Inexpensive Curb Appeal Tricks That Offer Good Return on Investment

What does your home look like from the outside? Curb appeal makes a big difference, especially when it comes to selling your home and enticing prospective buyers to look at it. If you don’t want to drop a lot of cash on things like expensive landscaping, there are some simple solutions that can bolster curb appeal in addition to offering a good return on investment.

#1: Paint the little things.
Painting your entire home can be expensive, so instead of investing in a whole home re-paint project, work on painting smaller things on the outside of your home, like the mailbox, the home’s trim, or porch hand rails. Potential buyers will notice the attention to detail and it can help make your space look fresh.

#2: Add a welcoming spot to the front of the home.
If your porch or patio in the front of your home is lacking a sitting area, adding some cozy chairs, a small bench with some decorative pillows, and/or a little table can create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for people walking or driving by. Not only does that, it allows people to imagine themselves sitting there someday enjoying their new home and neighborhood.

#3: Clean up the clutter.
Garbage bins, recycling containers, tools, or kid’s toys should all be kept out of sight from the front of the house. If you’re short on space and don’t have a place to put these, try arranging some large pots of flowers or shrubs around the items so the clutter is out of the line of vision for people looking at your house.

#4: Mow and edge the lawn.
Trim hedges, mow the lawn, and weed flower beds. Overgrown yards are almost always an eyesore and can have a real negative impact on curb appeal. It won’t cost you any money to keep up on yard maintenance if you do it yourself, but the time you put in will pay off when potential buyers notice the beautiful yard.

Adding curb appeal and making your home look great on the outside can be simple and affordable. When it comes time to list your property, you’ll increase the likelihood of having more showings. Need other tips on the appearance of your home before you’re ready to put it on the market? My two decades of experience as a Realtor® can help! I love working with buyers and sellers around Clark County.  I’m happy to help you start your adventure in buying or selling a home.

Posted on May 25, 2018 at 8:38 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Gardening Tips

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The warm days of summer are long gone and the frost of winter is now part of our everyday routine. But just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean you need to give up on your gardening routines. Here are some helpful winter gardening tips that will help keep your garden growing all winter long.

Tip #1: Keep your plants for becoming frozen.
January and February are some of the coldest months of the year in the Pacific Northwest, so be sure to protect them from frost and frozen temperatures. If you have herbs that you’re growing, keep them undercover or near the house if they’re in containers. If you have grape vines or wisteria growing, be sure to prune them back. If you have other container plants, you can cover them with a frost cloth or other heat retentive blanket that will keep them from dying.

Tip #2: Grow plants that can easily endure the cold weather.
Lettuce, kale, chives, parsley, and cabbage can all withstand the cold days of winter quite well. Evergreen boxwood hedges, witch hazel, and winterberry are all easy to grow and withstand winter easily.  They also add greenery and color to an otherwise gray and sometimes bleak winter landscape.

Tip #3: Continue to plant.
As long as the ground is soft enough to dig a hole, you can still plant throughout the winter. Be sure to add mulch and compost, too. This will help keep root temperatures stable and the compost will help provide organic nutrients to the soil that are important to keep the plants growing well.

You don’t need to worry about maintaining a regular watering cycle, either. When the ground is not frozen and it’s dry, watering once a week is usually all that’s required. Maintaining a healthy garden and yard isn’t impossible in frigid temperatures. In fact, it’s a great way to stay busy, while getting outside and enjoying some brisk fresh air. Keeping your garden growing will keep your yard looking great and before you know it, it will be time to start thinking about all of the new growth that will happen once springtime rolls around!

Posted on January 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space!


This is my last post on ways you can spruce up and enhance the outdoor living space at your home. Warmer days are on the way and spending outside in your yard is a fantastic way to sit back and unwind at the end of the day. Here are some tips to help get your outdoor space ready for summer.

1) Gazebos:
Gazebos are a beautiful addition to any backyard space. They add unique style but also allow you to have a covered space perfect for entertaining. It’s easy to build a gazebo as an extension to your deck in order to offer some shelter and shade, or you could consider having a paved walkway to a separate, free-standing gazebo for some ambiance. Put out some comfortable furniture and a table for eating, some potted plants around the area for a pop of color…and you’re set!  

2) Trees:
Planting trees in your yard is not only a great way to add beauty and personality to the space, but also wonderful for the environment. As the trees grow, they will also add shade and privacy to your yard for years to come. There are many tree varieties out there, so do your research on which ones will work best for what you are trying to accomplish—size, height, sunlight requirements are important.  Remember, as they grow, trees can send out a root system that could disrupt sidewalks, patios, walls, or other plants.

3) Water Features:
If you love the sound of water and the beauty of water features available, adding a water feature to your outdoor area is a great way to enhance it. Consider adding a couple of bird baths throughout your front and back yard areas, or if you’re looking for something a little bit larger and more involved to add some tranquillity, consider adding a pond or running fountain. These are beautiful and a great way to make your yard more appealing.

4) Let There Be Light:
Love being outside on those longer days of summer? Then make sure the setting sun won’t put a damper on any of your outdoor activities by adding lights throughout the backyard. Ground lights around walkways, patios, and decks are great places to start, or get a little more creative and hang string light bulbs around certain areas for focus. If there are places on your deck or patio that could benefit from installing additional light features on the outside walls of the home, consider doing that so you’ll never be left in the dark while relaxing and entertaining outside.

The details of your outdoor space do matter and will allow you to get outside more and breathe the fresh air. It doesn’t take a huge budget to get things looking great!

Posted on May 24, 2015 at 11:19 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Remodeling Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,