Outdoor Living: Curb Appeal Can Help Buyers Fall in Love

By Lori Johnson, For the AJC

Freshening up your curb appeal can help you make a strong first impression with buyers this fall.

By mixing textures and making smart color choices, your investment in the outdoors could bring potential buyers inside. A National Gardening Association survey found that 56 percent of homeowners said one of the benefits of landscaping is that it increases a home’s curb appeal. Coupled with power washing the exterior and painting your trim, you might end the year with a sale.

Making eye-pleasing updates to your lawn and landscaping during October and November can be a little tricky. Unlike the spring, when you can plant flowers that continue all year, some plants might not live long, said Butch Whitfield, a real estate agent with Harry Norman, Realtors.

But you could find some fall sales on trees and shrubs, as nurseries often hold sales on those big-ticket items to clear stock, say officials with the National Gardening Association, based in Burlington, Vt.

Before heading out to buy, Whitfield recommends that you stand at the street and look at your front exterior. Determine what features — such as a front door or steps — that you want to accentuate or what you need to hide, such as a junction box or pole.

Here are three steps to make your home stand out this fall:

1. Create a container garden
Shrubs such as Japanese camellia and Japanese pieris and evergreens like Hinioki cypress can serve as the container’s center, providing a focal point to use when building an arrangement. Also, consider bringing in kales, mustard or ornamental cabbages, which are lush greens. Daffodils and tulips also may have the look that appeals to buyers. And seek something that will drape the side of the container, such as an English ivy.

2. Add a punch of color
Whether it’s in a container, hanging basket or planter beds, consider bringing in a punch of color by buying pansies or violas. Be sure to clip off the dead flowers throughout the season to ensure they continue to produce flowers. Vibrant asters and mums are a temporary option, such as timed to an open house, because they do not continue to produce new flowers. When choosing colors, keep in mind your home’s existing color palette because you don’t want it to look like a candy store, Whitfield said. If you have a red brick home, for example, consider complementary colors like orange or yellow flowers, but also find a broad leaf or evergreen that breaks up the color.

3. Bring in texture
Fall is a perfect time to plant boxwoods and ferns, such as an evergreen fern with a big showy leaf, Whitfield said. The NGA recommends selecting shrubs that have colorful fall foliage, are evergreen or have attractive bark. A holly fern or plant that has berries can help you usher in the holidays. Or cactus and succulents (water-storing) plants could add to a home’s modern look. One more tip: If it seems too pricey to buy big boxwoods for a home you hope to sell, consider buying two containers for the boxwoods. Once the home is sold, you can take them with you.

 Article Source: http://www.ajchomefinder.com/new-homes/outdoor-living-curb-appeal-1194175.html

posted: Oct 25, 2011 | No Responses

Posted by:  Wakamo & Associates

Melissa Wakamo and her dynamic team of agents and support staff provide buyer and seller clients with exceptional service and proven results. Since the start of her real estate career in 2004, Melissa has proven to be a true advocate for her clients and has consistently performed in the top 1% of agents

“When I started my real estate career, I wanted to work in my local community and get to know my neighbors. Now, I realize how important that local expertise is to our clients. At Red Robin REALTORS®, all of our agents are specialists in working with buyers and sellers in Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods.”

Share. Let your friends weigh in on this one...