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Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. wants your help and commentary on our Real Estate Blog

STATE CERTIFIED REAL ESTATE / HOUSE APPRAISER LONG TAIL KEYWORD SOLUTIONS - DFW METROPLEX APPRAISAL

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 12/10/17

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SQUARE FOOTAGE MEASURING - LONG TAIL KEYWORD SOLUTIONS FOR DFW METROPLEX

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 12/10/17

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UK Housing Act of 2004 - would this work in the US or Texas?

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

Title: 
UK Housing Act 2004

Word Count:
387

Summary:
Overview of the recent changes in UK housing law - essential reading for landlords

keywords: #Real_estate_appraiser, #Dallas_Appraiser, #Tarrant_county_appraisal, #home_appraiser, #home_appraisal, #Property_appraiser, #home_value, #real_estate_appraisal, #casa, #real_estate_appraiser_Arlington_Tx, #Mansfield_Tx_appraisal, #foreclosure, #property, #Home, #House, #Real_Estate, #Measure, #house_size, #DFW, #square_footage #what_is_my_house_size, #house_list_price, #decide_list_price, #value, #For_sale_By_Owner


Article Body:
The Housing Act 2004 received Royal assent on the 18th November 2004. It introduces wide new powers for dealing with poor conditions in the private rented sector. Most of the new powers in the Housing Act 2004 will be brought into force by Ministerial orders expected during 2005 and 2006. The main provisions of the Act are:

The Health and Housing Safety ratings System (HHSRS) for assessing fitness- this will replace the housing fitness regime described in the Housing Act 1985. It will incorporate external health & safety risks such as noise pollution, fire hazards and radon.

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
The purpose of licensing is to:
--  raise standards of management by landlords /agents
_  provide Local Housing Authorities with adequate measures to
    ensure licensing works
_  protection for vulnerable tenants
_  high risk HMOs are identified so HHSRS can target worse cases..

Selective licensing of all private rented homes in areas of low demand (for persistent anti-social behavior)- in such cases, Councils will be able to require private landlords to apply for licenses that would normally last for 5 years.

Home Information Packs (including Home Condition Report) ñ will require anyone marketing a home to provide key information up-front at the start of selling a property. The packs will come into force from January 2007, following a six-month ‘dry-run.’

The tenancy deposit scheme- where private landlords, or their agents, require tenancy deposits then a Government sponsored scheme will safeguard those deposits. This is likely to apply from 2006.

Security of tenure for mobile home residents - strengthens rights of residents of mobile home parks, whilst ensuring the industry’s regulatory framework helps meet the growing need for quality affordable housing.

Empty Homes - will allow Local Authorities to serve empty property management orders on empty properties. This will allow Local Authorities to temporarily take over the homes, repair them and rent them out to households in housing need. Private landlords will be entitled to keep the rental income after the Local Authority deducts the cost of repair.

Gypsies and Travelers - requires Local Authorities to assess accommodation needs of gypsies and travelers in their area, and to produce a strategy detailing how their needs will be met.

Improvements in energy efficiency - reinforces Government commitment to improving energy efficiency in residential accommodation.

For more information check out the ODPM website at www.odpm.gov.uk


House Flip Successes - Help selling a house I inherited in North Texas

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

House Flip Successes

keywords: #Real_estate_appraiser, #Dallas_Appraiser, #Tarrant_county_appraisal, #home_appraiser, #home_appraisal, #Property_appraiser, #home_value, #real_estate_appraisal, #casa, #real_estate_appraiser_Arlington_Tx, #Mansfield_Tx_appraisal, #foreclosure, #property, #Home, #House, #Real_Estate, #Measure, #house_size, #DFW, #square_footage #what_is_my_house_size, #house_list_price, #decide_list_price, #value, #For_sale_By_Owner

Everyone who decides to flip a house has dreams of being the one to bring home the big one. You know that really huge success story about how you made more money in three months of working on a house than you and your wife combined made last year. The sad truth is that very few flippers ever have a flip that good and those that do often do not manage to do so on their very first flip. If you don't have those dreams it's glad to see that you have your feet firmly planted in the sometimes harsh soils of reality. 

Flipping houses is one form of real estate investing that has received a lot of media attention in the last few years and is currently the source of many interesting television shows that play on do it yourself channels on television. If you haven't managed to watch any of these shows you may be in a much better position to tackle your first flip than many who see these shows and get a false sense of confidence when it comes to bringing in a substantial profit by flipping houses. While the profits exist and are much better than most people would envision, the average first timer doesn't fare on the higher end of the profit scales all too often.

In fact, most first time flippers make rather slim profits when the tremendous amount of work that goes into flipping a property is considered. One thing you will want to do when flipping your own property is take care not to get too greedy in the asking price. If you can make ten thousand or more on your flip after all expenses are paid (including taxes, realtors, and any fees) then you are doing exceptionally well and should be congratulated. It is those who decide to go for fifty thousand rather than being content with ten that find themselves alienating a good portion of the population that may have been interested in purchasing the property from the very beginning.

In order to make your flip a success you need to be negotiable on the price when all is said and done. This is where many people loose potential buyers and find themselves sitting on the market month after month until they find themselves in a situation where they must sell or risk loosing the house and in this situation they are often in a position that they actually loose money rather than profiting.

Success stories, when it comes to flipping houses are widely available though many of them are just as widely exaggerated. Be cautious in your optimism when it comes to flipping houses but plan for profits and you will find that you are much more likely to get them than if you enter into the house flipping and real estate investing process without a proper plan at your disposal.

Turn your house flip into a success story by spending as much time in the planning process as you spend in the entire labor process that is involved and necessary when it comes to flipping houses. If you do this and budget carefully while sticking to your budget religiously you will find that you are in a much better position to have the success you are hoping to have.

House Flip Boot Camp - House appraiser in Arlington - Dallas - Fort Worth

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

House Flip Boot Camp

keywords: #Real_estate_appraiser, #Dallas_Appraiser, #Tarrant_county_appraisal, #home_appraiser, #home_appraisal, #Property_appraiser, #home_value, #real_estate_appraisal, #casa, #real_estate_appraiser_Arlington_Tx, #Mansfield_Tx_appraisal, #foreclosure, #property, #Home, #House, #Real_Estate, #Measure, #house_size, #DFW, #square_footage #what_is_my_house_size, #house_list_price, #decide_list_price, #value, #For_sale_By_Owner


If you are anything like millions of Americans you have probably caught countless shows on cable television that boast the serious profits that can be made by flipping houses. This is a very true statement, serious money can be made when one goes about flipping the correct way, however, serious money can be much more easily lost when a house flip goes wrong. If you are hoping to find your way to fortune through real estate investing you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and understand a few house flip basics.

The first thing you need to understand is that the ultimate goal in a venture such as this is to make as much money as possible in as little time as possible. This means several things to the wise investor not the least of which is that you must always have a complete inspection performed before you make any sort of financial commitment to the house. A good inspection can help you identify work that must be done, whether or not there is any structural damage, or whether there are any unexpected problems such as signs of termites or water damage behind the walls. 

These are very important things to know and should have a significant impact on your offer on the property as they will have a direct effect on how much you will need to invest in making the property sellable and whether or not the property will even be profitable when you consider how much money will be needed to get it in minimal selling condition and how much you can reasonably expect to sell the house for after that.

Once you have the inspection done it is a good idea to take into account all the things that will need to be done to improve the property and the things that must be done in order to get the property in sellable condition along with permits that are needed, inspections that are needed, and jobs that require licensed contractors in order to meet local code requirements. Each of these will take a significant amount of investment in order to accomplish and that should also reflect in your offering price.

Far too few would be house flippers manage to take in the big picture when making plans and this is where they end up missing out on the bigger profits that can be made by successfully flipping houses for the lowest possible investment with the highest possible return on their investments. When making your plans you will want to go with changes that are cost effective. 

Avoid making significant structural changes to the house unless you have a licensed contractor sign off on the wisdom and safety of those changes, as they can be very costly as well as dangerous to the stability of the property. At the same time you should salvage as much as possible within the existing structure. Flooring and paint are almost always required in a house flip but you do not always need new cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom fixtures. Chances are new doors and hardware in the kitchen would be a great fix for drab and tired cabinetry while greatly impacting the overall look of the kitchen without robbing you of some serious profits (doors cost significantly less than making new cabinets and can add the appearance of custom cabinetry).

The biggest idea to walk away from house flip boot camp with is the idea that the most visual impact you can have on the home for the least amount of money the better. In other words you don't want to purchase a home that needs new heating or air conditioning as they are not visual changes and are quite expensive. Find a house to flip that needs minor cosmetic repairs and a little dose of style and imagination and you will be able to maximize your profit. That is what real estate investing is all about after all.

House Selling Tips - Real Estate Appraiser in Dallas

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

Title: 
House Selling Tips

Word Count:
459

Summary:
There are three important house selling tips you need to know before you sell. Get these thing right if you want top dollar and a fast sale.

keywords: #Real_estate_appraiser, #Dallas_Appraiser, #Tarrant_county_appraisal, #home_appraiser, #home_appraisal, #Property_appraiser, #home_value, #real_estate_appraisal, #casa, #real_estate_appraiser_Arlington_Tx, #Mansfield_Tx_appraisal, #foreclosure, #property, #Home, #House, #Real_Estate, #Measure, #house_size, #DFW, #square_footage #what_is_my_house_size, #house_list_price, #decide_list_price, #value, #For_sale_By_Owner


Article Body:
There are hundreds of good house selling tips that can help you when the time comes to put that sign in the yard. Some are more important than others though. Here are three of the most important points.

 1. Understand Value. Your home is not worth more because you like it, and it may not even be worth more after you spend $10,000 making it the way you like it. It is worth what others will pay. One of the worst parts of a real estate agent's job is trying to explain to a nice couple that their $45,000 in kitchen improvements only added $10,000 to the value of the house.

It is easy to see the problem with pricing too low, but making less money is a problem of pricing too high as well. You have costs that you pay while waiting to sell. Also, people are suspicious of homes that have sat unsold for a year, and less likely to make an offer even if you have finally lowered the price. The perfect buyer who would have paid the most, might have looked at the home when it was over-priced and walked away. To get the most money, price it right to begin with.

 2. Understand The Market. Who are your potential buyers? A sign in the yard won't help much if you're selling a summer home in the woods and all the buyers are in the city. Once you identify who the likely buyers are, you or your agent can decide which ways to market the property. 

Are you in a quiet neighborhood that is attracting retirees? If so, you would want to advertise the fact that your house has one level. "No stairs!" can be an important selling point to older buyers. If the neighborhood is one that is likely to attract young couples, however, it would be a waste of words. Consider your market before you try to sell.

 3. Cost-Effective Preparations. Of course you should clean the house and mow the lawn. The other things you do to get ready for the sale should be cost effective though. As a rule, you should first do those things that will give you a three-to-one return on your money.

It isn't important (or possible) to be precise. The point is to do things that raise the value more than they cost. $1,000 to repave the driveway may increase the value of the house by $3,000, but a $50,000 pool might add only $25,000 in value. Start by replacing that dented mailbox, and work on those things that get "the most bang for the buck."

If you have the time and motivation,  you can find endless little house selling tips. That may not be a bad idea, but why not start with the important things first?

House Renovations - The Basics of Home Remodeling

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

Title: 
House Renovations - The Basics of Home Remodeling

Word Count:
377

Summary:
With the mortgage industry being what it is today, it may be a good bet to improvise your house as opposed to selling it and buying a new one. House prices have dropped so much that today's homeowner will have a tough time finding the proper value for their property.

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Article Body:
With the mortgage business being what it is these days, it may be a safer think to fix up your house as opposed to selling it and purchasing a new one. House prices have come down so much that nowadays homeowner will have a hard time finding the right value for their land. Most people are turning to house renovations to enhance the price of their house and prepare for the future bounce back in the housing market. Here are a few simple home remodeling tips that can help you fix your house up.

If you are looking to obtain the most for your money, it is a great bet to start with the kitchen. One problem you may encounter is that a complete kitchen renovation may take a little longer than expected and the cost could be a bit higher than you have to expend. A good place to start renovating your kitchen is with something inexpensive like the walls. Slap a fresh coat of paint on your kitchen walls and it can do wonders for the appear and feel of the kitchen.

The next thing you want to focus on is the bathrooms. The kitchens and the bathrooms in your house will be the major focal spots when you go to sell your residence. This is why you want to start with these two parts and repair them up as much as possible. A good place to start in your bathroom is the flooring. If you can, don’t make use of vinyl for your flooring and if you do have vinyl floors, upgrade these floors to tile.

The next point to modernize and enhance the value of your home is the front area of your house. Whether this is a small area of grass or you have a big front yard with a garden, you want to ensure that you have excellent curb charm when you are planning to sell your house.

The economy may be on a down swing, but you know how to still do the aforementioned things in order to increase the value of your house while you stay for the economy to recover. Do these things and you will be good on your way to a great house remodeling job.

House Price Rises - A Cautionary Tale

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

Title: 
House Price Rises - A Cautionary Tale

Word Count:
545

Summary:
In general, property prices appear to be rising. Between January and May 2006, the uplift in house prices across the United Kingdom averaged 4.4%. In the event that this trend continues, then the yearly rise will be 13%. This will put the average house price at almost £195,000.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders confidently expects 1.2m property sales to be completed this year. This is a rise in the 970,000 previously predicted. They also expect mortgage loans to be 10 billion


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Article Body:
In general, property prices appear to be rising. Between January and May 2006, the uplift in house prices across the United Kingdom averaged 4.4%. In the event that this trend continues, then the yearly rise will be 13%. This will put the average house price at almost £195,000.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders confidently expects 1.2m property sales to be completed this year. This is a rise in the 970,000 previously predicted. They also expect mortgage loans to be £10billion more than they had thought, at a total of £85billion.

All this sounds very upbeat and encouraging. New loans approval for house purchases in March 2006 was more than 25% higher than for the same period 12 months earlier.

However, first time buyers are finding it especially difficult to get on the first step of the housing ladder and in some areas, particularly the South East of England and London, prices have been fairly static. First timers are needed to set off the sequence of events from starter homes upwards.

In many other parts of the country, including the north of England and Wales, house sales have continued to be buoyant, leveling out the average price of homes. According to the Halifax Building Society the rate of growth is expected to even out across the UK and it is thought that prices will rise to in excess of three times the predicted level during 2006.

Capital Economics, the economics consultancy, have been predicting that property prices will start to drop in the UK market for the past few years and was of the opinion that prices would drop by 5% in 2006; however they appear to have been over cautious according to the above figures are correct. There is some cause for caution though.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has revised its forecast regarding interest rates and now expects the cost of borrowing to rise, maybe from 4.5% to 4.75%. Their economist, Jim Cunningham, thinks that demand should remain vigorous in the coming months but says that confidence and activity are closely linked with interest movements and predictions. The result of this could be a more modest rise in house sales after the recent highs. He does, however, look forward to a better outlook for 2008.

Mortgage lenders are becoming increasingly more cautious regarding their lending levels and the size of mortgages they will fund. This in turn limits the budget of the potential buyers.

The problem is that interest rates have been exceptionally low in recent years, in fact at their lowest level since 1955 and this has created an exaggerated level of debt. A rise in the mortgage rate may result in more people falling behind with their mortgage payments and an increased likelihood of their homes being repossessed.

Some caution is needed in this market. Purchasers who have taken on large loans on the back of the rise in houses could find some of the above factors worrying. If interest rates rise there could be an adverse effect on house sales and people could find themselves with increasingly expensive mortgages whilst there may be some stagnation in the property market, if not actual falls in prices.

It seems to be a time to exercise some caution. Mortgage debt can creep up and your house could just be slightly less of the asset in once was. Take care.

House for Sale? 7 Easy Ideas and Advice for Creating Great Curb Appeal to the Outside of Your Home

by Dallas Appraiser L.L.C. on 02/01/15

Title: 
House for Sale?  7 Easy Ideas and Advice for Creating Great Curb Appeal to the Outside of Your Home

Word Count:
2377

Summary:
No matter how beautifully decorated the inside of your home may be, if the outside of the house does not reflect what lies behind the front door, you may easily lose the sale.

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Article Body:
No matter how beautifully decorated the inside of your home may be, if the outside of the house does not reflect what lies behind the front door, you may easily lose the sale.

Potential homebuyers frequently make a list of homes from various internet sites, advertisement listings or through a realtor that they wish to see and then drive by these homes to get a ‘feel’ for the property and the house.  Bottom line, if your home looks unappealing from the outside there is a good possibility your home will be crossed off the list of potential purchases.

Decide to spend a weekend fixing up the outside of your home and stick to a plan.

1) Call two or three local landscapers and ask them to come out for a landscape appraisal but most importantly ‘pick their brain’ for ideas of how best to show your home.  Explain that you are selling the home and wish only to make the most of the exterior at minimal cost to you.  In some cases, you might be surprised, particularly during slow landscaping seasons that you can afford to have a professional lightly landscape your property or at least modify a portion.

For less than $500, an associate of mine had a local gardener come in and plant 12 tropical plants, 8 large flowered bushes, trim the existing trees to shape, pull the weeds, cut out sod to merge two planting beds, plant 20 small flowering bushes and throw down several bags of mulch in 2 afternoons.  She also saved a little more money by having him transplant bushes from another part of the property to the front where she planned to create a more dramatic impact.  Further, his price included clean-up and removal of gardening debris, which saved her a lot of time after the work was complete.  Her soil was very hard to dig into and it would have taken her twice as long to dig one hole as it did for the gardener to dig several; he was familiar with such difficult work and he had all the right tools to do it quickly.  My associate only paid him to service the front beds while she saved money by cleaning up the smaller side beds on the side property by doing it herself.  (The gardener even let her borrow his expert tools as long as she promised to return them the following day, which she did.)

You might be surprised at the minimal but well-worth price of hiring a professional gardener, particularly if you find a local, one-woman/man operation with low overhead. Someone starting a new business might also be less expensive in trying to build a clientele while my associate in turn offered to advertise the gardener’s services by keeping business cards on hand during real estate visits.  

Consider having him/her do a portion of the work and then do the less difficult areas of your home yourself.  Even if you do not have a landscaping budget, call a few local gardeners to come out for a quote just to get some great landscaping ideas you can use yourself.  Most are willing to spend a few minutes of their time even if you do not use their services.  Take their business card anyway and offer to send them a referral.  It is all part of doing business. So consider hiring a professional gardener to add curb appeal to a tired property. 

 
2)  Stand at the curb of your property and look the land from the perspective of the drive-by potential buyer. Get in the car and drive down your street and look at the way your property compares to your neighbors.  If your neighborhood is well-cared for but your property is not; where the trees are overgrown and the weeds are hiding your front door is a clear indication your home will stick out like a ‘sore thumb’ and you may lose the sale. If you live in a neighborhood where your neighbors’ landscaping is ‘so-so’, this is your opportunity to shine.  My associate explained that she once lived in a brand new home in an older neighborhood where few people took the time to landscape nicely so anything she did add a border, plant a few bushes, and place a park bench near the front driveway with container plants, certainly looked amazingly better than the homes around her property.  When the time came to sell this home, she took a ride around the block and took the position of the potential buyer.  As a drive-by buyer canvassing her own street, my associate noted that the viewer would see average curb-appealed homes and then come upon her own, where the flowers were blooming, the green grass was trimmed, the containers were filled with flowers and the inexpensive park bench at the end of the long driveway looked inviting.  So plan your landscape to stand out from the rest and if your budget does not allow for the extras, then the next rule of thumb is to just make the property look ‘neat.’

3)  Neatness in landscaping is important.  If a property looks tidy, the impression you will give to the drive-by buyer is that the inside is neat and well-cared for as well.  Even if you are not a neat person, make an effort to neaten up the exterior.  Find someone who has a ‘neat’ eye and ask for their opinion.

Trim the grass and if you have spotted, brown grass, invest in a bag of grass seed and water frequently to encourage growth. Baby-sit the seeds and if necessary, place a barrier around the area to keep children and pets from stomping on them. Cover new grass-seeded areas with hay or grass clippings to prevent blowing away, from birds eating the seeds and to keep moisture in.  Water newly seeded areas daily.

If you have time before you place your home up for sale, fertilize your lawn; it can make a huge difference in how healthy and green the lawn shows from the street.  If you do not have grass, then create areas with grass.  Consider removing areas covered in stone or weeds and planting with either seeds or sod.  It is a big project if you have little or no front lawn so elicit help from friends and neighbors if needed.  Having some kind of greenery in the form of grass makes a huge difference to a buyer.  Grass is a great canvas to making other areas of your property stand out and grass appeals to many who grew up with front lawns or always wished they had one.  If you live in areas where it is impossible to grow grass, adding stone is another possibility however, be sure that stone works in that area of the country in which you are selling. Stone lawns usually fit in better in coastal properties where sand is the foundation and the cost of carting in topsoil is enormous.  I often feel that all-stone frontage looks out of place in neighborhoods where lawns are more prevalent and gives the impression the homeowner really cannot be bothered to maintain a lawn. I feel that stone is not a warm product if used in large areas and should be contained in smaller garden beds if possible.

4)  Once you have the grass, fix up the existing beds.  (If you do not have any beds in your property, this would be an entirely different article. This article deals with homes, which have garden beds already in place that need sprucing up.)

Garden beds help soften the hard lines of sidewalks, walkways, and the rigid angle of homes.  Once you have weeded these beds, ask yourself, ìDoes the design of the current beds allow them to be connected in some way across the front of the home?  Do my beds flow?î  The reason that I bring this question forward in a Curb Appeal article is that my associate explained to me that she used to have to separate garden beds in front of her home; one ran right across the front left-side of the home and the other ran down the side of the driveway.  Both beds were disconnected from each other separated by a walkway.  This separated design made the frontage look severed and harsh.  So she cut out the sod from the bed in front of the house, around the walkway and made a connection to the bed nearest the driveway.  It looked like one continuous snake-like bed and once planted with similar foliage the entire property looked really ‘pulled together.’  In doing this she accomplished two things:  1) Softening the hard angles of the walkway, which did not have a garden bed in front of it and, 2) the property had the look of what my colleague refers to as ‘fluid design.’  The eye now followed a soft flow from one end of the house where the bed began to the end of the driveway where the bed ended.  And there was a small surprise at the end of that bed too, which made the design interesting and appealing.

At the end of the driveway, which is ordinarily dull space, the garden bed ended in a circular shape and she planted just a few extra eye-catching flowers there;  just a nice little touch and the colors were appealing.  The path up the driveway, followed around the walkway toward the entrance of the home was entirely landscaped and pulled together with like-flowers and shrubs.  Not a whole lot, but it was consistent and it was neat.

5)  Another lawn tip from my associate; she did not have time for grass to grow in some ugly, brown and bare spots on her front lawn and in some cases, the grass just never grew back at all. She cut around the bad areas and made a teardrop-shaped cut out on that spot and filled it in with a few container plants she had growing in the yard.  My colleague arranged the containers on 3 different levels small, medium and large and then filled around the containers with mulch to even things out. The arrangement looked very nice.  One of her empty containers (she often picks them up in the dollar store or finds disposed of in construction sites), she cut in half and placed it cut-side down on the bare spot on the lawn in front of the 3 flower-filled containers.  She filled the cut container with soil and threw in a handful herb seeds, namely dill and in about 2 weeks; the container flowed with pretty green herbs and ‘spilled out’ the container onto the ground covering the area cut out from the lawn.  It made a nice presentation and was not too ‘much’ and at the same time hid the very worse part of our property.  My friend noticed that even after I sold the home, the new owners still kept the container area as it was when she had the home for sale. 

6)  Another consideration when taking control of curb appeal when selling your home is to remove or trim down those trees and bushes which hide the beauty of your home. So often buyers look at photos of homes, which show a huge tree in front of the house that hides any view from the inside to the street. If you cannot see the home in a photo or in a drive-by viewing, this again reduces the chances that a potential buyer may be interested in your home.  No one wants to ‘guess’ what a home really looks like and if there are overgrown bushes and trees hiding the house, potential buyers do not want to envision having to clear the property themselves. So be bold and trim the bushes down and if necessary, remove whatever seriously blocks viewing the home’s charm and character from the street.  

7)  Along the lines of seeing a home from the street is the inability to do so if you have cars parked in front that do not always need to be there.  Granted, we need to park our cars but if you have the opportunity to take your car to the street or to the furthest end of your property for a few hours on the weekends or, if you have a large driveway and can move the car away from the front of the home, then take the time to do this. Buyers need to visualize the home as it would be if they lived there and anything which detracts from this thought is a non-plus for you as the seller. Weekends are usually the busiest times for drive-by house viewing so if you can move your car to a neighbor’s driveway or off your own driveway for a few hours, do so.  It may make a difference in the curb appeal of your home.
  
Also, as a reminder, if you have any cars, boats or trailers parked in front of your home, which really do not need to be thereÖa car you were going to work on or an inoperable vehicle without any registration and kept putting off paying to be towed away, make a decision as whether it really needs to be there or not.  Call a charity to have it towed away and donate it.  Put an ad in the paper or on craigslist for a free boat or project car, but by all means, remove any unnecessary vehicles, which really take away curb appeal and make the property look more like a car dealership or a parking lot than a home.  

So the main items to consider when creating curb appeal are to:

ï Neaten up the property

ï Plant grass or sod wherever possible ñ if not possible, hide bad spots with container gardens.

ï Trim and cut away trees and shrubbery which prevent drive-by buyers from seeing your property and the home to its fullest.

ï Remove cars on higher drive-by traffic days and permanently remove any cars, boats or trailers, which will not be sold with the home.

ï Call a landscaper for his/her opinion and talk about a quote for neatening up the property.  See if you can afford at least a portion of it to be professionally ‘neatened’ and if not; get ideas from a professional that you can use later on your own.

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