Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tips: Curb Appeal

by Osman Parvez


As I searched through listings here in Boulder the other day, I happened upon a property for sale that could serve as fair warning to potential sellers out there (buyers too, I suppose). It's a little lesson about curb appeal.

Introducing MLS#457831

It's a 3 bedroom, 1,600 SQFT, $600,000 "Cape-Cod" style bungalow located at 2975 Washington Street in Boulder. Described as "charming" and a "rare find" by the seller's agent, this little ranch has sat on the market for nearly 180 days awaiting a buyer. The listing agent notes that it could be a "perfect remodel."

Hmm... interesting. The truth is that this house, while quite small, is located in a great part of Boulder. This alone commands a price premium. Now judging from interior photographs, taken with what appears to be a wide angle lens (standard realtor technique) the inside of the house itself looks GREAT.

The house features nice wood floors and a tasteful kitchen. It seems like plenty of space. There are light colors with wood accents, exposed beams and lots of natural light. One wall is even painted vibrant purple. These owners have done a fantastic job of making the inside of this house look and feel great.
Oh, but it's on the outside where everything falls apart.

Lesson? If you are thinking about putting your house on the market consider spending some money on landscaping. This house's list price has now been reduced multiple times, currently $40,000 less than original asking. It has many positives, including location and interior. It also has a few negatives, smallish in size (which can't be reasonably overcome) and the unbelieavably bad landscaping (which can be easily improved).

I wonder how many potential buyers haven't given this house a look simply because of how bad it looks on the outside?


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