First Impressions

By: Gina Labarbera

The front door, front porch if you have one, front yard and driveway all assume major importance when you have your home on the market. This is the first impression that your prospective buyer forms of the home that you are selling. In reality these areas make a statement at any time, about you and your home and family.

For this reason, we should re-assess the first impressions our home may give. Small improvements can be made that will cost next to nothing. Even a brand new coat of paint in a bright or intense color is an inexpensive improvement that will have a huge impact.

Would you like to inject warmth to your visitors or humor? A doormat can be a way to set the tone and it is very inexpensive. The obvious doormat is the 'Welcome' one, but some actually say 'Go Away" or 'My Dog Bites' or something similar. An amber or colored light bulb will ensure that they can read it and it will also make a pleasant glow at your front door.

A small fir in a decorative tub is another good buy; two in fact, one either side of the door. You can always move them to the deck when you have barbecues!

In some areas theft can be a problem, but fixed hardware is most likely safe. An unusual new mail box or an antique door knocker will add to the decorative interest of your front door. An electric bell that plays music is favored by some families.

In the festive season a wreath is nice, in fact, some decorators suggest hanging a permanent wreath on the door. If it is made from willow or grapevine it can lend itself to any annual occasion. This way you can put baby gourds and pumpkins in the fall, fir boughs and pine cones at Christmas, and yellow ribbons and flowers in the Spring.

A scented candle encased in a glass bowl in your porch will be very welcoming. It is even worth thinking about buying one of those plug in air fresheners for permanent scent in your porch, if it is possible.

If you have a porch that is big enough for a seat or a table, make sure that the items you select are not too big. It is handy to have a chair to sit down on for when you change your shoes, and a console table for you to drop your keys on, but it is not handy if you have to squeeze past them when you are rushing out late for work!

Lights that push into the earth are a very effective and yet an inexpensive way to accent the front yard. Planning the lights may be more complicated than you imagine. There must be enough cable left over to be able to hide the wire in the earth so that it will not trip people up. A visitor face down on the front path will not truly appreciate all the effort of your home's new look!

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