When it comes to purchasing a unit in a condominium, co-op, or homeowners’ association, buyers tend to be (rightly) concerned with square footage, baths, beds, kitchen aesthetics – all of the fundamentals people look for in a new home. But before a potential buyer can be sold an apartment, they have to get inside the building. This is where the concept of curb appeal comes in. Regardless of the quality of a 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 flourishes, and greenery 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 is an awareness of what makes a property unique and really making those elements pop.
“Curb appeal oftentimes depends on the location of the property, and can be a matter of opinion,” says John Kadim, a portfolio property manager with Thayer & Associates, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “In most cases, a perfectly-manicured landscape with detailed hardscape features will draw that initial attention. In the case of a property without landscaped grounds, having convenient or upscale features – such as a video intercom system – will appeal to those who have interest in more innovative technological components.”
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.”