Thursday, 23 September 2021

The do’s and don’ts of first impressions

DO: use symmetry DON’T: leave your bins on show

DO: use symmetry

Rental properties probably need kerb appeal the most, if landlords are going to attract someone who appreciates looking after the property they live in.

This four-bedroom detached house in Sonning Common shows the impact of getting symmetry right — simple to achieve and very pleasing on the eye. Two sets of matching pots, twin lights, double front door, there’s even twin dormer windows, and the downstairs windows match in size and shape, too.

Chris Moorhouse, senior sales manager at Romans, said: “Look at your home from a visitor’s point of view. Improving the kerb appeal of a property will attract more viewings and therefore help you achieve the selling price you’re looking for.”

To rent with Romans at £2,600pcm plus fees. Call (01491) 526010 for more information.

DON’T: leave your bins on show

Ah, those unsightly though essential rubbish bins. OK, so the cracked drive and unsightly white box on the wall don’t help the overall look of this otherwise decent Henley property, but “bad bins” certainly don’t do much to recommend the inside of a house.

Across town in nearby Baronsmead, the owners of this three-floor townhouse have created a place to store their nasties. Karen Du Plessis of Robinson Sherston said: “It may seem silly, but just a little thing like creating a place to put your bins can make all the difference between buyers being convinced about a property’s potential.”

The house in Baronsmead is for sale with Robinson Sherston at £725,000. Call (01491) 411911 for more information.

DO: smarten up your frontage

Clean, quality paintwork, well-maintained thatch, looked-after borders, symmetrical pots and a nice, neat drive... the attractive approach gives you an idea of what to expect on the inside of this pretty thatched cottage in Cuxham bottom left), which is Grade II listed and comes with two bedrooms, two reception rooms, extensive gardens and a large summerhouse.

After all, somewhere that screams “we don’t care enough to look after our house” will put buyers off before they’ve even stepped through the (hopefully good-condition) front door.

James Butler, sales manager at Hamptons, said: “In today’s competitive property market you need to make sure your home stands out. You often only have one chance to give potential buyers the right impression; whether they’re driving past your home, scrolling through properties online, or they’ve received a property alert from your local estate agents.”

For sale with Hamptons at £575,000. Call (01491) 572215 for more information.

DON’T: forget your garage

This row of link houses in central Henley is a prime example of how things on show can easily get overlooked.

“You may have concentrated on creating a pretty front garden, but if there’s something sitting directly next to it which is a bit of an eyesore, nobody will even notice your planting efforts,” said Philip Booth of Philip Booth Esq.

“You need to make the most of your property’s approach. Garages are functional and will always be valuable commodities — particularly in a town where parking is at a premium. However, don’t neglect your garage and leave it unloved and unattractive. The current market is a competitive one and therefore kerb appeal has to be one of the most important factors when considering selling your home.”

This garage at a house in Streatley shows what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

Tim Sherston at Jackson-Stops & Staff said: “It’s always good to see that the owners of a property have spent as much care and attention thinking about the garage as they have about the house itself, and with Ashdown House that is certainly the case. The detached garage reflects the striking style of this five-bedroom, late Victorian house and offers that all-important kerb appeal — it whets the appetite of anyone coming to view and the presentation of the house and gardens certainly don’t disappoint.

“You can of course use a garage in the traditional way and keep your car in it, although more and more you’ll find the garage has become that little home-from-home escape, offering the man-cave or even the she-shed, escaping the hustle and bustle of a busy family life, which this home can certainly offer.”

For sale with Jackson-Stops & Staff in Goring at a guide price of £1,700,000. Call (01491) 871111 for more information.

DON’T: underestimate the impact of a decent drive

Forget cheap-looking Tarmac or stained paving with weeds in the cracks. This four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in Henley’s Berkshire Road shows just how to do it well.

For sale with Philip Booth Esq at £800,000. Call (01491) 635343 for more information.

DON’T: Neglect your approach

When you live somewhere for a long time you may become immune to how things look when visitors first approach your house.

Oliver Symons at Ballards in Henley said: “You only have one chance to make a first impression and smartening up with fresh paint and power washing makes a big difference. It could mean a buyer seeing your road as desirable or not.”

This entrance to Ancastle Green in Henley shows an opportunity missed.

Kellie Hinton, from local group Henley in Bloom (HIB), said: “At Henley in Bloom we stand for ‘Greener Streets, Better Lives’ and are trying to improve grot spots like this one.”

HIB recently completed a successful project in nearby Gainsborough Road where the residents, who created their own association, got involved and tidied paths, cleaned and weeded kerbs and roads.

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