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Spring is coming (really) and if you are currently trying to sell – or planning to sell – your Waterloo Region home you could perhaps be forgiven if the harsh winter we’ve had has kept you from paying too much attention to your home’s exterior and its all-important curb appeal.
However, with the warmer days on the way back, along with longer, lighter evenings, you can be sure that any potential home buyers will be paying a lot more attention to the outdoor space around your home. Which is why you should be too.
When it comes to curb appeal aesthetics are, of course, very important. But so is function, and this is something homeowners often forget. A home buyer may not, however, and a home inspector certainly won’t.
Here are just a few of the things that should be kept in mind.
The entrance and the area just around it need to be as safe and secure as possible as well as attractive and welcoming. Taking a scan around the property once in a while to spot potential problems is before buyers do is therefore always a good idea:
• Do all of the exterior lights work and do they light up the entrance properly?
• Is there any obvious damage to any walkways or driveways leading up to the entrance? Look for cracks and potholes that can be a potential hazard to vehicles and pedestrians but represent a need for repairs that many homebuyers will not want to undertake.
• If there are tree branches near the property they should always be cut back so that they do not allow rot to form on the roof or touch any power lines. a buyer may miss that hazard, but a good home inspector will not.
Should you really be too worried about the state of your yard? Surely that is something that the new owners can deal with after they move in? Isn’t that just a part of making the home their own?
Well, yes and no. Yes, the new owners may want to completely change things, but they also may be among the many who don’t have the time or patience to deal with too much outdoor work and are looking for something that is as easy to maintain as possible. So head outside and check on all of the following:
• Look for any obvious potholes or depressions in the lawn or on pathways and have them filled in.
• Check any gutters to make sure that they are clean and aligned properly to the downspouts to prevent water damage to the foundation. Badly placed downspouts are less likely to draw a buyer’s eye but again, they will certainly draw the attention of a home inspector.
• Make sure that compost heaps, rubbish bins and recycling bins are set well away from the home to help prevent insect infestation problems. The last thing you want to do is try to chase off swarms of bugs right before a Realtor arrives for a showing.
Performing these kinds of simple checks around the exterior of your property should only take a short time and can save you a lot of time, hassle and even the potential of a lost sale later on so they are well worth implementing.