Best Impressions Enhancing Your Curb Appeal

 As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first  impression, and for co-op and condo homebuyers, that first impression is almost  always the view from the street. No matter how deluxe the accommodations inside, if the property’s exterior is less than desirable, a buyer’s mind is often made up before they enter the front door—if they even bother to go that far.  

 Especially in times of economic stress, housing associations and residents are  compelled to maximize the curb appeal of their property in order to compete in  a market that still has a long road to recovery ahead. While this need not cost  thousands of dollars, it's a little more complex than just planting some  geraniums and calling it a day. How your building or association presents  itself to passers-by and the world at large—it's curb appeal—has a direct effect on resident morale, pride of ownership, and even property  values. Let's take a look at how to spruce up your property without paying  through the nose.  

 Judging a Book by Its Cover

 What someone sees on the exterior almost inevitably leads them to make  assumptions on the state of the building inside. While a balcony and hardwood  floors may have attracted a prospective buyer to an apartment, the facade and  front door of the building itself may turn them away. If the awning is faded  and tattered, and the outdoor planters are strewn with cigarette butts, they  may rightfully question the condition of the apartment they are thinking about  purchasing as well as the attitude of the board and property management team as  a whole.  

 “Curb appeal is no different than when you go into a job interview,” says Howard Freilich, president and CEO of Blondie's Treehouse, a landscape  design company headquartered in Mamononeck with offices in Manhattan. “When you walk in and you're competing with lots of people for a job, the first  impression is a very lasting one. Same thing with curb appeal, there is no redo  or second shots. Someone will look out the cab and say, 'I like it or I don't  like it.' Because there is so much inventory and competition in the city, you  get one look—so make it a good one.”  

 “Curb appeal absolutely sets the tone for the entire building image,” says Marilyn Sygrove, president of Sygrove Associates Design Group Inc. in  Manhattan. “Number one, how well the building is maintained, how current the materials and  design are, and it gives you a sense of quality of the building. If you are in  the competitive real estate market and your snow is shoveled, the door hardware  is shiny and the glass is clean...that is the image that you want to project in  a well-run, well-maintained building.”  

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