Curb Appeal for Your Budget

It’s not the outside appearance, it’s the inside that counts. Except when it comes to your house. Even if you’ve got Italian carrera marble bathrooms and a custom-built kitchen upgrade, potential buyers see an ugly façade and won’t manage to click on the inside photos. Even if your home isn’t on the market, you’re that house, the one with the cringe moniker or the butt of neighborhood jokes. Or even. . . dum dum dum dum . . the one bringing all the property values down. 

For everything you’ve done on the inside, it’s time to take a few steps back and look at the outside. No matter your budget, there are things you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home and make another house on your street the butt of all the neighborhood jokes. 

 

Minimal

The first step in any budget is to give your yard a great trim—weed eat, mow, and freshen any beds with flowers, perennials or even just a fresh layer of mulch. For one afternoon and under a hundred dollars you can make your yard and exterior fresh and neat. A little more time and planning, and you can highlight architectural features of your exterior with window-boxes or hanging ferns. Nothing is more appealing than a front porch with lush ferns. Another cheap option to freshen up your exterior is to paint your front door. Pick a bold color that complements the rest of your exterior. For about the same amount of money you can replace your mailbox and house numbers. Other cheap ways to freshen up your exterior are by adding a wreath, power-washing your driveway and siding, or change out your door handles. 

 

Modest

Once you decide to put some money and time into your exterior, there’s a wide range of options—both DIY and professional. You can start investing in your landscaping—professional landscaping design, sprinkler maintenance, new plants or simply hiring consistent lawn care. A couple hundred dollars will also replace your lighting, paint trim and shutters, freshen gutters and add a porch swing or furniture, reseal your driveway, add slate tile in small concrete areas in the front, fence in the garbage cans or any visible AC units.  

 

Maximizer 

It’s always easy to think a renovation becomes easier with more money, but with more options comes more decisions. Even on the most expansive budgets, it’s important to focus on what brings the most value—whether that value is joy or ROI. For a larger budget there are all sorts of options—retaining walls, patios, more complicated landscaping and lighting schemes. You can also invest in changing the entire exterior of the home, whether by painting, replacing siding or adding stone veneer. New porches, decks, garage doors, and windows are also options, as well as adding decorative architectural pieces that fit with the overall design of your home. Really the sky is the limit. You can spend thousands in irrigation, sod, water features, or privacy fencing.

 

Just remember, whomever you decide to work with, at whatever budget, make sure you check insurance, licenses and references to ensure you are working with a reputable company and don’t come up short in the end. With a little time and planning, at whatever budget, you can make changes to benefit the curb appeal of your home.

Use That Bitcoin, Bro

 

How many cryptocurrencies would it take to buy a house in the U.S.?

If you’re sitting here still uncertain what bitcoin even truly is, it’s okay most the world doesn’t get it either. Here’s a handy definition. (link). But that doesn’t mean it’s not already being used in the housing market. Some exclusive property owners are either requiring only bitcoin or allowing bids to be placed in bitcoin.

So how much bitcoin does it cost to buy a house? Well, the current median housing price is $248,000 and as of Jan. 15, 2018, that median price is about 17.65 bitcoin.

How does this hold up nationwide?

San Francisco: $1.588 million = 113 bitcoin
Seattle: $725k = 51.6 bitcoin
Los Angeles: $583k = 41.5 bitcoin
Washington D.C.: $550K = 39 bitcoin
Phoenix: $243k = 17.3 bitcoin
Connecticut: $247k = 17.6 bitcoin
Florida: $240k = 17 bitcoin
Illinois: $185k = 13 bitcoin
Iowa: $153, 250 = 11 bitcoin
Kansas: $200, 451 = 14.3 bitcoin
Maine: $200k = 14 bitcoin
Massachusetts: $384k = 27.3 bitcoin
Michigan: $182, 761 = 13 bitcoin
Missouri: $190, 050 = 13.5 bitcoin
New Jersey: $300k = 21.4 bitcoin
New York: $254k = 18 bitcoin
Ohio: $174, 689 = 12.4 bitcoin
Texas: $213, 396 = 15.2 bitcoin
Utah: $277k = 19.7 bitcoin
Vermont: $221k = 15.7 bitcoin
Virginia: $270k = 19.2 bitcoin
Washington: $363, 200 = 26 bitcoin

 

Whether bitcoin will be the housing market currency of the future remains to be seen. Maybe by then we’ll understand what it actually is.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

7 Things To Do Before Listing Your House

 

As soon as you know you’re moving, it’s hard to look around your current home and want to do anything but future house search with a bag of chips. But paying attention to your current home can pay dividends when it comes to getting the price you want. These are seven suggestions for improving the value of your home.

 

1. Change the lighting—Each room should be well lit. A good rule of thumb is three points of light per room. For example: an overhead light, a table lamp and a task light. For inexpensive lighting options, try Target and Ikea.
2. Clear Clutter—If there’s only one thing you can do to improve the look of your home, it’s this. Now is the time to clear everything from your surfaces including books, clothes from packed closets, and everything personal from your bathroom.
3. Deep Clean—hire a company or do it yourself, but a deep clean of your home will go a long way for showing it at it’s best.
4. Speaking of the Bathroom—Replace any missing tiles, fix the caulk on the tub and sink, consider swapping out fixtures if they are dated and bringing an otherwise neutral bathroom down. Add new towels and a neutral shower curtain for finishing touches.
5. Address the Floors—No, not refinishing—but a simple clean and buff can do wonders for hardwood. If you have carpet, get them professionally steam cleaned.
6. Paint—Nothing beats the freshness of a fresh coat of soft white paint and it’s an easy way to make a house feel new.
7. Upgrade the Kitchen—Don’t worry, you can make kitchen upgrades without remolding. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and peel and stick wall tiles can all transform a space without costing a fortune in time or money. If you’re feeling more ambitious, there are options for resurfacing your countertops or upgrading your appliances.

 

Whatever you do, start with an honest talk with a real estate agent—who can help you focus your priorities for selling a home in your area.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21