By Katherine Gotthardt
By the time August rolls around, exterior home maintenance often takes a back seat. After all, who wants to work in the heat, right? But late summer and early fall are important times to spruce up your home, especially if you plan to sell in the near future, says Peggy Burke, Associate Broker of Virginia Realty Partners, Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc. Here are four areas you can focus on that will make a world of difference in your home’s appearance.
This is no time to ignore the grass, even if the yard has gotten a bit brown, Burke says. “Give your grass a green boost with a good watering and reseeding. Fill any holes in your yard and reseed those, too. Keep your grass mowed and edged as needed. Trim bushes and trees.” Burke also recommends putting out potted plants with flowers appropriate for the still-warm weather. Have a pet? Be sure to keep dog or other pet waste picked up and disposed of correctly. “If you need help with any of this, many professional landscapers offer efficient, moderately priced services that can help you drastically improve the appearance of your home, sometimes within a few, short hours,” says Burke.
“The mailbox is one of those often-overlooked items on your property,” Burke says. “Especially if you are selling you home, it’s important that visitors can find it. If you have your own mailbox, invest in a new, attractive one and paint your post.” Burke also advises homeowners to put fresh address numbers on the house and/or mailbox. “Not only will this help potential buyers identify your home, it will increase curb
appeal. Delivery professionals will also appreciate the effort.”
For some homeowners, the garage becomes a place to dump extras. But the garage is a valuable piece of your property that you’ll want to care for just like any other part of the house. Start by replacing dented garage door panels, says Burke. Use shelving and bike hooks inside to help keep your belongings neat and organized. For maximum appeal, keep your garage door closed and bikes and toys in the garage when not
in use. Keep your trash can in the garage, except for the few hours on trash day, but empty it regularly.
According to Burke, one of the first things people notice about a home is the windows – the size, shape and
condition of them. “It’s important to keep your windows repaired and clean inside and out,” she says. This means you should be regularly washing your windows. Be sure to avoid cleansers that can leave streaks. For an added touch, she says, keep blinds, shades or curtains the same length in each front window. If you don’t open your windows, show off those beautifully kept windows by storing the screens in the garage
“This time of year isn’t popular for sprucing up home exteriors,” Burke says. “But it’s important to maintain your home all year round, not just in the spring when it typically comes to mind or when you’re in the mood to do it because the weather is mild.”
You can keep your home’s exterior looking great all year round. “The extra effort is always worth it in the long run.”
Director of Content Marketing for Prince William Living, Katherine Gotthardt ([email protected]) is a prolific writer, poet and author, as well as president of Write by the Rails, the Prince William chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. When she isn’t writing or reading, Katherine can be found enjoying the company of her husband, grown children and pets. Learn more about her work at katherinegotthardt.com.