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Improve Your Home's Appearance and Property Value

This article was submitted by the ARB (Davis Lake Architectural Review Board)

Dear Davis Lake Residents
As members of the ARB, two of our biggest concerns in Davis Lake are: the aesthetics (beauty) and values of our homes. Davis Lake is a 15-year-old neighborhood. We don’t want to be an “old neighborhood”; we want to be an “established neighborhood”. There is a big difference in the real estate market. This year, we are at a critical point with the money we all have invested in our homes. We have the new Lowes Food (anchor store) mall opening soon right down the street-on Davis Lake Blvd, 485- which will put Davis Lake inside the beltway, North Meck HS, Alexander and David Cox for schools, the new shopping mall being built at the Harris Blvd and 77 intersection, and many other wonderful amenities. These are all major and positive selling points for Davis Lake and SHOULD increase our home values.

However, one of the biggest problems we face in Davis Lake is the aging factor of our homes, and we are concerned that some owners are not properly maintaining their homes. Without maintaining your home and keeping it “up to date” and attractive, we all lose money when a house sells low. Most of us can’t afford to be in that situation. The ARB has spent a great deal of time talking with local realtors from different companies, and they have all told us the same things that we can do to raise our home values. Below is a letter the ARB received after one of these meetings with one of these realtors. We thought it was worthwhile sharing with you all. 
The Davis Lake ARB

Letter shared with the ARB by a local real estate agent
Dear ARB,

After our meeting last week, I thought it maybe having this in writing would be helpful to you with your efforts to increase your home values in Davis Lake.

Improving Property Values in Davis Lake

As I meet with sellers in Davis Lake neighborhood who are trying to sell their homes often they are surprised at the lack of appreciation in Davis Lake. Below is a summary of comparable neighborhoods for 2004.

Neighborhood   # Sold 2004  Avg. Sales Price    Avg. Sq. Ft.  Avg. $ per SF

Davis Lake          55 homes      $183,675              2363SF             $77.73

Leacroft              30 homes       $166,991               2114SF             $78.99

Wellington          31 homes       $152,543               1987SF              $76.77

Highland Creek   235 homes     $204,726             2093SF              $83.66

Brookstone          8 homes         $240,025              3050SF              $78.70

Cheshunt              33 homes      $164,047              2418SF               $67.84

Some of you may be surprised at how far below Highland Creek you actually are. Let’s discuss what you, as owners need to do to avoid becoming the neighborhood next door. These are the significant issues that hurt the property values in Davis Lake.

  1. Masonite - The majority of homes in Davis Lake have Masonite siding. Continual maintenance of Masonite is necessary. Masonite siding needs to be painted every 5-7 years. Be careful when you repaint your house. Some colors bleed through. For example if you paint your currently blue house gray, it may fade to lavender. Taupe on top of pink looks PINK. The classic colors of beige and white are usually safe colors that are liked by most buyers. Don’t aim for that splash of color by painting your shutters turquoise or purple. Ask the ARB for approval before you paint. They are not out to stifle your creativity. They are there to protect the property values of your neighbors.
  2. Wood Trim – The worst thing that happens when you pull up to a house with buyers in your car, is to see rotted trim, especially around windows and the garage. Wood trim needs to checked for deterioration annually. Any rotted areas need to be replaced and repainted. Paint your trim more often than your siding. It will save you money in the long run.
  3. Roofs – Many of Davis Lake homes are reaching 15 years old. Some will need new roofs, but did you know that roofs can be cleaned to remove some of the staining and mold that accumulates on roofs? Some houses have more staining than others based on the number of trees on the property, and the angle of the sun on the roof throughout the day. Cleaning your roof gives the home a fresher, better-maintained appearance. If you don’t have any roof leaks it may be a good idea to have your roof professionally cleaned to freshen up your curb appeal.
  4. Mailboxes and posts – The first thing you notice when you drive through a neighborhood are mailboxes. Some neighborhoods with the white posts look terrible because no one has painted them in ten years. Davis Lake does have a nice look, with the uniformity of mailboxes and the fact that most of them are well maintained. Maintaining your mailbox and post gives your home good curb appeal. If your mailbox post has wood root all over, it needs to be replaced with a new “regulation” one, and painted. Same with the mailbox, if it is rusted and broken, replace it!
  5. Landscaping – Most yards in Davis Lake are now mature, but annual aeration helps to keep your lawn healthy. Seeding and strawing annually can help to fill out a thin yard. Shrubs growing over the front windows take away from the curb appeal of the house. Keep your bushes and shrubs well manicured and below the windows. By doing so, it keeps your house looking more like a new house and opens up the look of your house.
  6. Lighting – The newer homes seem to have more silver and nickel fixtures versus the gold and brass fixtures of ten years ago. It is very difficult to compete with new construction when every light fixture in the house is dated. Update your lights both inside and outside of your home!
  7. Wallpaper – Most buyers do not want the big job of taking down dated 15-year-old Laura Ashley wallpaper that is in the kitchen and every bathroom. If you are planning on selling, remove wallpaper and neutralize, neutralize, neutralize.

Sometimes I meet with sellers and I tell them that they have a beautiful house and I can’t give them a thing to do to improve it. Unfortunately, then I look next door and see a house desperately in need of painting and landscaping. Buyers look not only at your house, but at your neighbor’s house as well. It is very difficult to give sellers feedback that the potential buyers loved your house, but they are concerned about how the neighbor’s house looks. A strong homeowners association equals property values that increase. As residents, you all need to support the volunteers that provide their time and expertise to improve your neighborhood. Let’s all work together to improve the property values by maintaining the homes in Davis Lake. It’s a benefit for everyone!

Page was last updated on:  February 24, 2005 1:19 PM