Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/30/2018

Let's face it – maintaining a pristine front yard and beautiful garden can be a lot of work. As such, you may look to a landscaping company for help, especially if you intend to list your house soon.

A landscaping company can help you improve your house's curb appeal. And if your home boasts amazing curb appeal, you may be able to increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable house sale.

When it comes to selecting a landscaping company, there's a lot to consider. In fact, some of the questions that you'll want to think about before you make your final decision include:

1. What types of services do I need?

Hiring a landscaping company to mow the front lawn every two weeks is different than employing a landscaper to overhaul your back lawn. Thus, you should consider exactly what you want from a landscaping company to ensure you can find a landscaper that can fulfill your requests.

Of course, it never hurts to reach out to a landscaping company to find out what types of services are available. This also will enable you to receive immediate responses to any landscaping concerns or questions.

2. Does a landscaping company offer services that fall within my budget?

A landscaping company will ensure that you won't have to worry about completing lawn maintenance tasks on your own. At the same time, you'll need to budget for a landscaping company's services.

Ultimately, it is beneficial to establish a landscaping budget. With this budget at your disposal, you'll know precisely how much you can spend to hire a landscaping company.

For those who want to find the right landscaping company, you should be ready to shop around too. If you search for a wide range of landscaping companies in your city or town, you're sure to find a landscaper that delivers the ideal mix of affordability and quality.

3. What are past clients saying about a landscaping company?

If you're on the lookout for a landscaping company, it generally is a good idea to gain firsthand insights into what it's like to work with a particular business. By analyzing client reviews, you can collect insights into a landscaper that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Oftentimes, you may be able to find client reviews about a landscaping company online. You also may want to reach out to a landscaping company and request client referrals. Because once you understand how past clients rate a landscaping company, you can make an informed decision about whether a landscaper is right for you.

As you get ready to sell your house, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent is happy to offer expert guidance as you search for ways to enhance your house's curb appeal. Plus, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the top-rated landscaping companies in your area and ensure you can get the help you need to differentiate your home from the competition.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 6/30/2017

When guests first pull up to your home, they take a visual survey of the property that they are entering. While they are excited to see you, they also want to feel at home in your space while they’re visiting. Below, you’ll find some ways to make your home one of the most welcoming on the whole block from the outside. 


Clear Clutter


There shouldn’t be any type of clutter on your front lawn. Clutter is a broad term. This can include hoses, lawn ornaments, toys, and other household items. You don’t want your front yard to become a catchall for everything that’s outdoor maintenance. These items should be put away in a garage or towards the side yard. Everything needs a proper place. Any of these items should be out of sight from the front view of your home.


Make The Entrance Welcoming


If you have some kind of a structure near your entryway, the home looks much more welcoming. This could include a covering over your front doorstep, a trellis, an arbor, or pergola. This helps to clearly define the main entrance and give the home an inviting feel.


Keep It Well Lit


The entryways to your home should all be well illuminated. Anyone entering the home at night should be able to see a clear path to the doorways. For decorative purposes, you should also try and highlight the features of your home that you like best such as statues or artful shrubbery.   


  

  Add Planters


Add a few planters to the front of your home. You can use large pots for a dramatic effect, or you can use several smaller planters such as windows boxes to really fill in the front of your home with greenery. For best results, vary the sizes of the containers that you choose to bring the eyes of those viewing the front of your home to several key focal points.     

Fix It Up


You should fix up the front of your home and leave it looking flawless. This will include repairing siding, retouching peeling paint, updating hardware, power washing the home, replacing lighting fixtures, and more. Even replacing or painting your front door and accompanying fixtures can bring on a brightening effect to your home.  


Clean Up The Driveway And Walkways

Few parts of our homes are as neglected as the driveway is. To bring about a great first impression of your home, patch up holes and dips in the asphalt. Even out the terrain if you have the resources to do so. Give the driveway a good cleanup including a sweep and a hose down. Your walkways should be cleared of debris and patched up as necessary as well. These little touches can make a big difference in the impression your home gives.




Tags: landscaping   front door  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/11/2016

One of the most forgotten tips for increasing a home's resale value is to look into installing an irrigation system.  So many people have their property professionally landscaped without realizing how much the selling price of their home will increase by installing a sprinkler system as well. After completing major landscape projects, or improving your lawn by planting grass seed, or laying sod, installing a sprinkler system ensures all your hard work is sustainable.  Along with routine maintenance and regular fertilizing, consistent watering is essential to maintain all of your shrubs, flower gardens and lawn.  Irrigation systems also help homeowners save time and money when it comes to watering all of these areas. Sprinkler systems really are a great investment. When installed by a professional contractor, the installation is a minimally invasive process. It is possible to install a sprinkler system yourself, however, it is best to go with a professional irrigation system technician when setting up a system for the very first time. Home irrigation systems are installed below the sod and under the gardens to evenly disburse water throughout your yard.   The water is carried from the water source, through the pipe system, and out through sprinkler heads that pop up through the ground.  The even distribution of water will give you much greener grass and provide a better level of care for your gardens. Regular sprinkler maintenance is a big part of making sure that your system will continue to work properly. Hiring a professional water irrigation company to inspect your system annually will ensure the lines and sprinkler heads remain in top working condition.  You can prevent floods from occurring on your lawn or other malfunctions by staying diligent to a care and maintenance program. The increase in value that an irrigation system adds to a home stems from the ease and efficiency it provides in maintaining the upkeep of your yard.  Sprinkler systems can be set to come on automatically at the appropriate time of day.  When setup correctly an irrigation system will provide excellent results while using the most efficient amount of water.  




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 11/13/2015

Many people would be shocked to realize just how much money they can unlock from their homes by performing some simple landscaping tasks. Enhancing the curb appeal of your home will also help increase its resale value. This can be accomplished by simply getting your hands dirty planting a flower garden or by hiring a professional landscape contractor. The investment put into your yard will be reflected in your homes listing price. Landscaped yards with a well groomed appearance, tend to be more appealing to home seekers. Yards with gardens that are uncared for, or property that has been left un-landscaped, can really detract from the look of your home and cause your resale value to take a bit of a nosedive. Taking the time to care for your yard and gardens is indication that you care about your home inside and out. An obviously well maintained yard will most definitely attract potential buyers. In order to inspire a potential home buyer to make an appointment to view your home, you need to have them like what they see on the outside first. Working on the exterior of your home and making sure that your yard is well kept will only work to your advantage. Your home needs to stand out, especially if it's facing other competition in your neighborhood. With just a little weekly maintenance you can keep your property looking great. A professional landscape contractor can also be hired to regularly cut your lawn, trim your shrubbery, and tend to your flower gardens. When taking on a landscape project, you should consider how long before you plan to sell your home and recapture your investment. If you aren't planning on selling for five or more years, putting in a vegetable garden or planting your favorite perennials would be fine. These projects would benefit your family and make your yard more appealing and enjoyable. However, if you are landscaping your property close to the sale, you should just focus on projects that increase the aesthetic appeal of your home. Keep your choice of plants, flowers, and stone work very neutral to attract a wider range of potential buyers. Your main goal is to have your home not only be a house a buyer wants to live in, but also a home your neighbors want to live next to!




Categories: Landscaping  


Posted by Donna Coffin on 8/1/2014

Selling a house is a stressful experience. You have to look at your home with the eyes of a potential buyer and, when you do, all those nicks, stains, scratches and worn finishes become glaringly obvious. The same thing happens when you look around your yard: all those flaws you've managed to ignore all these years suddenly become visible. There are many things you can do--with or without professional help--to fix up your property and get it ready for sale. Most people focus on the house itself; after all, freshly painted walls and steam cleaned carpets do make a big difference. But there's one area that's often overlooked--one that can make a big difference not only in attracting potential buyers but also in sales value. "Curb appeal": you've probably heard the phrase before. But what exactly is it and what can you do to achieve it? Curb appeal is evident in that first glance at your property: does it look well-kept, is it attractive, does it look like someplace your prospective buyer would like to call home? The first step is to take a walk around your property, looking at it as if you were a stranger. It can be very helpful to have your realtor take this inventory with you--a trained eye can make a big difference. Look for the obvious things first: bald spots in your lawn, overgrown shrubs, cracked steps, dandelions, piles of leaves and sticks. Make a list of everything you see. It may seem overwhelming and you may not have the means to take care of everything, but prioritizing will help. If you can afford professional help, all the better; if you can't, there are things you can do yourself to improve the appearance of your property. The following list will help: • Start with general yard clean-up: remove any branches, piles of leaves or dead plants. If you have a dog, make sure there are no "land mines" on the property. • Reseed and fertilize your lawn; make sure it's kept mown and watered at all times while you're trying to sell. Take an edger and neaten up where the grass meets walkways and foundation. If you have areas of dead grass, consider treating for grubs. And, get rid of those dandelions! • Trim overgrown shrubs, especially those close to your house. If you don't have any shrubs, consider buying a few. Even a small evergreen on either side of the front door can make a welcoming difference. • If you have flower beds, make sure they're free of weeds. Renew or add a layer of mulch around flowers, shrubs and any trees you have in your yard. Not only does mulch keep weeds down and help retain moisture in the soil, it makes the beds look neater. mulch comes in different colors: choose one that will complement your flowers and your house. If your yard slopes, a low stone retaining wall will not only hold the soil (and flowers) in place, but it will also make the bed look neater. • What about the approach to your house--do you have a walkway? If you do, it may need replacing. If you don't, now is the time to add one; even a few simple pavers between the driveway and the front door can make a difference. If you don't have a railing on your front steps, consider adding one. Make sure your front door is clean and in good shape. • Do you have a driveway? If you have asphalt, look for cracks and oil stains. If you have dirt, consider laying down some gravel or pea stone. • Fencing can make a big difference in your home's salability. People with young children or dogs will most likely want one for safety's sake. Privacy is another reason for fencing; it doesn't have to be a stockade fence--a few fast-growing evergreens like arborvitae can make a big difference. Aesthetics is another reason to edge your property. If your home is in a rural area, you may already--like many homeowners in New England--have a stone wall around your property. If so, check it for loose or fallen rocks. • If you don't have any perennial flower beds, consider planting some annuals. Flats of bright, long-lasting blooms like marigolds and impatiens are inexpensive and add to your yard's beauty. As with any plants, consider the growing zone in which you live. If you're purchasing shrubs or perennials, choose ones that are hardy and require little maintenance. If the soil has a high clay concentration, loosen it up and enrich it by mixing in some loam. • If you have a deck, you may need to power wash and re-stain or paint it. Check for loose support beams; sand any areas that feel rough and might produce splinters. If you have a patio, make sure it is free of weeds and cracks. Consider replacing a cement patio with slate or brick which not only look nicer but are easier to replace. • Check your outdoor lighting; replace the bulbs, remove any dead insects. If you don't have any, consider adding some. If you can't afford wiring, solar-battery stake lights are inexpensive. If your mailbox is battered or wobbly, replace it. It sounds like a lot to consider and there's no denying that selling your home can be a difficult thing on more than one level. You want the highest price you can get, however, and these things that add curb appeal will increase your home's value and can make the difference between someone who makes an appointment to look at your home and someone who drives by and keeps on going.