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Increase Your Curb Appeal

I was a road runner this weekend. My errands and adventures took me from east to west and everywhere in between. While taking the scenic routes of some areas and shortcuts in others I found myself gazing at the homes, both large and small in some very unfamiliar but beautiful areas. At times my jaw dropped, mouth hung wide open and my eyes so affixed to these magnificent dwellings that my car was almost driving itself. Awed by fascinating paint textures, unique brick patterns, extraordinary landscaping, etc, I said to myself, “I want a house like that when I grow up”. After chuckling at myself, I was curious and wondered how and why did these owners maintain the elegance and style of their home’s exterior? As my gas tank clicked down to “E” which in my mind means “enough” I began to think of you. It was almost as if you were sitting on the passenger side of my pint-size Toyota and we were engaged in a full-blown conversation. That lasted approximately three minutes and I thought, perhaps I should end my one-sided dialogue (at least for that moment), get some gasoline and make my way to my own home where no one would think I was crazy if I appeared to be chatting in detail to myself. Nevertheless, I rushed home to put pen to paper and share my thoughts…

As I was gallivanting on wheels through my fantasy neighborhoods (the neighborhoods were real, it was just MY fantasy to live there), I could understand why homebuyers in this decade are sold on the home of their dreams by ooh’s, ahh’s and chill bumps. We are overwhelmed with zeal and excitement with the property’s curb appeal. Whether the home is new construction, existing or vintage, the look of the dwelling when we drive up can be intoxicating. I like to compare it to when we are attracted to our potential mate. Let’s be honest ladies, we want to believe it was just his mind that made us “buy the house”, but it was his exterior dress, physique or simply his conversation that got us to the door. Just as our attraction and interest for our potential mate begin with their exterior appeal, so it goes with the pursuit and ultimate purchase of the property in which we will spend a great amount of time and money. Our home’s external elegance, charm, character, and personality displayed draw our attention. It is the upkeep of this appeal which helps the attraction to stay fresh and exciting.

When I purchased my first home, probably like you, I put very little thought into the funds required to maintain the amenities that attracted me to the house at first glance. Few of us in this season of economic insecurity and instability have an overabundance of money in reserve for such incidentals like paint and lawn care, however, I am learning (and it’s not easy) that consistent small amounts put aside used specifically to maintain my home’s curb appeal will benefit me, my neighborhood and ultimately increase the look and value of the entire community. As an At-Home tip, let’s try putting $25.00 a week in a separate bank account; that’s less than three days of coffee at Starbucks or three days of lunch at McDonald’s. I know it’s a major sacrifice, but it is saving $100.00 per month. If no repairs or improvements are needed it rolls over to the next month. Not putting money aside to replenish these items places our once attractive home in jeopardy of becoming the eyesore of the community. Enough about the house…

Before I put my pen down or log out of my computer, and we don’t chat again until my next article, do you remember earlier when I was engaged in a one-sided conversation in my car? I thought it was just about the houses and neighborhoods that were in my path, but there was something else. Let’s face it, ladies, whether we are young (new construction), existing (middle age) or vintage (beautifully seasoned) people are attracted to us by our “curb appeal”; not just our looks but those qualities, characteristics and physical extras that we started out with are still important and help us maintain our value. Married or single, working out, eating better, make-up, hair, and nails, our style of dress, dreams for the future or simply our willingness to forgive, love more, laugh more and have fun will contribute to great curb appeal. As with our home, let’s put just a little time, energy and if needed money aside to improve our personal curb appeal as women. Our increase in value to ourselves, those we love and the community will be immeasurable!

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