Curb appeal can be changed

Southview Design Offers Landscape Advice for Homebuyers in Today’s Seller’s Market

MINNEAPOLIS, MN JUNE 21, 2016

Southview Design recommends that new homebuyers look past lackluster curb appeal when deciding whether or not to buy a home, particularly in today's sellers market where competition for homes is at all-time highs.

The current real estate market is leaving many potential buyers on the curb having to make a quick decision about buying a home. Homes with good bones in desirable neighborhoods priced under $250,000 are in very short supply. According to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS, pending sales were up 10 percent last month, and there's only a 2.3 month's supply of homes, which means that every home for sale would sell in just over two months if no new homes came on the market.

Despite the pressure to make a quick decision, most buyers still have a list of must-haves for their future home. However, a home lacking curb appeal that fails to make a positive first impression shouldn't stop a buyer from making an offer, said Southview Design landscape designer Karen Filloon. "It's not that hard to improve the curb appeal of a home," she said. "You can, in fact, create a new and improved first impression."

Filloon said the lack of curb appeal can be overcome with a front entry update that takes the homes architectural style as well as the homeowners personal style into account. Older homes in particular can have old hardscapes, crumbling concrete and an outdated look. Invest in landscaping, and you'll also get it back in the end, studies show. Professional landscaping can add as much as 15 percent to the value of your home.

Filloon suggested using the following checklist to determine the next steps in changing the curb appeal:

  1. Safety: Provide safe access by adding or redoing walkways, stairs, landings and railings. Don't forget to add exterior and landscape lighting for security and safety.
  2. Home Features: Add or replace doors, windows, porticos and structures to the home to draw attention to the main entry.
  3. Outdoor Features: Build living spaces such as patios, courtyards and porches out front. These are great places to connect with neighbors for morning coffee, evening drinks and occasional conversations.
  4. Landscaping: Is the front of the house mostly sunny or largely shaded? Understanding what kind of light the front of your house gets will determine what kinds of plants to use in your front yard landscape design.
  5. Lighting: We mentioned it before and we'll say it again: lighting has a huge affect on making that first positive impression, because it can highlight the architecture of the home and extends outdoor entertaining into the evening hours.
  6. Fun Add-Ons. Don't forget about fun add-ons, such as water features, sculptures and anything that reflects the homes uniqueness and your own personal style.

Projects with Curb Appeal:

Taming of the Hill

Front yard landscape design in Eden Prairie sculpts hill using modular retaining wall materials to create classic look and curb appeal.

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Edina Classic

Side yard landscape design for classic Edina home with New York Bluestone patio, Chilton stone walls, and custom-designed white arbor.

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Mid-Century Makeover

Unique landscape design with paver driveway and architectural details gives mid-century suburban home outstanding curb appeal plus patios, fire pit, hot tub and outdoor shower.

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Tranquil Outdoor Refuge

These Edina homeowners wanted a place to greet neighbors in the front yard, places to entertain in the back, and a spa they could use year-round.

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Creating from a Blank Slate

The focus of this project was to make the back yard wheelchair accessible and add curb appeal. The project was completed over two years. The front yard was completed first, then the backyard.

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A Landscaper's Dream

This backyard belongs to Southview Design partner Ryan Slipka and his family. Starting with the blank slate of new construction, both the front and back yards have been tailored to the family's needs.

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Front Porch Perfection

Front yard landscape design increased the curb appeal of this Minneapolis home and saved a decades-old oak tree in the process.

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Paver Basketball Court and Driveway

Play all day. Rough gravel driveway transformed into a one-of-a-kind backyard paver driveway with an inlaid basketball court.

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Windows on their World

Rebuilt after a devastating fire, this landscape design in Minneapolis features gas fire pit, patio, basalt-column water feature, paver driveway, outdoor lighting.

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Safe Haven

A spectacular paver driveway welcomes guests to this Eden Prairie home and backyard haven.

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