When it comes to purchasing a unit in a condominium, co-op or homeowners’ association, everyone is rightly concerned with square footage, baths, beds, kitchen aesthetics—all of the hallmark bells and whistles. But before a potential buyer can be sold an apartment, they have to get inside the building. This is where the idea of curb appeal comes in. Regardless of the quality of the end-product, people tend to evaluate the packaging. The nicer a property looks from the outside, the more optimistic the shopper will be once they’ve crossed that inner threshold.
As buildings come in all shapes and sizes, curb appeal can take many forms. Such things as window décor, entryway flourish, and shrubbery can all play their part. But regardless of what one has to work with, a little care and maintenance can go a long way toward maintaining the value of a property, and assuring a return on investment when it’s time to sell.
What constitutes curb appeal can run the gamut, as what one tends to notice about a walk-up in the big city varies from that of a towering residential skyscraper or a suburban townhome. The commonality in encouraging curb appeal is an awareness of what makes a property unique and really making that pop.
“Curb appeal encompasses landscaping, snow removal, and the condition of the exterior, including the paint, doors, and entryway,” explains Rebecca Thomson, Vice President of Agent Development with @properties, in Chicago. “While curb appeal impacts first impressions, it isn’t as crucial in an urban area where other factors like location, proximity to public transportation, building amenities, view, and layout tend to be the drivers in a home search.”
That said, those first impressions are important, and certain considerations can be of help. “In general, a building should have a clean sidewalk, polished brass poles, refinished wood/metal doors, fresh-looking awning, and manicured flower beds, depending on the season,” suggests Georgia Lombardo-Barton, President of Barton Management, LLC, in New York City. “There is a good amount of sprucing up that can be done to render a building’s curb appeal inviting.”