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News & Advice > Home Improvement
Putting Zeal In Your Curb Appeal
by Broderick Perkins

Curb appeal, the first impression your home conveys to prospective buyers, should create an emotional desire to own the home and enjoy the lifestyle and status it represents.

Putting the best face on your home also should give a lasting impression that motivates buyers to cross the threshold and take that first step toward closing the deal.

Experts advise, more like a home improvement or exterior staging job than a cosmetic makeover, curb appeal that sings is particularly crucial now that more and more buyers are calling the shots.

Give your house model home level curb appeal for that "new" look and feel and buyers will beat a path to your door. That's because there's nothing like moving into a home that's ready to go, free of the need for initial touch ups and free of the ghosts of owners past.

So how do you put a new face on your old home? With lots of attention to detail, in not one, but all the components that make your home stand out on the block.

New paint. There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to begin to give your home that "newly built" look, provided you don't rush the job. Choose a contemporary color scheme that doesn't clash with the neighborhood, but sets your home apart.

Don't just slather on a new coat over the old. Remove built up layers of paint before applying a new one. If you don't need to remove existing paint, you do need to prepare the surface.

Exterior surfaces attract dirt and grime from dust and pollutants in the air and that will prevent new layers from adhering properly and cause peeling.

New landscaping. Well-manicured landscaping is the frame for your home's curb appeal. The approach should be tidy, simple, healthy landscaping that's proportional to your home. Know how your landscaping will appear once its matured. From a practical sense, the plants and trees provide shade and passive cooling as they control erosion and pollution. They also provide privacy, especially if it's a single-level home adjacent to two-story houses.

New roof. Some real estate agents advise against adding a new roof when sales are brisk, but topping off a complete curb appeal remodeling job, mandates a new roof, gutters and downspouts.

Today's roofs can add contrasting color and textures to your home's look. Affordability comes with multi-dimensional composition asphalt shingles in decorator colors. For something cheaper than the real thing, but just as unique, try simulated slate shingles to turn a bland tract home into a more appealing abode.

New paving. New sidewalks, driveways and other non-landscaped surfaces help pave the way to curb appeal. The choices are endless and inexpensive -- concrete stamped with the impressions of cobblestones, interlocking concrete paving bricks, and more.

New doors, windows. Purposeful portals should make visitors feel welcome. New double doors, new energy-efficient windows framed with shutters, sectional garage doors with half moon or other interesting windows, all add the final curb appeal touches.

Published: November 7, 2006

Use of this article without permission is a violation of federal copyright laws --

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    Broderick PerkinsBroderick Perkins, is executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, an editorial content and editorial consulting firm. Perkins has been a consumer and real estate journalist for 28 years.

    Copyright © 2006 Realty Times®. All Rights Reserved.

  • Broderick Perkins
    Columnist Broderick Perkins

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