If you read my title carefully, there’s a contradiction in it: An ROI from your front yard? Really?
Most front yards are neglected wastes of space. Folks might think that grassy buffer zones (aka front yards) are somehow “green,” meaning environmentally important. Other than being the color green, grassed front yards are anything but.
You need to weed them, feed them, water them, keep grubs away, cut them with CO2-producing, noisy lawnmowers not to mention pay for them in the first place.
Eva O’Grady and her daughter Angela O’Grady raised another possibility: Can a front yard makeover (whatever that means) improve property value, attract better tenants paying higher rents and staying longer? Can it create a more interactive community and a better neighborhood?
This led us to create a list of curb appeal improvements that a homeowner or indeed a commercial property owner could consider implementing… the idea is to try to boost ROI without breaking the bank either. Heck, that’s what Return on Investment means anyway, right?
What kind of curb appeal animations are we talking about?
-organized street tree planting, fruit trees and frontyard gardens, planter beds
-horizontal transition lines
-more ingress/egress and wow (window on the world)
-hardscaping and extra parking areas
-parking mesh grass
-rainwater recapture rain barrels
-natural (low maintenance) “lawn” and gardens—market garden farm gate “lemonade” stand
-name your house or commercial property
-visible and unique house or building number[Look what George Lois (probably the most famous ad guy in the world) did for a building in NYC. Its address is 20 Times Square, Times Square NYC. Here’s how George created a logo for the street address; it’s very clever.] [Source: Dawn Good Advice (for people with talent!), How to unleash your creative potential by America’s master communicator, George Lois, Phaidon, 2012]
-new door hardware
-front porch and front porch furniture with tables with games inlays like chess board or backgammon board
-croquet court/bocce court
-insulated garage door with lites and mandoor—garage office or micro retail or micro-suite or workshop with upfit
-adding French doors to create more ingress/egress from ground floor
-manufactured walkout condition and patio for lower level (basement) space
-window (flower) boxes
-window coverings at the front on the ‘inside’ of a building makes a difference to the curb appeal—eg, use California shutters
-decorative fascia trim
-lay sod (instant lawns), trim hedges, edge grass etc
-windows need to be SPOTLESS
-arbor and fencing
-walkway canvas or steel and glass cover
-driveway steel and glass cover
-pressure wash everything
-“phonebooth” libraries with seating areas
-front yard play structure
-remove any negative signage, for example, no soliciting, beware of dog etc
-nice front door/entry mat
-upgraded doorbell (like a video doorbell) or knocker (nothing is worse than a broken one for first impressions)
-call your city (311 in Ottawa) for any fixes needed to your street/sidewalk/curb
-offer to cut your neighbors’ lawns 😊
You’ve heard of home staging, correct?
Well how about extending it to the front yard and, while you are at it, the backyard too– with cool animations like storage sheds, mini offices, workshops, backyard games and a million other ideas?
What’ll we call this new service?
How about: Home stager, front yard curb appeal specialist and backyard makeover artist?
Yeah, way too long.
Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc broker
Ottawa Senators founder
-MAKING IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE
-FREEDOM VIA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND PB4L, PERSONAL BUSINESS FOR LIFE
-FEHAJ, FOR EVERY HOME A JOB
-MAKE YOUR HOME WORK FOR YOU, INSTEAD OF YOU WORKING FOR IT
-HIGHER ROI NOT JUST FOR OWNERS AND INVESTORS, BUT FOR TENANTS, GUESTS, VISITORS, NEIGHBORHOODS, COMMUNITIES, TOWNS, VILLAGES, AND CITIES TOO
Feature image by Bart Everson – Flickr: 774 Redbud Lane, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25194851
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