Three Ways To Give Your Home’s Curb Appeal A Boost By Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors, The Doyle Team

Homeowners only get one chance to make a first
impression. That is one chance to impress potential buyers,
family, friends and neighbors with the first thing they see:
your home’s exterior.
From simple upgrades to meticulous landscaping projects
and replacing an outdated roof, there are dozens of
options to enhance the appearance of your home’s exterior.
Improvements do not need to break the bank or take a
year to complete. By focusing on three simple areas, you
can change the entire look of your home that you will
appreciate every time you pull into
your driveway.
1. Landscaping
The key to curb appeal is balancing
what makes you happy with what works
in your community. Take a moment to
observe the types of trees, plants and
flowers in your surroundings and look
for ways to incorporate them into your
yard.
Planting flowers is one of the easiest,
most cost-effective ways to make an
impact. Flowers along the sidewalk, in
front of the house, inside flower boxes,
pouring out of hanging baskets, or even
in berms and raised garden beds, provide a giant boost to
your curb appeal. Exercise your creativity by combining
plants of different height, texture and color in the same
container. By sticking to perennial plants native to your
environment, you will not have to worry about replanting
every year.
2. Roofing
Redesigning the style and color of your roof is a dramatic
and effective strategy for improving curb appeal. Your
roof accounts for 50 percent of your home’s exterior.
Updating the shingles on your roof is going to make a huge
impact on the overall appearance of your home – take
advantage of it.
Start by evaluating roofing choices for compatibility with
your existing siding as well as the style of your home. If
your home has a busy exterior with more than one
contrasting color, try adding a classic color. If you go with a
shingle that resembles the color of wood and a wood-like
appearance, it will complement nearly any exterior paint
color.
If your home’s exterior is a more
neutral shade, try adding a vibrant
colored shingle to stand out in your
neighborhood.
3. Paint
Whether you are updating your color
scheme or applying a fresh coat,
painting is an easy way to update your
home’s look from the street in a big
way. Depending on your budget, this
project can be big or small. To make
the most significant impact, consider
painting the entire house. This will bring
new life to paint that has lost its luster
or possibly a new palette of color to incorporate into your
yard. Although this project can call for a larger investment,
the result will pay off in the end.
If your budget is more limited, focus on the areas that catch
the eye. Give shutters and trim a fresh coat of paint, or
paint the front door a bright shade of red or blue.
You do not have to make a large investment to make a
large impact. Focusing on key areas of your home’s
exterior will refresh the entire appearance of the home
and provide a facelift that is within your reach.

Lisa Doyle, TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Real Estate, Real Estate in San Ramon, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

Buying With Foresight By Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

Pundits and professionals can not
agree on the state of real estate
markets and how fast prices are
moving up, but if you are sure you
want to become a homeowner, or to
sell and move into the next “best
place,” make a plan.
This is not the time to get in over
your financial reality or to go against
obvious warning signs in your local
real estate market. This is the time to
take a close look at exactly what is
more uncertain than usual, and how
you can protect yourself against
often-overlooked real estate
problems.
Part of buying with foresight is to
search out the most knowledgeable,
committed real estate professional,
with proven experience with the
location and type of real estate you
want to buy and/or sell. Dig deep
into their knowledge base with your
questions to see where value lies for
you. Once you have selected your
real estate professional, use them to
learn about local market and sales
patterns for the past few years. With
professional advice you will be an
active force in making an informed
decision about your real estate needs.
If you are confident you want to move
forward in the buying process,
consider these when making your
plan:
1. No such thing as a sure thing.
Whenever you, or anyone you rely
on, think they know for sure what is
happening in the real estate market,
you are in trouble. Everyone is smart
about real estate in hindsight.
Beforehand, success with real estate
is less about knowing you are right,
and more about foresight – taking
steps to be sure you are not proven
dangerously wrong after the deal.
Be reasonably sure going in – more
sure, than unsure – and cover your
financial vulnerability. Then, you have
got a good chance things will work
out and that you can recover quickly
if they are off a bit.
2. Truly local real estate. Online and
off, economists and real estate
pundits make sweeping statements
about “the real estate market.” Some
identify the location their statistics
refer to; others speak in sweeping
regional or national terms. Either
way, these experts speak in
generalities. You must deal in
specifics – a specific real estate
property. In reality, the real estate
market is as local as one side of the
street over the other, or one end of a
street over the other; one
condominium building over another,
or condominium floor over another.
The more you learn about the specific

side and end of the street you want to
buy on, or about the specific
condominium building or floor where
you want to live, the better off you’ll
be. What happens to real estate
prices in your preferred neighborhood
and community may be very different
from what economists are generalizing
about.
3. Invest, do not go for the win.
Multiple offers and bidding wars are
“no win” situations for buyers. The
“winning” buyers have not won,
because they are not investing in real
estate, they are spending on emotion.
Keep your emotional distance from
real estate until you own it.
4. Beyond being pre-approved.
Before you plan to buy, talk to a
mortgage broker about exactly how
much money you can borrow and what
that will cost you. Also discuss the
range of contract terms, like early
repayment, that are offered by
various lenders in the area. Not only
do you want to understand what you

will be pre-approved for, but you also
want to know what that mortgage will
cost you each month and each year in
interest. Thanks to computers, these figures
are easy to calculate. These figures
will give you a clear idea of how tight to
your buying maximum you can go for
long-term value. Living “house poor” is
not easy, but getting into this situation is.
5. Inspect inspectors. Too often a home
inspection is a last minute, “merely a formality”
detail. Buyers pay for this sloppy
approach after they move in and unreported
problems pop up. Start your list
of inspection questions now. What do
you need to know to make the most of
all eventualities, positive and negative?
Arrange questions by room or function,
so you can cover all your concerns while
you go through the inspection. Be there
with your measuring tape, camera, and
flashlight to discover problems before
they get expensive. Bring your contractor
if you plan renovations, so you can
get two professional points of view at
once. Check the inspection guarantee to
learn if you have any recourse if the inspector
is wrong (usually little). Search
out a reputable, knowledgeable inspector
beforehand.
6. Must haves. Know why you must have
your “must haves.” If granite counters
and stainless steel appliances are in
fashion, that does not make them “must
haves,” just current cosmetic fads. “Must
haves” should be features and benefits
of the property that withstand fashion.
Location is still the prime “must have” as
it cannot be changed.
7. Parking is a plus. However you feel
about cars, invest in real estate with
parking. In most areas, parking is a valuable
commodity. Onsite parking makes it
easier for visitors and gives you more
room to spread out.
8. Once is not enough. Arrange for a
second visit so you can see how accurate
your first impression was. Bring a contractor
or knowledgeable friend, so you
can look beyond staging to see the true
pros and cons of the real estate. Measure
to see if your furniture will fit and to
estimate replacement costs for flooring
or drapes if you did not do that earlier.
You will probably notice things you
missed the first time. Hopefully, this will
make you like the property more so an
offer will be the next step. If problems
are now visible, you have saved yourself
some serious buyer’s remorse.
It is your choice to buy with foresight
or experience remorse in hindsight.

Lisa Doyle, TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Real Estate, Real Estate in San Ramon, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

Lisa Doyle, TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Real Estate, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Real Estate, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship, 409 Deerhill Drive San Ramon