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Buying and Selling Homes

Clara Beaufort asked if she could contribute this guest piece. I think it raises some interesting points so I’m happy to share it.

Owning your own home has always seemed sensible to me. It can cost less than renting and you get to do what you want with your home. And I never saw house buying as a financial investment first and foremost.. mostly wishing to create welcoming space for those tow precious things: family and friends.

When teaching permaculture it’s something we look at carefully here, as the desire to create a homestead is one key reason people come on the courses in the first place. I always counsel looking across the Winter so you can see how things are when the weather is at its worst. Also prices tend to diop then. If you’re selling you have different priorities- but the best deals work well for both parties. There are other things to be said on the topic, but let’s leave this one to Clara…

First Impressions: How to Boost Curb Appeal to Attract Fall and Winter Buyers

Many potential buyers will scrutinize your home from the confines of their agent’s car or by looking at online listing photos, and never even step foot on your property if they don’t like what they see. Therefore, it’s very important to boost your home’s curb appeal to make your best first impression. Replacing your roof and other expensive repairs can significant increase the value of your home, but smaller changes matter as well, such as washing the dirt and grunge off the exterior of your home. And conversely, visible damage to your home such as chipped paint, missing bricks, or broken gutters can lower your home’s value by 10 percent, according to HouseLogic.

While in the spring and summer months, you can increase your home’s curb appeal with a lush green lawn and blooming flowers, when the cold weather sets in, it can be a little more difficult. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal in the fall and winter to attract more buyers and potentially increase your profit.

Start with cleaning and repairs

If your house looks extremely dingy, you might want to hire someone to paint the entire exterior. But if your exterior is in good shape, you’ll still need to clean your house and yard, and make repairs as necessary. Go around the outside of your property and create a list of things that need to be fixed. You can do simple repairs, such as replacing damaged siding or repairing fencing, yourself. Wash all the windows and grab a power washer to deep clean the exterior of your home. Pay close attention to walkways and your driveway when you are cleaning it. If the concrete or asphalt is cracked or significantly damaged, call in the professionals.

Add some color

Since your yard is missing the green grass and colorful flowers of spring and summertime, you’ll need to add color with different strategies. Colorful pots filled with cold-weather plants can line your walkway or sit on your front porch. The Spruce recommends holly shrubs, red osier dogwood, bayberry, and other hardy plants that can tolerate the cold weather. Porch chairs and bird houses in bright colors can also really stand out. And don’t forget your mailbox. If you mailbox is old, rusty, or damaged, paint it in a bold color, encase it in brick, or try something unique for a whole new look.

Update with paint

Spruce up the look of your home by repainting outdoor trim and shutters. Painting your front door is also a good idea. Red doors make a cheery statement and can attract attention to your home. However, other colors can make a strong impression as well.

Don’t forget the details

Sometimes small details can make a big impact on your home’s curb appeal. Make sure your trees, bushes, and shrubs are trimmed neatly to frame your house without hiding it. Also, replace your existing house numbers with larger ones in a clear, readable font. Rake up leaves and debris in your yard, and clean out your gutters. Add interesting exterior lighting to your home such as string lights in the trees, a decorative street lamp at the end of your driveway, or lights along your walkway.

Though the number of people looking to buy a house is typically lower in the fall and winter than in warmer seasons, there are also less homes on the market – meaning less competition. Therefore, if you make the effort to make your home stand out in positive ways, you can capitalize on the situation and hopefully come away with multiple offers at or above your asking price.

Photo via Pixabay

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