Curb Appeal is Key in Real Estate Investing
There are many ways that you can increase the curb appeal of your properties without a great deal of time and money. Here are a few key areas to consider:
First impressions matter most. This is one concept that successful homeowners and real estate investors understand well. Curb appeal is the first impression when it comes to any property. This is the place where you, as an investor or seller, want those driving by to view your property as their perfect home or investment. For this reason, you should pay careful attention and spend the time and effort to insure the outside of the property is as inviting and appealing to potential buyers, renters or investors as the inside.
One of the first things that people will notice is crumbling paint and bland, tired and faded colors on the exterior. Vinyl siding can be inviting because it is easily cleaned and reinvigorated. It also happens to be fairly low maintenance, which often appeals to buyers and renters alike. There are those, however, who will argue that siding detracts from the potential personality of a home. To each his or her own in this, as it is a personal decision on behalf of the buyer and the seller. Regardless, a clean and crisp paint job or siding is the first that that will make a much better impression than an apparent state of disrepair.
Remember, those first impressions are important. If the outside of the home is unimpressive, potential buyers will never discover the great appeal of the inside of your home.
Another thing you can do to boost curb appeal is to plant fresh low maintenance flowers and plants around the exterior of your home. You do not want to invest in plants that require constant care, nor do you want to seriously invest in plants that are going to grow out of control and look unwieldy. You want to plant flowers and plants that maintain a fresh, new appearance. Bushes and climbing vines also do well along fences that surround the property or as a dividing privacy line between your property and neighboring properties.
If you live in an area that isn’t conducive to green grass, you may want to consider some sort of hybrid that can thrive with less water or choose some form of landscaping that doesn’t rely on large open patches of grass in order to look. The point is to make the house as attractive on the outside as to inspire those viewing the property to want to check out the inside.
Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating curb appeal is to clean the sidewalks and driveway. It is amazing what a high power pressure washer can do to your sidewalks, driveway, and/or front porch. Don’t stop there however; take the time to make sure your doors and windows are clean as well. These little things often make the biggest impression. If you care properly for the exterior of your home, by keeping it nice and shiny, chances are (in the buyer’s mind) that you will likely take the same kind of care on the inside of the home.
A very tidy appearance is paramount to good curb appeal. Therefore, be sure to scrub the sidewalk, flagstones, walkway, windows, and siding. Mow the lawn, rake the leaves, clear the snow, and do everything you can to create the neatest possible appearance. You can do much of this yourself, although you may want to hire professionals, or at least rent a high-pressure cleaning system, to insure that the exterior tiles or brickwork of a home looks attractive. If the sidewalk outside your rental property or investment properly is crumbled and in poor shape, you can generally contact the local city or county municipality to fix the problem.
Choose great colors
The color of your property goes a long way towards asserting good curb appeal. In general, you want to insure the the colors of the properties are contemporary and appeal to your key target buyer or renter. If you are selling a suburban home, for example, located in a lot surrounded by pastel colored homes, you do not want to paint your property a bright color. It would stand out too much. The right color blends well with the properties on either side of it. Make sure that the colors are fresh by applying a new coat of paint. Don’t forget the colors around the property, either. A bright green lawn or even crisp white snow, contrasted with the few pine trees, create visual appeal as well.
It should go without saying that you should ensure that everything outside is in good working order and looks attractive. This means that any broken walkways, bare patches on the lawn, and rickety shutters should be fixed up at once. You’ll find more success in real estate investing if you are selling a property that people want to buy.
Buyer and Tenant Psychology
A big part of the real estate game is buyer and tenant psychology. One thing that researchers have found about tenants and home buyers alike is that emotional response accounts for a great deal of investor success. In other words, investors who can appeal to a tenant or buyer’s emotions — and make the tenant or buyer imagine themselves in the property — has the greatest chances of success. Curb appeal means improving the first impression that your property makes. Studies have shown that when the first impression of a property is positive, it is easier to convince a tenant or buyer to invest.
Taking the extra time to insure that the outside of your home is attractive to buyers can make a big difference, often translating into good tenants and quicker offers. Do not overlook curb appeal as a major factor in the sale or rental of your property as it directly translates to profitable investing!