All Things Real Estate: How does the exterior of your home show?


There are times when viewing homes that more attention is paid to the interior than the exterior. I assume the reasons are many, but during the Covid-19 Pandemic we have been spending an inordinate amount of time over the last year, especially this winter living inside. Understandably, we may have paid more attention in being as comfortable as possible as well as being as safe and healthy away from family, friends and neighbors. So our living spaces had become tantamount in escaping what we have been living through for the present. Now that one hundred million have been vaccinated we can all be more resigned to being able to go outside, socialize a bit more and bring back some normalcy to our lives. Spring is here and will now allow us to pay more attention in working on sprucing up the outside of one’s home. If you are thinking of selling then it will be important and to your advantage to have the exterior of your home in the most optimum condition. The buyers will see your home from the street and then the first impression arises, as to what will they think? Is the lawn and landscape in excellent condition? Doing your spring cleanup now by removing leaves, twigs and debris from over the winter will prepare your property. Edging and turning over flowerbeds will add that much more to the look of your property. Look at your plants and shrubbery and do they look a bit tired? Maybe consider adding some flowering shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons and others to add color to the front of your home. Also planting annuals April and May after the last frost, like Impatiens, Black-eyed Susan, Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, Begonias, Verbena and many more. The internet can provide you a multitude of choices for annuals then you can search where they can be purchased. As a side note, Virginia Tech did a study that showed that adding landscaping can increase a home’s value from 5.5-12.7%. Was the lawn fertilized last fall? If not a good fertilization right now will enhance the green up process much quicker using a 32-5-7 (32% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus and 7% potash) granular material put out at 4lbs per 1000 square feet. A rotary spreader is the best mode of dispersing the fertilizer (follow all directions) for an even distribution with a little bit of overlap for best coverage. If you haven’t applied a sufficient amount of lime down to sweet your lawn last fall, I would also suggest applying 50lbs per 1000 square feet of pelletized lime (not the white powdered lime which could track into your home). As your lawn begins growing, notice where the bare spots are and do a little spot seed with a bluegrass and perennial rye or tall fescue mixture. However if the area is dense or mostly shade, use the appropriate seeds that will grow under those conditions. Have the shrubs been maintained in a healthy condition as well as being trimmed below the window sills? Even though you may have cleaned your gutters and leaders You should also make sure again that they are clean as leaves and debris might have accumulated over the winter so as to reduce any water getting behind your soffits where the gutters are secured to and possibly causing leaks within the walls of your home. Cleaning the outside of your windows would also be advisable allowing as much sunlight into your home as possible. While walking around your pathways and sidewalks you should notice and observe if there are any bricks or cement slabs that might cause someone to trip while entering your property. Sidewalks are generally the responsibility of the homeowner and not the municipality or village that you live in. No one wants insurance claims because someone were to trip causing physical harm to a person. Check your asphalt driveway and see if any patching needs to be addressed. Does your property provide enough privacy? Maybe a fence or some new evergreens on a berm will provide what is needed. Begin pulling out your lawn furniture, barbecue grill, lawn sprinklers and hoses to begin to enjoy a much better 2021. You want that “live in” look to enhance your property. Whether or not you are ready to sell now or in the future, preparing the outside of your home is an integral component of what buyers will observe and as they say, “you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.”

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 39 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). For a “FREE” 15 minute consultation, a value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas or suggestions on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he will call or email you back.


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