Your Front Door Holds the Key To Boosting Street Appeal
Kanebridge News
Share Button

Your Front Door Holds the Key To Boosting Street Appeal

First impressions matter, even in today’s red-hot real-estate market.

By Jessica Dailey
Thu, Sep 30, 2021 11:42amGrey Clock 4 min

When sisters Char Riley and Candace Carroll renovated a Los Angeles home last winter with the intention of flipping it, they knew the exterior needed some serious TLC. To complete the home’s Spanish-inspired look, they lined the porch with clay saltillo tiles and added teal and orange tiles to the stairs, which complemented the terracotta roof and seafoam green trim. They removed a tree blocking the house, planted new grass and installed an Old World-meets-modern front door made of dark wood.

Their parents, who partnered with them on the flip, were hesitant to spend so much effort on the exterior. But the sisters, both experienced investors and Sotheby’s real-estate agents, have flipped nearly 120 homes and knew it would pay off. They were right: The home, which they bought for US$995,000, sold for $100,000 over asking price, closing in May for US$1.6 million.

The street appeal lured the buyer. “His parents happened to drive down the street one day and sent him a photo of the house,” says Mrs. Riley.

In today’s market, with low inventory and quick sales, sellers might think they can turn a big profit without having to do much. But agents say that’s not the case.

“The houses that are flying off the market are the ones that are done nicely,” says Mrs. Riley. “When you have a house where you forgot about the front yard, that sets the tone. People aren’t going to want to pay top dollar.”

According to Zillow, 51% of homes sold for above asking price in July 2021. “Half of homes are selling at or below asking,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “That says you still need to do all the fixes to appeal to the most number of buyers.”

Compass broker Robin Kencel recommends sellers consider the experience from when a buyer parks their car until they reach the front door. “I’m a believer, as Barbara Corcoran says, that in the first eight seconds, you know if you’re going to buy a house.”

That was the case for one of Ms. Kencel’s clients, who is listing her Greenwich, Conn., home for US$8.995 million. When she bought it 46 years ago, she didn’t have to step inside—the front door screamed “welcome.” While preparing to list, she painted it a French blue, in the spirit of the original color.

“The front door reflects an owner’s personality,” says Cara Fox, owner and lead designer of The Fox Group, a design-build firm based in Salt Lake City. A solid wood door exudes formality and privacy, while a Dutch door, with its windowed top that opens separately—a style Mrs. Fox and Ms. Kencel are seeing more of—is more casual and inviting.

Fresh paint is an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade a front door, but choose wisely. Bright primary colours are made for Instagram, but a 2018 Zillow report found that homes with charcoal or black front doors sold for $6,271 more than expected.

Mrs. Fox, who likes deep greys like Farrow & Ball Plummet and Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur for front doors, recommends a high gloss finish for darker neutrals. “It brings elegance,” she says.

Hardware and house numbers allow for expression. Mrs. Fox’s clients mix styles, like vintage backplates and Victorian knobs on modern doors, and colour-coordinated address plaques.

Architect Robert Hutchison says it’s also important to focus on an entrance’s progression. “We like to prolong the entry experience, rather than make it an abrupt transition,” he says. “The aim is to create something layered with a sequence of spaces.”

Mr. Hutchison used seating and planters along the front stairs of a Seattle home he worked on. For one Greenwater, Wash., house, he built a hidden inner courtyard beyond the entry wall. “It’s about connecting back to the city, the site and the landscape,” he says.

Blythe Yost, CEO of online landscape design company Tilly, says that foundation planting helps connect a home with its surroundings. “It’s what’s directly across the front of your house,” she says. “It knits it to the landscape. A house without foundation planting looks a little naked.”

A few perennial shrubs can help frame the door, but Ms. Yost recommends creating a layered look that’s higher in the back, with mid-size plants in the center, and a ground cover that spreads out in front. “It gives the landscape a richness that a single or double row can’t do.”

She warns against making a front garden “look perfect at every moment.” Instead, plant something—like bulbs that bloom in early spring or a flowering tree that dazzles every May—to create a landscape that’s “really awesome at one point in the season — something your neighbours will remember.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: September 23



MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Property
Hotel experience at home in Castle Hill
By KANEBRIDGE NEWS 22/05/2024
Property
Why living 80s style would mean we’d need 1.2 million fewer homes
By Bronwyn Allen 21/05/2024
Property
The Properties High Interest Rates Can’t Touch
By CAROL RYAN 20/05/2024
Hotel experience at home in Castle Hill

A new development in the Hills District sets a new standard in buyer expectations

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Wed, May 22, 2024 3 min

Castle Hill is set to be home to a new hotel-like development, with the announcement that the 94-apartment Astrid site is just weeks away from completion.

While the penthouse apartments across the two buildings have already been snapped up, there are still one, two and three-bedroom residences on offer. The development comes with a gold star iCIRT rating, guaranteeing it has met quality construction standards. The iCIRT rating system has been developed by Equifax in partnership with government, industry and market and rates projects from one to five stars following a rigorous and independent review process.

Steve Harb from developer CBD Core, said it’s the best indicator would-be buyers could have that their investment is safe.

“The iCIRT rating gives people the assurance that we’re trustworthy and have integrity as a developer,” he says. “Our service is complete from start to finish, from developer to builder. 

“As a buyer, you have one point of contact, there’s no shifting responsibility or passing the buck so if anyone has an issue, it can be sorted out as soon as possible.”

He said Astrid has proved popular with locals interested in upgrading without leaving the convenience and amenity of the Hills District. Surrounded by some of the best restaurants, clubs and recreational facilities in the area, it is also just six minutes’ walk to the new Metro station and a seven-minute drive to Castle Towers Shopping Centre. Schools and tertiary education options are also within an easy drive. In addition to some of the best parks and reserves in Sydney, it’s an attractive option for families on the move.

Mr Harb said the concept for the development, as with all his projects, was to create a hotel-like environment.

“I only do boutique projects and when I say ‘boutique’, I mean hotels without the concierge,” he says. “The quality and integrity is built into it.”

The infinity edge pool is surrounded by leafy gardens in a resort-style environment.

Leisure facilities include rooftop gardens and entertaining spaces as well as a fully equipped gym on the ground floor overlooking an infinity edge pool surrounded by lush landscaped gardens. Mr Harb says beautiful landscaping is a signature of all his developments.

“I have lived in the Hills District for more than 15 years and the reason I live here is because I love the leafy environment, the greenery,” he says. “I always like to emphasise that in my developments with strong landscaping.”

WORK FROM HOME HUB

Recognising the ongoing desire to adopt a hybrid working model, Astrid provides a dedicated on-site working environment suitable for exclusive use by residents needing focused work time, as well as those seeking professional meeting rooms to receive clients, with wifi enabled work desks, as well as more casual seating. 

Mr Harb said the pandemic taught him that, while working from home was convenient, having breakout spaces within a wider residential development was highly attractive.

“You’re not stuck looking at the same four walls,” he says. “The shared work space at Astrid has comfortable lounges, chairs, coffee tables and more than a dozen cubicles,” he says. “It’s more like going into a meeting room in a hotel.”

The apartments are characterised by light-filled interiors.

IN RESIDENCE

The apartments are light-filled living spaces with seamless access to balconies, through to integrated joinery secreting storage. Finishes have been chosen to last, from the Michael Angelo Quartz benchtop and Char Oak Polytec Ravine joinery in the kitchen to the stone splashback and custom-made joinery in the bathroom.

Access throughout the buildings is via a swipe card, providing a secure environment. 

For more information, see Astrid Castle Hill.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Money
Boost for World Economy as U.S., Eurozone Accelerate in Tandem
By JOSHUA KIRBY 25/05/2024
Lifestyle
Anger Does a Lot More Damage to Your Body Than You Realise
By SUMATHI REDDY 24/05/2024
Money
Young Australians cut back on essentials while Baby Boomers spend freely
By Bronwyn Allen 24/05/2024
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop