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Curb Appeal: It's About More Than Mowing the Lawn

Curb appeal is of the utmost importance when you want to sell your home. The exterior of your home is the first thing prospective buyers see. You want to make sure they get a good first impression when they pull into the driveway to tour your home. What you might not realize, though, is that creating curb appeal consists of much more than mowing the grass, planting some flowers, and trimming the hedges. Here are a few more things you’ll need to consider when it comes to making a positive first impact on buyers.

 

 

  1. This should go without saying, but as we mentioned above, mowing/edging the yard, trimming hedges and trees, and planting flowers will all do wonders to refresh the look of your front yard. Just don’t stop there…

  2. If your entry door looks tired, spotty, or scratched, consider replacing it. If buying a new door isn’t in the budget, make sure to repair any major damage and give it a fresh coat of paint.

  3. Speaking of doors, makes sure the garage door looks good, too. It might be the very first thing buyer’s get a close look at.

  4. Make sure to wash the windows. These get overlooked a lot, especially if they’re all covered by blinds or curtains. If a good washing doesn’t help, think about buying new windows. They can actually be a great selling point.

  5. Replace any ripped or missing window screens.

  6. Clear the gutters. This is another detail that can be overlooked, because it isn’t always immediately visible. But leaves, twigs, and even birds’ nests can gather there and create clogs.

  7. Pressure wash the exterior of your home. Touch up any siding that might need new paint. Replace any chipped, cracked, or missing mortar around bricks.

  8. While you’ve got the pressure washer out, give the driveway and porch a good spray, too. You won’t believe how different they’ll look!

  9. Leave on exterior lights for nighttime showings. Not only will it provide illumination and safety for real estate agents and home shoppers, but it will also make the house look inviting and warm.

What kind of experiences have you had with curb appeal as a buyer or a seller? Tell us in the comments section below!

Friday Five // May 29, 2015

Looking for something to do this weekend? From a block party to a blueberry festival, there are plenty of opportunities for fun. 

 

Check out this week’s Spoleto happenings. With music, theater, and other performances going on all over the city, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

 

Visit Mixson Market on Saturday for the Blueberry Bonanza. This free event takes place from 10am until 3pm and features live music, Palmetto Brewery’s specially crafted blueberry saison, and freshly made blueberry ice cream from Aya Cookhouse’s Kelly Chu.

 

 

Celebrate the 15th year of fun Friday evenings at Party at the Point Friday night. This week’s music is provided by Seven Handle Circus and The Kenny George Band. Gates open at 5:30 with music starting at 6:30pm. Bring the whole family! Admission: $7

 

 

Cheer on the Charleston Battery, your hometown USL soccer team. Saturday is Military Appreciation Night, with free tickets for fans presenting valid DOD I.D. Tickets start at $10.

 

On Friday night, head down to King Street for the SoCal (south of Calhoun) May Block Party, sponsored by Big Boss Brewing Company. Participating restaurants include Boone's, Kickin' Chicken, King Street Grille, Mellow Mushroom, and Upper Deck Tavern. $1 from each Big Boss Brewing Company beer sold will go to the Charleston Miracle League. Expect raffles, swag giveaways, and live music at this free event.

 

April 2015 Real Estate Market Report

The rate of growth in the Charleston real estate market has been phenomenal in 2015. The numbers speak for themselves. So far this year, 4,727 homes have sold at a median price of $217,489. That's a 22% growth in sales volume for the year, and 2% growth in median price.

At this point in 2014, 3,887 homes had sold at a median price of $213,990. Consult our infographic below for April 2015 market statistics.

 

April Stats Infographic

Volvo Cars Chooses Berkeley County as Site for Its First American Factory

The Lowcountry has been abuzz with excitement after Volvo Cars announced on May 11th that Berkeley County will be the home of its first American factory. This news is certainly cause for celebration! Here’s what you need to know about Volvo’s announcement.

 

A $204 million incentives package is just part of what made the 6,800-acre Camp Hall Tract attractive to Volvo. Located off exit 187 on Interstate 26, the site is convenient to the interstate, the Port of Charleston, and Charleston International Airport.

 

Volvo has said that it will invest about $500 million in the site and create 4,000 jobs over the next decade. 2,880 of the tract will be used by Volvo, with the remaining acreage reserved for Volvo suppliers, future expansion, and future manufacturing projects.

 

So what does this mean for people who aren’t involved in the manufacturing industry? Volvo’s arrival will mean more growth for our area, which has already seen a lot of expansion over the last five years alone. Look for a boost in the local economy and an increase in property values in the Ridgeville/Rural Dorchester County/Berkeley County areas. There’s a lot of room for development in that area, so land and home prices should see a nice little boom.

 

“Volvo Cars will do much more than make automobiles in Berkeley County,” says Santee Cooper CEO Lonnie Carter. “Volvo will raise the standard of life throughout the Lowcountry and throughout our state.”

 

Phase 1 will include construction of manufacturing and production space, admin offices, and a visitor’s center. It is expected to employ about 2,000 workers initially. Phase 2 will include construction of second manufacturing, assembly, and production space and will employ an additional 2,000.

 

Construction is slated to begin in the fall, with the first vehicles expected to be completed in 2018.

 

Information Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal

10 Items to Check on a Final Walkthrough

Every buyer wants to know that the home they’re buying is in proper shape before closing day. More often than not, small previously unnoticed issues can crop up after new homeowners move in. This is why we always recommend doing a final walkthrough before closing day. A walkthrough is especially important if you choose not to have an official home inspection. Here’s a list of ten things to look for on your final walkthrough.

 

  1. Inspect ceilings, walls, and floors. Now that the seller has moved out and all the rooms are (hopefully) empty, you can get a good look at every surface. It’s probably not worth addressing things like nail pops or a not-so-great paint job. But if you see a possible mold spot that was previously hidden behind a sofa, you’ll definitely want to get your real estate agent’s advice on where to go from there.

  2. Turn on and off every light switch. Bring a new lightbulb with you in case there aren’t any in the home. Make sure you know what every switch does and whether or not they work properly.

  3. Test heating and air conditioning. Simply adjust the thermostat and make sure each one works.

  4. Test all appliances. Turn on the stove, check the fridge and freezer, run the (empty) dishwasher for a few minutes, try out the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.

  5. Check all doors to make sure they don’t stick or have loose hinges or knobs. Make sure the locks work properly.

  6. Open and close all windows. Make sure they slide up and down easily, and check for drafty gaps.

  7. Check kitchens and baths for leaks and cracks. A leaky faucet can make a big difference in your water bill. Inspect areas around pipes and faucets for signs of water damage.

  8. Run the water in all sinks, showers, and tubs, and flush toilets.

  9. Test the garage door opener, if there is one. If there isn’t an automatic opener, make sure the door opens and closes properly.

  10. Check for any items you thought would be included in the sale of the house. These include things like refrigerators, light fixtures, and built-ins. The contract should specifically state whether or not they are included, but if it hasn’t been addressed and you find that they’re missing, talk with your agent to see what can be done.

 

Many of the items on this list are things that a home inspector will look for and advise you about. He or she can help you come up with a list of things that should be addressed. One caveat, however: try to keep the list to things that absolutely must be taken care of before moving in. Be smart about what repairs you ask the seller to do before closing. In a seller’s market, asking for small, insignificant repairs could be the seller’s deciding factor between accepting your offer or a competing one.

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