Putting your house up for sale is always a bit stressful — you want to get the most money that the market will allow. In the Lake Oconee Area, home and real estate values are on the rise. The old cliche, “location, location, location,” certainly comes into play for waterfront communities, but “landscaping, landscaping, landscaping” plays a big role, as well.
Here are four easy ways to increase the value of your home in Georgia.
1. The Yard
It’s the first thing everybody sees, and that first impression goes a long way. The condition of the lawn is crucial. Is it fully seeded? Full of weeds? Mowed properly? Are the bushes and shrubs pruned? Do it yourself or hire a professional, but remember, a lush, green lawn draws people to the front door.
Splash the front yard with color. Native Georgia flowers such as Bloodroot, Cherokee Rose, Scarlet Sage, sunflowers and magnolia blooms add a touch of Southern charm. If your house doesn’t have adequate space for a flower bed, you can place blooming plants in ornamental pots on the front porch.
2. Outside Ambiance
Updating the lighting outside your home doesn’t have to cost much. A few new fixtures and a little paint go a long way. When it comes to painting, it’s a good idea to touch up window ledges, shutters, fences, street poles, the garage door, deck, and most importantly, the front door. Sprucing up the place with paint or varnish will let buyers know that you’ve kept up with household maintenance. Adding a privacy fence and updating the windows may run into some money, but you can recoup those costs in the final sale.
It may be silly to think of washing the driveway, but a power-washer can remove dirt and grime. If the asphalt is full of potholes, you may want to repave. No buyer wants to do that job himself. Dressing up the driveway adds a nice touch: it lets people think about what they would do to the place when they move in. Consider placing a few solar light sticks, rocks, hanging bird baths or sun catchers along the path. Replacing the front house numbers and mailbox adds curb appeal; a must when trying to entice people inside.
4. The Inside
Sprucing up the living areas of your house seems a bit more daunting, but the projects don’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Paint! Tear down old wallpaper and paint rooms a neutral color. This lets would-be buyers imagine what the room will look like with their belongings. You can also paint or refinish kitchen cabinets and other storage units.
Home Automation: Smart homes are big right now both for safety, energy efficiency, and convenience. Automatic locks, thermostat controls, alarm systems, and other gadgets that you can control with an app add value to your home.
Porcelain, ceramic tile, and laminate flooring are also nice, but costly. If replacing the flooring is out of the question, you can have the carpets cleaned, and hardwoods polished and waxed.
Housing values are based on a variety of factors, including location, neighborhood, school districts, and how well other homes in the area are maintained. Having a plan for monthly home improvement projects lets you keep your Georgia home ready to sell any time of the year.
Bill Edwards is a landscaper and freelance writer who enjoys doing handyman projects around the house. He and his children recently built a neighborhood gazebo next to the community pool.
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