by potential buyers.
- Open up from inside: Windows provide a sneak preview of a property’s interior, and is very much a part of curb appeal. Make sure that your window treatments look uniform and functional, and also make sure that any area of your interior that is visible from street view looks presentable and inviting as well. Because the visibility of your interior changes at different times of the day, be sure to perform a check from outside to see how things look at sunset and nighttime as well. It should be noted that interior lighting shining through during the evening can also be placed strategically in such a way that contributes to a warm, inviting glow for your curb appeal.
- Create a clear path: Make use of stepping stones or walkways to create a clear path to your front door, so that guests do not have to guess which door to use. In addition, strategically placed walkways through a front yard, other than the driveway, creates visual lines that will force the eyes of pedestrians through your landscaping and to your front entrance.
Curb Appeal Ideas For This Summer
Once you have been equipped with summer curb appeal tips, it is time to start thinking about what kind of projects you would like to tackle this season. To help you get started, here are some curb appeal ideas that are currently trending:
- Replace your house numbers
- Give your front door a new color
- Update the hardware
- Repaint window shutters and trim
- Add outdoor seating
- Repave the driveway
- Install exterior lighting
- Add a hedge or fence
- Plant something colorful
- Incorporate planters and containers
No matter how large or small your budget might be, there are plenty of curb appeal ideas to choose from to help get your exterior looking as good as new. Summertime is the perfect season to take advantage of, as the warm temperatures and longer days are conducive to working on exterior projects. Even the smallest and most inexpensive improvements can have a great impact on elevating the look of your property.
What kind of curb appeal ideas do you feel inspired to tackle this summer? Feel free to share in the comments below:
This is easy and delicious! These shrimp are great with steak, but for a special occasion, brush the sauce on lobster tails and grill. —Sheryl Shenberger, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Buttery Grilled Shrimp Recipe photo by Taste of HomeNext Recipe
- Total TimePrep/Total Time: 25 min.
- Makes8 servings
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds uncooked shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined
- In a small bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients; set aside 1/4 cup. Thread shrimp onto 8 metal or soaked wooden skewers.
- Grill shrimp, covered, over medium heat 3-5 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink, basting occasionally with butter mixture. Remove from grill; brush with reserved butter mixture.
1 skewer: 201 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 168mg cholesterol, 295mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 19g protein.Originally published as Grilled Shrimp in Simple & Delicious September/October 2009
WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MARTINIservings: 1 cocktail | prep time: 10 mins
Cheers to another holiday season! Today we’re shaking up this gorgeous White Chocolate Peppermint Martini. It’s a deliciously sweet and creamy cocktail with a peppermint twist.INGREDIENTS
- 1.5 ounces white chocolate liqueur (Godiva)
- 1.5 ounces vanilla vodka
- 1 ounce creme de cacao (clear/white)
- 1 ounce half and half
- .5 ounce peppermint schnapps
- White chocolate syrup and crushed peppermints to garnish
- Begin by preparing your martini glass. Rim the edge of the glass with white chocolate syrup; then dip it into crushed peppermint candies or crushed candy canes. Set glass aside.
- Add the white chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, half and half, and peppermint schnapps to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into your prepared martini glass.
Leave a comment if you’ve tried this one. It’s one of my favorites! Watch out for more great recipes.
This is why sellers should pay close attention to the advice of their Realtor!
When my husband and I decided to sell our first home, we happened to put it on the market shortly before the holidays. Even though I knew about decluttering and keeping my house “show ready,” I couldn’t wait to pretty the place up with holiday decorations.
Until my real estate agent told me I couldn’t.
Or at least I couldn’t do it the way I wanted to or had always decorated in the past.
Turns out that just like family photos and other heirlooms that are personal to you but distracting for buyers, holiday decorations can make it hard for buyers to “see” themselves living in your home.WWW.BRONXCHESTERREALTYC.OM
As a home seller it might be worth your time to make a few decorating adjustments during December—and for good reason:
- Real estate experts continue to believe that those looking at houses during the cold-weather months are serious buyers.
- The weekends before Christmas and New Year’s tend to have some of the highest traffic of the year. Realtor.com recently crunched datafrom its website and found this to be true.
- During the holidays, says Andy Nelson, CEO and president of Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego, “there are fewer houses on the market to compete with. Many sellers will wait until after the holidays to list their homes, creating a flooded market and increased competition.”
So rather than take your house off the market in December or switch its status from active to “active-no showings,” use these 15 tips on how not to decorate your house when selling during the holidays. Who knows? You might wake up on Christmas morning to an offer.
- Holiday decorations should fit the style of the home. If you have a modern home, consider tasteful modern holiday decorations. Selling your home at the beach? Your decorations should reflect this vibe.
- Go for seasonal greenery. A real wreath on the door with a few bows is fine. So is some pine garland on the porch or across a fireplace mantel.
- Don’t over decorate outside. No twinkling, musical or colorful animated characters on the lawn, front porch or the roof. Now is not the time to compete with Buddy the Elf for the most decorated home.
- Clean up around your tree. If you have a real Christmas tree, “please make certain you clean up the pine needles,” begs Lee Williams, a real estate agent with Level Group, a full-service real estate brokerage in New York City. “Neatness counts.”
- Keep it simple with ornaments. Don’t clutter your tree with every ornament you’ve ever used over the years. Think streamlined and simple.
- Don’t eat up precious floor space. If your home is small, pare down your Christmas tree size as well. You don’t want it or the presents underneath taking up valuable floor space and making your home looking smaller.
- One candle per window, please. Candles in the windows are fine, but, warns Williams, “make certain the candles do not draw attention to any potential negatives outside or inside the home.” Some negatives outside might be dented siding, for example.
- Some decorative lights are fine. Lights (white lights only, please) inside the home are OK, but if you must run extension cords all over the place—due to a lack of outlets, a negative to buyers—forget the lights all together, says Williams.
- Choose colors carefully. If you must decorate your home for the holiday you celebrate, use traditional colors only—so red and green for Christmas and blue and white or silver for Chanukah, for example. Even better, keep religion out of the color scheme and go with silver and gold!
- Put away religious symbols. Nutcrackers, manger scenes and menorahs may be important to you but could be a distraction to buyers. Keep those out for your own personal celebrations but put them away for showings.
- Staging still matters. For the holidays, you may simply want to swap out everyday linens for those in your holiday color scheme.
- Don’t display holiday greeting cards. They become like family photos—another distraction that prevents buyers from “seeing” themselves living in your house.
- Pare down presents. If presents are to be displayed, keep them to a minimum. In fact, you may want to wrap a few empty boxes, tastefully, of course, as part of your decorating theme, suggests Williams.
- Clear your cookies. Don’t leave a plate of cookies out at showings—you’re trying to find a buyer, not entice Santa to leave you more presents. Plus, food allergies are a real concern these days. Causing an allergic reaction is not a good way to inspire someone to make an offer on your home.
- Curb appeal continues to count. In the winter and with inclement weather, a big part of curb appeal is having a shoveled driveway and a walk clear of ice and snow. It’s definitely a negative if buyers can’t make it to your front door—safely.
Attract Buyers With an Inviting Atmosphere
Warm up your home’s appeal during cold-weather months.
Sawhorse Design & Build
By: Shannon Petrie
There’s no better time than the chilly fall and winter months to make your home seem warm and welcoming to potential buyers. When buyers walk into your house, use these tips to make it feel like a home. This will encourage them to stick around, giving them more time to admire the space.
Crank Up the Heat
When it’s cold outside, buyers will be grateful for a place to warm up. Turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees to make it extra toasty, or light a fire in the fireplace for an extra homey touch. Just be sure not to leave a fire unattended.
Let in the Light
To make your home look bright and open when it’s a bit dreary outside, turn on all the lights and open all the shades and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible. Use amber-colored light bulbs to give your home a warm glow.
Add Holiday Adornments
While overly large decorations can distract buyers from your home, tasteful wintry accents can complement your decor. Consider a simple wreath on the door, a vase filled with poinsettias on an end table, or a centerpiece made of pine cones on the dining room table.
Create Appealing Aromas
The scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls or apple pie is almost universally appealing. Avoid artificial fragrances like sprays and scented candles, which might affect buyers’ allergies.
Offer Warm Treats
If delicious aromas are wafting through your home, follow through by having food and drinks available for buyers, such as cookies, hot chocolate or apple cider.
Play Soothing Sounds
Classical or jazz music playing softly in the background can add to your home’s inviting atmosphere.
As a finishing touch, emphasize the comfort of your home with luxurious and inviting fabrics, like soft blankets, plush towels or a silky tablecloth.
When Real Estate In-Depth began planning its first special section on The Bronx, the official newspaper of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors turned to perhaps the borough’s chief cheerleader Irene Guanill to provide a market report on its emerging neighborhoods.
By Irene Guanill.
North, South, East and West and all the neighborhoods in between make up what is the Bronx. The South Bronx has become an expansion of Manhattan where a two- family home is now priced in the low $800,000s. Manhattan busted out of its seams and now has expanded to the South Bronx. Anywhere along the 6-train route on the east side and the D/4 train route on the west side is a hot commodity. The South Bronx has coffee shops, thrift stores, the HUB shopping district and the storied Yankee Stadium.
Gentrification has definitely arrived in the Bronx. One of the reasons why this is occurring is the borough’s transportation network. Behind Yankee Stadium is the Major Deegan Expressway, the D and No. 4 trains travel north and south while the 6 trains head south to Manhattan and northeast to Pelham Bay. On the west side of the Bronx is Mount Eden where property values are steadily increasing.
If you are looking to start a business you will still find many opportunities available. The North Bronx borders Westchester County and if you take the West Side Highway to the Bronx you will have to pay a toll. It seems so inappropriate that we Bronxites have to pay a toll to get back into our borough from Manhattan. Most Bronxites exit at the last Manhattan exit on the West Side Highway and drive up Broadway to avoid the Manhattan/Bronx toll, as a matter of principle. Or you can exit at 177th Street and visit Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan before coming up to Van Cortlandt Park via Broadway, the 225th Street bridge is FREE and brings you right into the Broadway shopping district. All other bridges from Manhattan to the Bronx are free so you can understand our Bronxite non-verbal protest to the one toll bridge entering the Bronx.
In the Bronx we have three golf courses, Van Cortlandt Park, which has a golf course and an ice-skating rink, a beautiful dog park and walking trails. Trump Golf Links in Throggs Neck, which recently opened a great restaurant and hall for events; Split Rock Golf Course by Shore Road is considered part of Pelham Bay and also features a venue for entertaining and functions. Be it Riverdale, Country Club or Classon Point you seek, you will have the best water views you could dream of. The property values have been stable in neighborhoods such as Riverdale and Country Club for decades, whereas Classon Point just installed a new ferry option for transportation to Manhattan and real estate is on the rise. In Riverdale you will want to take a tour of Spuyten Duyvil Shorefront Park. It is a smaller botanical garden with incredible views of the Hudson. Many days I have gone there for walks and it is the perfect place to just smell the flowers.
Bordering Country Club is Throggs Neck and Pelham Bay. These neighborhoods are in the Northeast Bronx by City Island, which most people can reference as the Landmark neighborhood for the best seafood in the Bronx. Both Riverdale in the West Bronx and Country Club in the East Bronx have stable real estate sales and offer residential feels that anyone would enjoy. If it is Riverdale you seek, definitely look at the Kingsbridge, Woodlawn and the Norwood sections as additional options. They are all hops, skips and jumps if you are traveling to Manhattan, Westchester or New Jersey. Woodlawn Cemetery offers tours, it is a national historic landmark. Visit https://www.thewoodlawncemetery.org/events/ to schedule your next twilight tour of the cemetery. Kingsbridge/Riverdale has access to the 1/9 train and most neighborhoods offer an express bus to Manhattan.
Mosholu Parkway, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods are more in the center of the Bronx and offer short cuts from east to west on any day. Morris Park and Pelham Gardens are both considered double commute areas. You will pass the Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Zoo and if you are heading to Fordham Road to shop for clothing, jewelry or furniture you should stop by Arthur Avenue for a meal. A beautiful view of Fordham University will be yet another highlight of your travels. Many high schools use the sports facilities for competitions. Morris Park has quaint homes that are moderately priced as well as parks and foods of many different cultures. Westchester Square is very welcoming and if you are interested in starting a business we have a location for you.
In the center of the Bronx, you can enjoy the best food, shows and animals the Bronx has to offer at Arthur Avenue, Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. Arthur Avenue has many restaurants and bakeries to choose from. For that matter every neighborhood in the Bronx has great food, just ask any local Realtor for the best place to eat in the neighborhood. I find Realtors keep their eyes on our neighborhoods and food is one of the perks. One will never accomplish the full exploration of the Bronx in a day and the highlights are many, so a move to the Bronx could be a great decision.
Pelham Bay is home to the largest park in New York City, Pelham Bay Park is 2,772 acres which is approximately three times larger than Manhattan’s Central Park. Pelham Bay Park is completely renovated with a new dog park, Explorers Park for children with disabilities, bike and walking trails, tennis courts, football and baseball fields and a beach with 13 miles of shoreline available with a boardwalk and lots of outdoor entertainment. Orchard Beach has salsa lessons and Zumba on the weekends in the summer. You can enjoy the beach, the basketball courts, a beautiful nature walk at Hunter Trails, and offers views of other parks where you can enjoy a canoe ride, a car show and delicious food. Please do not miss out on a horse ride from Pelham Bit Stables on the trails of Pelham Bay and Orchard Beach, it is sure to be an experience. You can also schedule a bird watching tour with a park ranger. Many people visit the Bronx and all are in awe of all the beauty it has to offer. The New York City Parks Department will also, by appointment, rent you a canoe to use for the day. The Bronx Parks are filled with so much to do during the summer. Your weekends would be filled with Bronx entertainment and exploration. Summer fun and much to do right here in the Bronx!
On Pelham Parkway this time of year at 1605 Pelham Parkway, we have what is known to all locals as the Christmas House. Yes, the Christmas House is a brick two-family home on the corner of Pelham Parkway where families from near and far line up to view all the magic one family can provide. I have been visiting their home since I was a kid and many years later I took my kids and still today they offer a special show right here in the Bronx. It is especially enjoyable being it is here in the Bronx and we do not have to travel for hours in traffic to Manhattan. Beautiful life-size ornaments and decorations displayed with beautiful lights and moving figures.
Shore Haven is the most Southern point of the Bronx, but it is not considered the South Bronx. This neighborhood is called Classon Point. You have a beautiful water views of Manhattan and with the new ferry you can park your car within four blocks and hop on the ferry to Manhattan.
Classon Point has seen a boost in sales now that the ferry is fully operational. Classon Point is a double commute area; you need to take a bus/car to the train or now the ferry is a great travel alternative. With the ferry being 30 minutes to Wall Street and shorter to 42nd Street and a stop on 90th Street, we have greater travel opportunities within the area in less time. In the neighborhood you will find a beautiful gated community of condominiums priced to sell. The complex features many amenities and is called Shore Haven.
City Island is off to the side of Orchard Beach and the mile-long neighborhood is diverse and village like. In the fall you should enjoy the street festivals of clam chowder competitions, in the summer the bass competitions and twice a year the local theatre offers a play or musical. If you want to go fishing, schedule your trip on the Riptide III for all your fishing fun. Many local blocks have private access to the water with a private beach for those that live on the block. In the summer you will see many locals out on their boats. Orchard Beach hosts an annual fireworks show the weekday prior to July 4th.
I do hope you take the time to visit the Bronx and if you choose to live here I know you will love it here. Every neighborhood has beautiful parks, many different choices of entertainment and foods with so much appreciation for the arts and nature. After all, we have the best zoo in all of New York City and the largest park! The Bronx neighborhoods can offer a fast city life or a small community filled with good days and many local community activities. How you live here is your choice. Get involved in the community you live in or not, it is your decision and how you get involved will make the difference of the experience you have while living here.
Join the community in activities, meetings and events. Join the Friends of Pelhambaypark.org. Go to a movie in a park. Every neighborhood has a civic association to join. When you find the neighborhood of your choice join the civic association and make new friends.
Credit for this wonderful article goes to IRENE GUANILL.
- Combine cranberry juice, orange juice and vodka in a punch bowl, then top with Sprite.
- Garnish with orange and lemon slices and serve chilled.
GOOD AND EVIL COCKTAIL!!
- Combine vodka, ApplePucker, Midori, and Triple Sec in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake.
- Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass, then top with pineapple juice and Sierra Mist. Garnish with a slice of lemon (optional).
Drink responsibly and enjoy the coming months festivities.
More great receipies and cocktails to come. Please watch this space!