Thursday, March 14, 2013

Curb Appeal

It's a well known fact in this post-2008 economy that what one paid for a home is probably what one will get out of it when it's sold....but not much more. We found that out in 2009 when we sold our 900 square foot condo for it's purchase price 7 years later! We purchased our current home in May 2009 after it had sat on the market for a year and a half. The seller didn't make much off of her initial investment either, despite numerous improvements including: new paint throughout including white trim, tile throughout the kitchen/downstairs bath/laundry room, new French doors to the deck, new roof, and even some hardwood floors! The biggest thing that seemed to keep our sweet little gem on the market for so long was the exterior.

It wasn't awful. The paint was decent. The vinyl siding was clean. The previous owner had even planted some flowers. But the house looked odd...something just wasn't right. Was it the shrubs? All the windows on the left side of the house? The massive triangle? Don't tell me you don't see it. It's right there!
2010
So we've been implementing our exterior improvement plan for the past two years! We hired a landscaper to design a master plan of low maintenance plants, plenty of perennials, and some showy annuals. He informed us that the highest maintenance plant on any property is grass, so it would be to our best interest to trim some out. I was skeptical, but it's made a dramatic improvement. We try to buy a few shrubs each year. For the most part, we've had success with our greening thumbs; however there are a few plants in plant-heaven...the compost pile! Our best success has been with Walmart plants. Walmart? Really? Now you're joking. Nope. No joke. The plants there are a FRACTION of the price at nurseries and Walmart often has the same supplier, particularly when it comes to roses and azaleas. The other beautiful thing about Walmart is their 100% return policy. Most nurseries will only give you 50%, but Walmart will take anything back! ANYTHING! We bought 6 beautiful blue plants for the front walk one year and they just didn't stand up right. They slouched. So we pulled them up, threw them in a plastic bag, and went to Walmart 4 weeks after we'd purchased them. Now, you do have to beware of Walmart-wares. I never buy a flower unless it's blooming, because I never trust the image printed on the card. I've found that rule of thumb to be true even at smaller nurseries. Also, if it's a specialty plant I'm after, I'll usually find it at a nursery because I know it's been well-loved there versus Walmart.

Anyways..., we've been thinking about finishing off the porch for some time. I've gathered lots of inspiration, we just needed an architect to make it happen. Our amazing friend Jon whipped up something extraordinary! In Brian's words, "I just don't understand why the house wasn't finished like this sooner." That lonely triangle of a house: was it the result of a builder gone MIA? Maybe. But now we've got a plan! I'm still not sold on the proposed color of the door and shutters, but I may change my mind. Right now the shutters have been painted black and we'd like to paint the new front door red.

2 comments:

  1. yep...perfect change...that will make it the cutest little charleston house ever. love the idea. i actually think the wood front door is to die for. very upscale looking....get one with a transom over it for light in the foyer....i think it could be pretty cute!!

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    Replies
    1. We are very excited about the door too! Unfortunately, our ceiling above the entrance isn't high enough for a transom. There air ventilation and master bath are directly above, so we can't really change that, but I do LOVE transoms. If we had 9 foot ceilings, there would be one above every door!!!

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