John Colby
Colby Realty | 978-249-5871 | [email protected]


Posted by John Colby on 6/7/2020

Photo by James Balensiefen via Unsplash

An outdoor entrance that provides an attractive, welcoming appearance not only has the ability to enhance the curb appeal of your property, it also makes household residents and visitors with a warm visual reception to your home. You probably already know that hanging baskets and planters brimming with blooming flowers provide vibrant accents from spring through autumn, but entryways need more than flowers, particularly during late autumn, winter, and early spring. Here's what you can do to keep your outdoor entry area looking pulled together and appealing no matter what the season.

Plant Evergreens

Whether you place a dwarf spruce or Norfolk pine in a planter or plant arborvitae or another upright conifer tree in the ground near your steps, some kind of greenery is usually necessary to make an outdoor entryway look fully dressed. It also helps keep a bit of color going during the cold season. As an added bonus, you can decorate your evergreens with holiday lights and other embellishments during the celebratory season.

Create a Small Seating Area

Even if all you've got is a set of steps leading to a tiny landing, try to find room for a chair or a bench. This is functional as well as welcoming because it provides a place for people to sit and remove outer footwear before entering the home or to simply sit and relax for a minute or two before going inside after a long day at work. If you've got the room, a small bistro set made from weather-resistant materials adds a nice touch and provides a fun way to enjoy a casual family meal or round of beverages.

Install an Exposed Aggregate Walkway

Exposed aggregate walkways do double duty by serving as a highly attractive introduction to your home and providing a slip-proof surface that helps keep household residents and guests safe from potentially harmful slip-and-fall accidents. You can get as creative as you like with these and use aggregates in a variety of colors or simply stick with an understated, monochromatic look. For instance, you can use agate aggregate for a multicolored effect and oyster shell aggregate for a lustrous look. Add ground-level solar lights along the sides to show it off after dark.

Other ideas for creating a fabulous outdoor entryway include hanging a decorative door with features such as carved floral accents or stained glass, putting down rustic outdoor rugs  in front of the door, and placing accent items such as basketry or statuary on each side of the door. Have fun with it and don't be afraid to put some personality into it.

Please feel free to reach out to us for more advice on making the most of your home's appearance.




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Posted by John Colby on 1/12/2020

In a competitive selling market, itís vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.

Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if youíre on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in todayís sellerís market.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.

1. Paint the front door ($30)

One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.

2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)

Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.

3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)

They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.

For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.

4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)

Whether itís the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.

Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.

5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)

Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.

6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)

Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.

7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)

Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.

8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)

Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isnít all that easy to clean.

You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.





Posted by John Colby on 9/2/2018

Curb appeal is paramount for a home seller. Because if you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful home selling experience.

There are many reasons for a home seller to improve his or her house's curb appeal, and these are:

1. You can differentiate your house from the competition.

The real estate market is fierce, and as a home seller, it is important to look for any competitive advantage. Fortunately, upgrading your house's curb appeal may help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

Remember, a home with a beautiful front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features is more likely than other houses to make a positive first impression on buyers. If you improve your house's curb appeal, you can make your residence an attractive choice to homebuyers. And as a result, homebuyers may be drawn to your residence as soon as it becomes available.

2. You can boost the likelihood of maximizing your home sale earnings.

Optimizing the value of your home sometimes can be difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to list a residence and promote it to potential buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, however, you may be able to maximize your home sale earnings.

A home with great curb appeal is likely to stand out to potential buyers, and as such, lead to many home showings. Meanwhile, if buyers like what they see, there could be lots of competition to acquire this residence. And if a seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual could reap the benefits of a profitable home selling experience.

3. You can speed up the house selling process.

The home selling process may be long and challenging, especially if a seller enters the real estate market without a strategy in place. Thankfully, a seller who improves his or her house's curb appeal can speed up the home selling cycle.

A house that makes a memorable first impression on buyers may prove to be a popular choice, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions. If a seller enhances a home's curb appeal, this individual can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with his or her house right away.

If you need assistance as you get ready to list your home, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can offer tips to help you improve your residence's curb appeal. Plus, as you proceed along the home selling cycle, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Prioritize your home's curb appeal Ė you'll be glad you did. If you dedicate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal today, you could bolster your home's appearance and make your residence a top choice in a competitive real estate market.





Posted by John Colby on 11/12/2017

Although your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work involved in selling your home, there are several things you, the homeowner, can do to help move things along.

By making sure your home is always ready to be shown at a moments notice to prospective buyers, you will be helping to "tip the scales" in the direction of a faster sale. Since making a great first impression is crucial to the sales process, it's important that your home always looks its best -- both inside and out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to put your home on the market.

Order versus chaos: Every time your real estate agent sets up a showing of your house, it's an opportunity to attract and engage potential buyers. When your house and property look organized, clean, and well cared for, it sends a series of positive messages to prospects.

Admittedly, it can be a little bit of a hassle to keep your house looking (and smelling) immaculate all the time, but doing so can definitely work in your favor when it comes to making a great impression and getting your house sold faster.

To the extent that it's possible, try to eliminate or significantly reduce anything that could be described as "clutter." Clutter can include anything from excessive furniture and wall hangings to knick-knacks on your shelves and too many containers on kitchen countertops.

The ultimate effect you want to achieve is one of spaciousness, tastefulness, and organization. Anything which detracts from those desirable qualities could potentially work against you. As the classic 1980s TV commercial for a well-known dandruff shampoo reminds us: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!"

Remember curb appeal: Actually the real first impression happens before prospective buyers even enter your home or step on your property. In many cases, it occurs before they even get out of their cars!

Making sure your house and property look as impeccable as possible from the street can help attract potential buyers and put them in a more receptive state of mind. Maintaining a manicured, clutter-free lawn, highlighted by a few splashes of floral color, can be an effective way to create eye-appeal and make a positive first impression.

One thing home sellers are either unaware of or forget about is the fact that prospective buyers sometimes do a preliminary "drive by" before picking up the phone and calling your (or their) real estate agent to schedule a showing. If they do not like what they see from their car, they probably are not going to take the next step and arrange a full tour of your home.

When you come to the realization that every person who drives by or visits your home is a potential buyer, you'll be more motivated to take care of the many details that either attract of send away prospective buyers.





Posted by John Colby on 5/21/2017

There are a lot of reasons you may want to line your house with plants. Maybe you need curb appeal to attract buyers to your home. Perhaps you have a foundation you want to cover. You could just like the piece of mind that comes with taking care of living plants. Whatever your reasons, I have the plants for you. There are a few things to keep in mind when planting around your house. Remember you should leave at least two foot between the side of your house and your plants. This may mean a little maintenance to your garden beds. There are a few reasons for this. You do not want plants rubbing up against your house and bringing moisture, animals, bugs, and general wear and tear to your siding. Pick the right plant for your house. What style are you looking for here? Depending on the style of your home, you may want a plant that compliments this. Letís talk about a few good options that will suit you, no matter what you are looking for.

  • Hydrangeas are a great pick for the front of your house. They attract the eye without being too ostentatious with their bell shaped pink and purple blooms. You will need three to five feet in height and spread to let them grow to their full potential. These are a great full plant to cover your plain or dare I say unsightly foundation.
  • Blue Angel Hostas love the shady spots of the yard, and are a great pick for the tree lined portions of your home. They like living in moist mulch as most shade plants do, and will need about 3 feet in height and 4 feet in spread. These hostas have big leaves and small stalk blooms. Hostas are perennials, which means they will come back each year and, bonus, they will continue to spread throughout the years. This may mean dividing the plant every few years. They make a great housewarming gifts for your friends and family at times like these.
  • Knockout Roses will last from the spring to the fallís first frost--perfect for continuous beauty. These roses are very low maintenance and easy to maintain. Make sure to cut these roses back in the winter and this will give them a great chance to come back healthy each spring. Knockout roses will need four feet in height and three feet in spread. There are a great choice for any home.
I know creating curb appeal can seem very daunting. It doesn't have to be with a few great choices, no matter your reason for sprucing up your yard. Remember, with a little bit of maintenance any homeowner can be a successful gardener. If you are ready to list your home, I am here to help you. Even if you are just want some attractive plant beds for years to come, I am happy to help you!




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