Tag Archives: curb appeal

Curb Appeal Helps Homes Sell Faster

Curb appeal is essential. You’ve heard it before – first impression is everything. If a home doesn’t draw a prospective buyer in from the start, it’s going to be that much harder to make them fall in love and make an offer.

Valerie Torelli was recently quoted in Houselogic about curb appeal. She gave proven tips like:

-Painting a house or powerwashing it. The “goal is to spend less than $5,000, with a goal of generating an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on the sale price.”

-Landscaping with leafy plants and filling in bare patches with bark (a simple job could be as little as $30-$50).

-A nice mailbox or architectural house numbers as a finished look to the home

picture of home with good curb appeal

Many other agents around the county used the blog to educate clients in their market about the importance of curb appeal. Here’s what some of them said:

Rolando Trentini in Evansville, Indiana: “Curb appeal is very important in our market as many times the first impression is the most important one. We are fortunately not doing too bad in our area. South West Indiana is sheltered from the “national” trend so our increases and decreases are not so high or as damaging. We do however stress to our sellers that curb appeal is a must if they want to sell their home fast.”

Steve Melnick with Realty World in Colorado: What are the main things you suggest to the clients in your market with regards to curb appeal? “Fresh paint, and a manicured lawn”

Karen Stephens in Memphis, TN: 1.  First impressions are paramount in selling a home.  Since most first impressions are formed within 30 seconds of pulling up to the home, I always recommend the lawn be cleaned (removing any debris, i.e., dead tree limbs, pine cones, leaves),fertilized, mowed and manicured.  This includes all shrubs and trees.  If it is in the warm seasons of the year, I always recommend to plant colorful annuals (with fresh mulch)  and/or placing flower pots with colorful flowers close to the door or walking up to the home.  Also, remove all toys, lawn equipment or any extra items from the lawn.
 
2.  Power wash exterior of home, including trim, roof, brick, and driveway.
 
3.  Front door should be cleaned and restained or painted.  If there is a fence or any outdoor structures, these should be repaired and/or painted.  Special attention should be paid to cracked sidewalks and driveways.

Have you given your home a curb appeal makeover? Send your pictures to holly@torellirealty.com for possible inclusion in a future blog or on our Facebook page. If you have questions about how to improve your curb appeal, please email us for advice.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to represent Costa Mesa real estate. We’ve been meeting the needs of Costa Mesa home buyers & sellers since 1984. Torelli Realty deals with Costa Mesa homes, Costa Mesa apartments, Costa Mesa rentals, Costa Mesa property management, and offers home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied the most effective home staging techniques, as well as home values and markets locally and nationally. Torelli Realty is also an expert in Costa Mesa short sales and Orange County short sales. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

WEBSITE
SHORT SALE WEBSITE
TWITTER  – FACEBOOK – COMPANY BLOG

Company License #: 00878443 – Valerie Torelli License #: 00668297

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How to Make a 1950s Cookie Cutter Home Look Stylish

Many Costa Mesa homes are 1950s tract homes. Drive through the streets of Mesa Verde, Mesa Del Mar, Halecrest, Mesa North, College Park… The majority of Costa Mesa houses were built during the building boom of the 1950s. We recently saw a question & answer piece in Inman News where an anxious homeowner wrote in asking for tips about how to update the design of their 1950s home. Since this is a question our Costa Mesa Realtors are often asked, we’d like to suggest some ways to redesign a tract home and add major curb appeal.

Picture of Costa Mesa homes 1950s

Costa Mesa home for sale for $505K. More info here.

-Give your home a fresh coat of paint. What color, you ask? Drive around your neighborhood and pick out homes that fit your taste. Most of the homes around you are probably similar in style so this is a good way to see what looks right and what doesn’t look right (in your eyes). Take your time and make sure you are tied to the color since it’s going to be a big, fairly permanent change. Don’t forget to choose a trim color that complements the house color.

-Play around with color swatches and even online photo programs. Some high end paint stores will have interactive tools where you can mix and match paint colors. You can even do this on the Internet or with some computer programs. (Just a head up, there may be a fee with some of these programs).

-It’s ok to look at homes that aren’t the same age and style as your home to get ideas. Often times people vibe with more modern colors and designs that are common among homes in newer neighborhoods. The beauty of a 1950s tract home is that these homes tend to be pretty basic since they were built quickly. The same is true with many of the more recent tract homes and if you these colors on your older home, you can easily add a contemporary, sophisticated look to your home.

Driving through the neighborhoods of Costa Mesa with homes from the 1950s, it’s interesting to see the various materials that builders used to jazz up the homes. For instance many homes have wood paneling on the exterior that you don’t see everyday. Some people enjoy the charm of the woodwork, others do not. We’ve seen many homes simply paint the wood to conceal it and it looks beautiful. This is such an easy fix that truly updates the look of our Costa Mesa homes.

Many of these principals can be applied to landscaping updates as well. Our Costa Mesa Realtors are happy to assist you in making decisions about how to update your Costa Mesa home and maximize your home’s value. Our real estate agents have great professional service contacts as well. We know Costa Mesa real estate and all of its intricacies since we’ve been doing business here since 1984.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to represent Costa Mesa real estate. We’ve been meeting the needs of Costa Mesa home buyers & sellers since 1984. Torelli Realty deals with Costa Mesa homes, Costa Mesa apartments, Costa Mesa rentals, Costa Mesa property management, and offers home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied the most effective home staging techniques, as well as home values and markets locally and nationally. Torelli Realty is also an expert in Costa Mesa short sales and Orange County short sales. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

WEBSITE
SHORT SALE WEBSITE
TWITTER  – FACEBOOK – COMPANY BLOG

Adding Curb Appeal To A Condo

Real estate in Costa Mesa, California includes condos, just like so many other towns. We’re often asked how to improve the curb appeal of condos because it can be difficult to make one stand out from another. There can also be restrictions on the changes that can be made. The good news is there are many ways to add curb appeal to a condo and it’s time to share some helpful tips. Realtor magazine offered up some great ideas and we’re adding some of our own. Try these ideas to add curb appeal: 

1. Clean up that front door! It should be clean, welcoming, and functional.

2. Bring in potted plants (like Torelli Portaplants)– especially ones with a pop of color. They are easy to maintain, don’t take up a lot of space, and can be moved based on preference.

3. Highlight the major selling features in photos. With condos you can’t control what the exterior looks like and some buildings are less attractive than others. If there’s a great amenity or the inside is more appealing than the outside, make sure that feature stands out – otherwise people might not even give the condo a chance.

4. If there is a common space for mailboxes, such as an interior lobby, keep that area as clean as possible. Consider adding a decorative basket for overflow mail otherwise the space can look trashed.

5. Make sure the address and unit number are prominent so the condo is easy to find.

6. Dress up the fixtures like the mailbox, lights, doorbell, and doorknobs. It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big impact.

7. Repair walkways – it could be a liability if someone gest injured on the property. If the walkways are part of the common grounds leading to the condo make sure to contact the HOA.

8. Add a clean welcome mat – never underestimate old-fashioned hospitality!

9. Rake or sweep for a clean slate and don’t forget to trim the bushes. If there are bare patches in the yard, make sure to add some grass seeds and sod to fill it in.

10. Try to get permission to paint or pressure-wash the condo – that can make a BIG impact.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost excludively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

WEBSITE
SHORT SALE WEBSITE
TWITTER

FACEBOOK
COMPANY BLOG

Handy Guide on Home Improvement Tips

Costa Mesa real estate begins with the first impression. There’s plenty of ways to improve your home’s exterior. Homeowners can do some of these projects as a do-it-yourself project and others will require the help of a professional. Which home improvements can you tackle on your own and which ones will need professional help? There’s a great book out that comes highly recommended by the leading real estate source Inman News called “Home Repair That Pays Off: 150 Simple Ways to Add Value Without Breaking Your Budget,” by Hector Seda.

What things can help your curb appeal? The book gives tips about landscaping, exterior upkeep, cleaning, draining, roofing, driveways, garages, masonry and foundations. A sample tip from the book tells readers how to make sure they buy enough mulch to prevent the rain from washing plants away.

The book also gives tips for improving your home’s interior. Again, some of the projects are easy DIY projects and others will require help. 

A book like this is helpful for evaluating whether you should tackle a project on your own or hire it out. Remember, while it may seem cost-effective to do a project DIY-style, if you misjudge the complexity of the project or make an error it could end up costing more to have a professional repair your mistakes.

It’s important to note that return rates for home improvements are highly dependent on the location and real estate market of the home. Homes in Costa Mesa need to be evaluated based on a number of factors that a skilled, local real estate agent can help you determine. You can’t expect all home improvements to pay off big time, however when it comes time to sell they will certainly give you an edge. Before you make any changes big or small, you may want to consult with a Costa Mesa realtor who can give you an objective evaluation.

About Torelli Realty: Torelli Realty is proud to offer home improvement and home staging tips to help your home’s value throughout Costa Mesa and in Mesa Verde. The company has been servicing Costa Mesa, CA almost excludively for over 25 years and knows Costa Mesa real estate. We also have an expert on staff, Holly Schwartz, who came to us as a producer from Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and extensively studied home values and markets locally and nationally. Feel free to contact Torelli Realty for a consultation and for all your real estate needs.

Trends that Increase Curb Appeal

First impression is everything so curb appeal is paramount when you are selling a home.  Buyers can either fall in love with a home’s exterior or they can be turned off by it.  This topic is so important that Realtor Magazine’s February issue suggested 10 ways to enhance your home’s image.  We’re thrilled that Valerie Torelli, founder of Torelli Realty, was asked to give her input and we’d like to share some of these great tips.

Picture of potted plant

One easy fix – consider potted plants.  Not only can they be moved easily, but they can also be taken by sellers when they move.  We’ve even incorporated them into our seller’s listings and fondly refer to them as Torelli Portaplants. It’s a small change with big impact.

Sellers can also try some of these trends:

-Instead of lawn, cover the ground with low-maintenance plants.  (This is also green friendly, which is a trend among buyers.)

-Planting a vegetable garden

-Creating a nice path to the door.  This will keep buyers on track!

-Landscaping with topiaries, dwarf trees, mature trees, and various plants that will produce color throughout the year to add visual interest.

-Hardscaping.  This home design trend is very common in Southern California. Many buyers here look for outdoor living spaces that include outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and entertaining space.

-Water features

Condo owners and townhome owners can also try some of these tips on a smaller scale. Here are some tips for you:

-Focus on lighting

-Landscape your patio/yard.  If you have a yard, you can also use low-maintenance plants to cover the ground.  If you have a patio, make sure it is safe & welcoming.  And go ahead and make your walkway visually interesting with plants!

-Make sure your unit stands out.  For instance, use color on your doors & shutters.  Also, use a highly visible house number so that your unit is easy to find.

These trends are great ways to help your home pop… Remember, first impression is everything!