Day: September 3, 2018

Real Estate News from Margaret Upton-Mirowski Instant Curb Appeal on the Cheap

These 6 Easy Tricks Will Cost You Under $200

It should come as no surprise that before you sell your home, you’ve got to make it sparkle—after all, prospective buyers will be peeking in every corner, closet, and cabinet they can get into.

But when you’re so focused on the inside, it’s easy to overlook the first (and arguably most important) space buyers will judge: the outside.

“Most people start coming drawing conclusions about a home as soon as they pull up to the house—or even before that, based on photos they’ve seen online,” says Lori Matzke, founder of Center Stage Home in Minneapolis. “If the exterior looks run-down or could even stand for just a little freshening up, that’s going to grab their attention.” (And not in a good way.)

You might already be thinking about what it would take to get your exterior in top form—and adding up the dollar signs in your head. But here’s the good news: It is possible to add instant curb appeal without draining your savings account.

“Simple, inexpensive things can make a big impact on how quickly and for how much you sell your home,” says Kris Lindahl, a real estate agent in Minneapolis.

Ready to get started? Here are six ridiculously easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal—all for $200 or less.

1. Make your exterior sparkle with a pressure washFor potential buyers, the walk up the driveway is their first look at your home, Lindahl says. Repaving the entire driveway would be nice, of course. But on a budget, pressure washing—which will run between $80 to $200 on average—will do wonders.

Driveways “turn green and black with dirt, and we don’t notice it because we see it every day,” says Shawn Breyer, owner of Breyer Home Buyers in Atlanta. “White driveways and sidewalks really pop.”

2. Max out your use of mulch and weather-tolerant plants
Photo by Elliott Brundage Landscape Design 

It’s easy to rack up the bills with elaborate landscaping. But it doesn’t haveto cost a fortune, says Lucy Armentrout, broker associate at Red Oak Realty in Oakland, CA.

“I’ve turned a number of completely dead, neglected front yards into ‘buyer magnets’ for somewhere in the range of $500,” she explains. “But even $200 is definitely a worthwhile investment if you’re able to do some of the work yourself.”

Her secret? Putting down fresh mulch in the front yard and gardens, and adding easy-to-care-for plants. In particular, she likes ornamental grasses, bushy lavender, and salvia plants, and make a dramatic pop against dark mulch.

The end result is “an elegant and polished statement,” Armentrout says.

Matzke echoes the call for fresh mulch: “Mulch is your friend,” she says. “It not only brightens up the exterior of your home, it can also keep the weeds down and fill in bare spots so your lawn will look long-term neat and tidy.”

3. Lure in buyers with fresh honeysuckle

Photo by Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting 
If you have a walkway to the front door, plant some honeysuckle along the way, recommends Dawn Houlf, owner of EXIT Realty Number One and real estate coach in Las Vegas.

“Honeysuckle is a hardy plant,” Houlf says. “It can be used in a variety of ways—as a bush, a vine, or for ground coverage. The sweet nectar also brings in beautiful hummingbirds. And, of course, the fragrant smell helps, too, when buyers are viewing the home.”

4. Add symmetrical planters

Photo by Historical Concepts 

Savvy home stagers and landscapers rely heavily on visual tricks to draw buyers’ eyes to the right places. One of their biggest secrets? Symmetry.

If you have some space by the front door, anchor each side of the door with potted plants full of bright flowers like hydrangeas, Houlf recommends.

“It looks pleasing to the eye to have one on each side,” she says. “If you just have one plant by your door, it will look lopsided to potential buyers.”

But don’t use plastic containers, she cautions. Ceramic or terra-cotta pots are necessary here to add a “special touch” and give your home that luxe factor.

5. Freshen up your front door
Photo by Sidney Cardel’s

Speaking of the front door: Adding a fresh coat of paint to yours is a cheap, easy trick that can transform your home in an afternoon’s time—and will definitely leave a lasting first impression.

“Buyers will often stand at the front door for a couple of minutes while the agent gets the key out of the lockbox,” Lindahl notes. “Make those moments count.”

Of course, you can’t go wrong with a shiny new coat in a classic color like black, gray, or red. But if you’re feeling a little daring—and really want to stand out on the block—go for a cheery pastel hue like a light green or orange-pink. (Bonus: Bold front door looks are trending big-time right now.)


6. Roll out the welcome mat (literally)You’d be hard-pressed to find an easier trick than this: A new welcome mat and an elegant wreath are cheap but inviting ways to welcome potential buyers in for a home tour, Houlf says. (It is in the name, after all).

“Enhancing the front so people will stop and stare after the first glance is vital for any property for sale,” she says. “Look for a cheery welcome mat, or if your sale is happening over a holiday, I’d recommend something seasonal.”

Dunsby Endorsed by CT Board of Realtors

EASTON, CT– Aug. 31, 2018 — The Connecticut Association of Realtors announced that it has endorsed Adam Dunsby for reelection to the Connecticut State Legislature representing the 135th district which encompasses Easton, Weston and most of Redding. The association is the state’s largest professional trade organization, and represents close to 17,000 professionals in all aspects of the real estate industry.

According to their announcement “the Association carefully evaluates candidates in determining who may best ensure there is a positive environment for living in or transferring property in Connecticut. Real estate is essential to economic recovery and stability in the state and the nation.”

“I am very proud of this endorsement,” Mr. Dunsby stated. “A home is many families’ most valuable asset. Unfortunately, Connecticut’s anti-growth policies have driven businesses and workers out of state, and as a result the values of homes in our district are down about 25% from the peak. The path to recovery begins with restoring fiscal soundness to our state, without resorting to tax increases.”

Easton Police Activity Log Week 08/20/18 – 08/26/18

Total Calls:  165 Suspicious MV 9
Accident 3 Suspicious Person 3
Aided/EMS 2 Suspicious Activity 4
Alarm 13 Criminal Arrest 3
Animal Control 12 MV Stop 17
Fire Call 1 Misdemeanor Summons 1
Assist other Police Dept. 2 Infraction 4
Temporary Pistol Permit 0 Written Warning 12
Parking Violation 0 Verbal Warning 1
Erratic Driver 1

PRAWN Arrest:
Margaret E. Matyia
203 Wilson Road
Easton, CT
DOB: 4/22/1971

On August 23, 2018 Mrs. Matyia turned herself in at the Easton Police Dept. after learning the EPD held an active warrant for her arrest for failing to respond to an infraction she was given on February 17, 2018 for Failure to Comply with Dog Ownership Requirements.  Mrs. Matyia explained that she tried to pay the infraction on-line but could not find it and perhaps it was due to the fact that the infraction was made out with Hunt as her last name. Mrs. Matyia explained that Hunt is her husband’s last name and she has never gone by that name.  She indicated that perhaps, she should have followed up on it.

Mrs. Matyia posted a $75 CASH bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 30, 2018.

Warrant Arrest:
James Gromiller
3151 Helsel Lane
Williamsburg, PA
DOB: 01/23/1963

On August 24, 2018 Mr. Gromiller turned himself in to the Easton Police Dept. after leaning the EPD held an active warrant for his arrest for making several threatening statements both verbally and in writing, to harm his victims.  A warrant for his arrest was signed by the court in January 2018.  Mr. Gromiller is charged with Threatening in the 2nd Degree and Breach of Peace in the 2nd Degree.  He posted a court set $2,500 Surety Bond and released with a court date of August 27, 2018.

Alaska Petrino
15 Northwood Drive
Easton, CT
DOB: 01/19/2000

Miss Petrino was arrested on August 24, 2018 for violating a protection order.  She was released on a Promise to Appear (PTA) and is scheduled to appear in court on August 27, 2018.