Category: Home Ownership

How to Boost Curb Appeal to Maximize Your Property Value

All homeowners who are considering selling their homes want to know one thing: “how much can we get for our home?”

There are many factors that appraisers and sellers use to determine your home’s value. This makes nailing down the exact value of your home before the sale very tricky – if not impossible. 

However, as the homeowner, your best course of action to maximize your home’s value is to increase its curb appeal.

As mentioned in Realtor Magazine last year, Homes with high curb appeal tend to sell for an average of 7% more than similar houses with an uninviting exterior. This data is according to a joint study conducted by the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington. 

How Does Curb Appeal Increase Property Value?

Curb appeal is best described as your property’s “first impression”. When guests or potential buyers pull into your driveway, what do they see? 

Do they see cracked paint and curled tiles on the roof, or do they see a beautifully landscaped front yard and a clean, well-kept exterior?

Obviously, the latter is what will maximize the wow factor for potential buyers and appraisers alike. Boosting your curb appeal doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank, either. 

Here are some top tips to get your property sparkling, and ready for both appraisers and potential buyers!

Give the Exterior a Facelift

To start, make sure the exterior of your property is as clean as possible. Before diving into larger focus areas such as painting and landscaping, consider washing all of the dirt, mildew, and general uncleanliness from the outside of your home.

Removing the dust and dirt that has splashed onto the exterior due to rainy weather or sprinkler systems is an easy way to boost a property’s curb appeal. Sometimes, all this requires is a bucket of soapy water and a soft-fiber brush – especially when restoring garage doors back to their brilliant shade of white. 

For patios and paved areas that have become dull over time, consider buying or renting a pressure washer. Smaller pressure washers can be purchased at virtually any home improvement store for $100 or less. Oftentimes, larger pressure washers are available to rent at a reasonable price as well, and you’ll be surprised just how different your patio and pool area will look, after a good wash.

Maximize the Upkeep

Nothing is more damaging to curb appeal than a poorly-maintained property. Now that the exterior of your home is sparkling clean, it’s a great time to revisit your maintenance needs. 

Be sure that all of the smaller details are handled. This means no loose bricks or stone, and no clogged, sagging gutters. Flower beds should be cleared of weeds and overgrowth, and any cracks in the asphalt should be sealed. Straighten your shutters, and repair all apparent damages – such as cracked windows and loosely-hinged doors. 

Add Vivid Colors

Having colorful landscaping that is both elegant and well-executed pleases the eye of any potential buyer. Bright landscaping elements can be very attractive, but having anything that is overly flashy or gaudy is never a good thing when maximizing curb appeal. 

One way to add lots of color while maintaining a pleasing exterior is to brighten up your landscaping. Be sure that all of the colors you choose blend well, not only on your property but within the neighborhood as well. A clean xeriscape with healthy cacti and shrubs can be an excellent way to garner positive attention. 

Lastly, Assess the Larger Details

Roofing and paint are also very important to a home’s value, and it’s curb appeal. One of the biggest determining factors of a home’s value is – understandably – the condition of the roof. If your roofing needs some attention compared to other homes in your neighborhood, then it’s time to consider some serious repairs, even if it may be costly.

The paint or stucco condition on the exterior of your home is equally important to curb appeal. Even if you have beautiful landscaping, attractive outdoor lighting, and a roof that’s in perfect condition, if the look of the exterior isn’t up to par, buyers and appraisers may not notice any of the other positives. 

Assessing the larger details before placing your home on the market can be the single most important aspect of optimizing curb appeal. Though larger repairs often require hiring professionals and a greater budget, it is essential to maximizing the value of your home.

Curb appeal is one of the greatest determining factors of your home’s value. Consider it to be your home’s “handshake”, as it is your home’s first impression on buyers and appraisers alike. Therefore, it is very important to maximize its potential to show all of the most charming aspects of your property.

Local Market Update

Tubac truly is a village like no other. With three major cultures—Spanish, Mexican, and Native American—lending their ethnic influences to the town’s evolution, Tubac has adopted a distinctive eclectic cultural flavor all its own.

If you’re into the outdoors, Tubac does not disappoint. Golfers enjoy year-round golfing, with several challenging courses to choose from, all within minutes of Tubac. The scenic mountains and rustic dirt roads around Tubac offer hikers, bikers, and nature-lovers numerous trails on which to experience the desert and all of its natural wonders up close. Birding enthusiasts will enjoy bird-watching right in their own backyards.

A short drive takes you to beautiful Patagonia Lake where visitors will find a boating marina, full RV hookups, hiking trails sure to please both beginner and experienced hikers.

Celebrated as an artist’s community, Tubac is home to painters, potters, sculptors, and carvers who produce works in every medium imaginable. An entire day can be spent strolling through the streets of Tubac visiting art galleries, working studios, boutiques, and gift shops. Tubac was also recently named the #1 BEST SMALL TOWN ARTS SCENE by USA Today!

If you are thinking about buying a home in Tubac, you won’t be disappointed. Check out the latest Market Update. Grab your copy here!

Gaining Financial Freedom Through Homeownership

Purchasing your first home can work for you in many more ways than one. A home purchase is not simply a roof over your head and cozy walls around you (though that definitely helps) – it’s a path to financial freedom.

It’s a well-known fact that homeownership can play a very important role in your financial stability. Solid financial stability means that you have more freedom in pursuing your life goals.

This is great, but how can you make your home purchase work for you?

More Capital Through Forced Savings

The term “forced savings” can sound a bit negative, but it’s actually a very positive thing, especially in homeownership. As you make mortgage payments, you pay down your principal and interest. Therefore the amount you owe relative to your home’s value builds equity, thus increasing your net worth.

Forced savings occurs because, in order to keep your property, you must make mortgage payments. As the balance for principal and interest decreases with each payment, this can be considered savings.

In other words, forced savings through mortgage payments create a “cushion” so to speak, which brings you closer to your financial goals, and to your financial freedom.

Freedom Through Property Value

Typically, all properties appreciate in value. While there’s no guarantee that the value of your home will appreciate over time due to housing market fluctuations and the state of the economy, the majority of homeowners do experience an increase in the value of their home over time. 

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index for Arizona, the appreciation on homes is tagged at 14.1% (on average) per year, since 1991.

With each mortgage payment, you also decrease the amount you owe on your loan. As the value of your home appreciates, the difference between your home value and the amount you owe results in more equity, increasing your net worth.

Fixed Housing Costs

Having a fixed, stable housing payment can help to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. Renting property is subject to fluctuating rental prices, and of course, no equity can be built through making rent payments.

In contrast, mortgages can be fixed, which protects you from fluctuating housing costs. With fixed living expenses, you can keep your cost of living down and plan for savings more accordingly. 

You may even decide to put extra capital towards investments or other avenues that help you build more financial freedom.

Homeownership Creates a Tax Shelter

When earning a profit from investments, even if the profit was made through property investments, a capital gains tax must be paid by law. However, the profit you make from selling your home can’t be taxed this way (though there are some limitations). This keeps more money in your savings account, as less is being put towards taxes.

There are also many other tax benefits that come with being a homeowner, such as tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. Therefore, owning a home can reduce your taxable income and help you to save more money in the long run.*

Homeowners Have a Greater Net Worth

According to a recent article by Forbes, the net worth of homeowners is 40 times greater than it is for renters, despite the pandemic. This data is based on the Federal Reserve’s 2020 Survey of Consumer Finances. 

In the survey, it was found that homeowners had a median net worth of $255,000, while renters had a median net worth of $6,300 in 2019. 

Peace of Mind

It may be easy to disregard the importance of mindset on financial freedom. However, you must make responsible financial decisions to own a home – such as making your mortgage payments on time, planning and saving for a down payment on a new home, or even planning how to make improvements to your home in order to increase equity and value. 

This mindset can have a positive impact on other financial decisions as well. Saving, spending, and investing can all be positively affected through homeownership and can encourage better habits when it comes to managing your money for increased financial freedom. 

Owning your own home is a no-brainer when it comes to building a solid financial future. The freedoms and responsibilities of homeownership can have lasting effects, for years to come. 

Buying a home is one of the smartest things you can do to help you build wealth for the long term, and it surely helps to secure your financial future.

*Harrison Real Estate Group is not a tax advisory firm. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and may not reflect current tax year rules and regulations. Consult your tax advisor or the IRS for current tax year rules, restrictions, and regulations.