The past year has been a crazy one for those of us in the housing market. The Pandemic has been felt through every aspect of the building process. Job sites opened and closed and then opened again. Offices shuttered as more administrators worked from home. Materials rose in price, and materials like duct work that generally arrived within two weeks were suddenly taking two months or more.
Perhaps surprisingly, the market for home sellers has remained robust. Before Covid, home prices were steadily rising. The average home price in the U.S. rose 50% between 2012 and 2019, the third largest boom in our history. The Federal Reserve, in an effort to keep the financial markets liquid and stable, kept interest rates favorably low, which meant for attractive mortgages. This created a “seller’s market,” and houses were barely listed before the offers started rolling in, and homes are still routinely selling for significantly above the listed price.
All of this begs the question: Are you ready to sell your house?
When we start the process to build someone a custom home, we spend a great deal of time talking about their wishes and wants, their lifestyle, and their future plans. There’s a familiar segue into a sentiment that’s repeated in many of these conversations:
“How long do you think that you’ll live here?”
“Oh, this is it. We’re building our dream home. We’re never leaving.”
The truth of the matter is that one day every home will end up for sale. It might be because your lifestyle has changed. You might move to be closer to family. Weather may draw you to a warmer climate.
But one day, your house will be on the market.
So, how do you start on Day One with an eye towards selling it?
Like many things in life, first impressions are everything, and with a home, that’s Curb Appeal.
When someone is driving through a neighborhood, how a home appears from the street is their first calculation in the value of that home.
This impression starts with a professionally paved driveway. From the street, that driveway should lead to a sculpted sidewalk that invites the visitor to an attractive front porch. That porch should frame a welcoming doorway.
Much like open arms or a warm smile welcomes an embrace, your front door says a great deal about the warmth and hospitality your home offers. An attractive door color or decorative wood can convey that greeting. The hardware you select signifies the care you’ve devoted to making your house a home. The materials you’ve chosen – from the door handle to the lighting – can show an attention to detail. Materials like brass or copper will draw a contrast with a slate walk and stand out from the house.
That front porch and doorway should be wrapped in tasteful landscaping. This is always a challenge when addressing new construction, but some shrubbery and mulch will start the ball rolling.
Perhaps surprisingly, a large contributor to perceived curb appeal is symmetry. When researchers study what people find appealing, the results point to symmetry. One of the most famous works of art is Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”. It represents what Da Vinci considered the ideal proportions for the perfect male body. It projects symmetry. When we look at people’s faces, we’re automatically drawn to people with symmetrical features, and find them friendlier.
You may end up in your new home for a decade or more. This house may be yours for fifty years. But whether you’re planning for a future sale or simply trying to create a welcoming look, that first impression is important.
That’s Curb Appeal.