*By Keith Loria
Thanks to urban living and vintage tastes, front porches are once again in vogue as homebuyers add them to their must-have list. As porches continue to make a comeback, sellers are using them to their advantage in order to attract prospective buyers and even sweeten the deal.
Porches are typically architecturally unified with the rest of the house, using similar design elements as the rest of the structure. Some may even be integrated into the roofline or upper stories.
Since the front porch is the first thing a prospective buyer will see when they come to your home, it’s important to create a warm, inviting style. Not only will this enable prospective buyers to imagine themselves living within the home, they’ll also be able to picture themselves enjoying a warm summer breeze while sitting on the porch.
If your porch is old or run down, get it back into tip top shape by investing in a paint job. Be sure to sand away any rough spots as well. Once the porch itself has been fixed up, complete the look by getting rid of any old, dingy or rusty light fixtures. By replacing outdated fixtures with decorative lighting in classic designs such as black metal, bronze, brass or chrome, you’ll create a look that will appeal to the masses.
When it comes to adding life to your porch, stage it the way you would stage any other room within your home by incorporating the right mix of colors, textures, lighting and design accessories. Simply adding plants and a water fountain will go a long way toward creating a tranquil and inviting entryway. Don’t go overboard with decorations though, as you don’t want the porch to look cluttered, or have anything blocking the walkway.
Of course, no porch would be complete without a porch swing. Most people have probably thought about sitting outside, reading a book and enjoying a drink, at one time or another, and a porch swing provides the perfect place to do just this.
Plus, kids love porch swings, so this simple addition will get any children who come to see the house with a prospective buyer smiling before even going inside.
While antique looking wooden swings can set the perfect mood, don’t be afraid to go with a more modern 21st Century couch-like swing. If your porch is large enough, you may want to think about incorporating a rocking chair or double glider, as this will entice potential buyers to sit and imagine living in the house.
Porches with screens are also in demand since they keep bugs out, however, if your porch is screened-in, be sure the screen is clean before potential buyers show up. Some homeowners are going a step further by adding curtains to create a little more privacy. Curtains are also a great way to shade the sun from an area of the porch, making it even more enjoyable to sit and spend time outside.
A well thought out porch can be quaint and welcoming and can even be the deciding factor in someone purchasing your home, so be sure to use it to your advantage if you’re in the process of selling.