Tips for Boosting Curb Appeal This Fall

Curb Appeal Tips for the Fall - Century 21 CedarcrestIn North Jersey, fall and spring offer great opportunities to jazz up your home’s curb appeal. Before the grass goes dormant and snow covers the ground, there are some easy ways to help your home catch the eye of home buyers in your market—and have real estate agents anxious to show it to their customers.

Power wash your driveway and pathways
Pressure washing revitalizes patios, walkways, and driveways and gives an overall cleaner appearance to your property. If your house’s siding or foundation, or the tool shed could use some sparkle, pressure wash them as well.

Clean up the house’s exterior
Look for areas that need some TLC, such as

  • Gutters– check for leaks and seal those up, clean out the leaves and clear downspouts
  • The deck, which may require a fresh coat of stain or paint, or have wood spindles, railings or floor planks that need repair/replacement
  • Shutters and trim
  • Garage doors and windows – check for any needed repairs, painting, or sealing needs
  • Light fixtures – clean the shades, make sure bulbs are working
  • Railings – clean and repaint rusted spots, check to make sure railings are not wobbling or coming loose from the house or stoop
  • The front door should be as inviting as possible. If it needs to be replaced, there are many options at various price points.

Clean out garden beds
With all the leave falling and summer plants “closing up” for the season, it’s time to rake out the old, wilted flowers and greenery. Remove any annual flowers, pull out the weeds, and bag up the dried leaves along with what’s falling on your lawn. Fall is also a good time to put down a fresh layer of mulch to liven up the garden beds and help retain moisture.

Plant colorful autumn flowers
Your garden beds needn’t look so sad after spring and summer flowers have completed their bloom cycle. There are some wonderful colors to add to your flower beds with cool-season plantings such as mums, asters, flowering kale, celosia, goldenrod, and sumac. If you have flower boxes under your front window, clean those out and plant fall-friendly flowers.

Rake the leaves
A layer of colorful leaves looks pretty on your lawn, but a thick covering of leaves will smother the grass, which reduces air flow and blocks sunlight (and can create a sick lawn). If you have a compost bin, you can turn your dry leaves into a natural fertilizer to enhance the soil in your vegetable garden and flower beds next spring.

Prune hedges, trees and shrubs
Keep your trees and shrubs looking cared for by trimming back overgrowth and dead branches (now that there is less foliage to cover them up). Removing dead blooms can also reduce potential for plant disease and rodent nests. If your trees are growing too close to the house, have the branches professionally pruned to avoid damage from fallen limbs during winter storms.

Take care of patio and porch furniture
If you are showing your home, porch and patio furniture sets a welcoming tone and gives prospective buyers an idea of how lovely it will be to entertain in your backyard or sit on the porch and watch the world go by. Clean the tables and chairs, repaint wicker or wrought iron furnishings if it’s been a while, and consider replacing cushions if they are worn and faded.

Decorate for the season
You don’t need a tractor and pumpkin patch to get into the harvest-season spirit. Dress up your porch with hay bales, displays of pumpkins and gourds, hang a festive wreath on the front door, and swap out your door mat for something in fall colors. The pumpkins can be cut up and tossed around your property later for animals to nibble on as they prepare for the winter. If you have lawn decorations that need some refurbishing (gnomes, deer), fix the chips and paint where needed.

Add landscape lighting
Extra lighting around your property helps your home stand out and offers some security. Solar lights or low-wattage landscape lights connected to a light sensor are easy ways to add lighting. Of course, a licensed electrician can install permanent hard-wire landscape lighting along your front walkway, driveway, or around your patio. These are also excellent ways to spotlight interesting landscape features.

At CENTURY 21 Cedarcrest Realty, our real estate associates will offer suggestions to stage your home—inside and outside—to make sure it always looks its best for home buyers. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, contact us at 973-228-1050.

Fall Decorating Trends

Fall is in the air! New Jersey is one of the most beautiful states to enjoy this season because of the abundance of trees and a diverse landscape where you can view the transformation from summer to fall off water or land. If you’re looking for creative ways to bring fall into your home, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve tracked down some of the hottest seasonal trends! And, if you recently purchased a new home, you’ll have even more fun decorating your fresh place!

Rich, Warm Accents

Swap out your lightweight accents – throw pillows, blankets, area rugs,  curtains – for velvet and fur ones. Choose colors that represent the fall season, such as burnt orange, deep red or shades of brown. Also pack away fake flowers and decor that are reminiscent of spring and summer.

Fresh Fall Flowers

What is one of the best ways to bring the outdoors in? With fresh flowers! Flowers brighten up the home and add color and character. Stop by your local nursery to browse their selection of seasonal flowers. A few vases will do. Don’t forget to refill the water every few days and remove all leaves below the water line.

A Wall of Flair

Is your wall decor light and springy? No problem. Switch out the pictures in the frame with fall photographs. You can use photos from your own family at the pumpkin patch or apple orchard, or opt for pressed leaves and printed off copies of sayings like, “Give Thanks” or “It’s Fall.” If you can’t pull this off with your existing frames, head to a garage sale or thrift shop for inexpensive frames.

Get the Fireplace Ready

If your new home has a fireplace, don’t light it up right away. Safety always comes first, so have the chimney and firebox inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep company. Once everything has been cleaned, you can light that first log and enjoy a warm, cozy evening in your favorite place.

Move Beyond Eye Level

It’s common practice to add fall centerpieces to tables, floral arrangements on end tables, bowls of apples on the coffee table and so forth. But, these cutesy arrangements can also be distracting or in the way. Instead, move upwards and utilize space that is generally left untapped. For example, hang leaf streamers from light fixtures, the top of your entertainment center or above windows. Wreaths hung on the wall or door is also a nice touch.