Friday, July 3, 2015

Curb Appeal - Ninja Style!

Summertime is the favorite time of year for most people. The days are longer and there are many interesting activities to stay entertained. Kids are home from school and everyone enjoys as much family time as possible.

For the owner trying to sell a house, the summer can be very challenging due to these distractions and also because families tend to book vacations while the kids are available. Getting buyers to continue to come and visit is of utmost importance.

So what is a seller to do?

Luckily in most parts of the country, people tend to be out and about more often in summer. This gives the potential seller more opportunities to attract attention. 

Last time we looked at some of the basic ways to increase curb appeal, such as cleaning, pruning and other basic yard maintenance. Now it is time to take it up a notch! But before you get out the banners, balloons, loud music and your collection of lawn ornaments, let’s take a look at some other ways to attract attention to your house using some Ninja curb appeal tricks!

The Lawn

If your lawn is a prominent feature of your yard, it is important to keep it in fantastic shape. Feed it, water it as much as permitted and most importantly of all, re-seed bare spots with the same type of grass seed!

Most people tend to cut their lawns very short so that they can mow it less often. There are two major problems with this:

  • A short lawn dries faster and in areas of drought, this can be an added challenge to keeping a lush lawn.
  • It also damages the root system because the roots are more exposed to light and heat. In the long run, this causes an unhealthy lawn.
  • A short lawn encourages weed growth because there is more sun on the soil.

The Solution?

Knowing your specific type of grass and its optimal minimum and maximum growing height is important. Cut no more than one third of its height to keep it healthy and full. If you need to mow more often, then do so!

The Ninja Trick?

Get creative with your mowing.  Rather than cutting round and round till you’re done, cut on the diagonal and create those lovely patterns that you see on professional fields. 

Google grass cutting patterns and look at some images. Some even give instructions on how to do the cutting.


Flowers are an important part of curb appeal.  Where ever it is possible to add flowers in your yard, it is another opportunity to attract the eye of a buyer.

Start right at the curb and add flowers. 

Create beds or groupings of contrasting colors, heights and textures. Plant them so they accentuate existing fencing. 

Keep the edges of the beds crisp and clean. Don’t let grass creep in and be generous with garden mulch. This will give the beds a finished look and discourage weeds.

If your landscaping isn’t suited to flower beds, add pots and planters along the walk way, or at the very least, at the entrance. 

Go as big as you can so that it adds dramatic impact.

Choose the containers wisely. Opt for ceramic planters that have a shiny glaze. This sparkle will attract the buyer’s eye too! 

Get bright colors that are suited to the character of your home and either get all the same color, or get assorted coordinating ones. 

Look to your paint job for inspiration, or consult gardening magazines to see what is trending.

The Ninja Trick?

Dare to be different! 

Take a look at what people are planting in your neighborhood. Are the flowers mostly red, pink or yellow? Probably so. 

Depending on where you live, opt for something different like white and blue. These colors work well together to create a dramatic cool effect. The additional advantage is that these colors also look great at night!


If you live in a neighborhood where every yard looks the same, consider adding an architectural feature such as an arch, stone bench or fountain. You can combine these with greenery or flowers or have them be a focal point all on their own.

Be sure to work them into the landscaping and not have them appear as though they were just dropped into place.

The Ninja Trick?

If you live in an area that is engaging in water conservation, a water fountain may be frowned upon. 

Even though the water is re-circulated, some people may view this as conspicuous consumption. 

If you already have a fountain and have stored it for this reason, consider using it as a planter! 

This will add wonderful dimension into your yard and be a great conversation piece!


Exterior lighting is such an important consideration to anyone selling their house. Even though the summer months have more day light, most buyers tend to visit in the evenings after work. Creating a welcoming lit environment will not only showcase your house’s great features, it will also put your buyers at ease.

There are so many options for creating inviting lighting apart from the traditional porch sconce. Solar lighting is an easy way to dress up your yard. Use them on paths or in flower groupings to create focus at night. Some are even strong enough to light trees.

If you can, add some fairy lights or lanterns to trees in the back yard that are visible from the front. This will invite the viewer’s eye to look deeper into your property and will create a festive environment. It is important to create a positive atmosphere and give a sense of the wonderful lifestyle that buyers will have once they buy your property.

You may wish to light candles and place them out on patio tables or stone fences. This is particularly useful if you live in an area with a lot of insects. Citronella is a great way to keep mosquitoes from eating your buyers alive!

The Ninja Trick?

If you do decide to use candles, pair them with shiny metallic objects such as vases, pitchers or goblets. This will reflect the light and give the impression of more candles and a magical glow!


The paint of your house does more than protect the construction materials. It is a great way to decorate and create interest.

Use accent colors on windows, railings and trim to create a coordinated interesting look. The best way to use paint if you have a limited budget is to paint the front door. Opt for something bold or different (watch out for that HOA!) to create impact.

The Ninja Trick?

This is not the time to experiment. Go drive around an exclusive neighborhood and find houses with the same major color (siding, brick, stone or stucco) as yours. Select one that appeals to you the most. See what accent colors they use and take pictures. Then adapt the colors to your house. You will have an expensive “designer look” without the price tag!

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t prepared, or if you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this summer, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. Contact me for details.

Next time we will take a look at how to know if your buyer will follow through. Until then, enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July!

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 
Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

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