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Creating pleasant window views

Even if your home isn’t a “view property”, things can be done to enhance the attractiveness of windows and their views. Recently I was showing a San Jose home for sale to my buyers.  I was struck by the window in one of the bedrooms.  Have a look – what do you think?  Would you want to look out at this wall every day? It is not a cheerful and welcoming environment.

There are places in San Francisco, and probably other cities around the country, where homes are crammed in so tightly together that windows function only for light and air – not aesthetics.  But in Silicon Valley, that’s not usually the case.  What was the builder of this home thinking, to have a bedroom window look out only onto a wall?

This next photo is of a window which is very close to a fence. But please notice how different the whole look and feel is.

Window with a better viewAlthough a fence is close by, plantings on both sides of it provide some pleasant scenery.  Additionally, the window itself is given two treatments: both shades and curtains.  The color in the drapes helps to improve the scene too.

Admittedly, it’s a bigger challenge if the window’s view is of a wall which is 6 or 8 feet away and more so if it’s a 2nd story window. But what could be done to make this more attractive?

Here are some thoughts:

(1) If possible, plant something that will provide color – ideally a flowering vine or tree.  Some are not too wide and would provide a pleasant vista.

(2) Consider hanging a bird feeder, planter box or yard ornament outside of the window

(3) Stained glass window hangings could cheer up this gloomy space tremendously

(4) Instead of bland drapes, provide something with color

(5) Translucent blinds, in the closed position, would be more attractive but still let light in

Many homes don’t have challenges as big as this example, above, but could be better staged in terms of the window view.  If you want to put your home on the market and get top dollar, walk through your property and take in what a visitor sees from each window.  Ideally, you’d like to have the shades or blinds open and provide something pleasant to see.  Sometimes that’s not possible.  See what can be done to mitigate an unpleasant view while keeping the curtains open.

A few landscaping changes in your own yard (if you have a house or townhouse) can make a huge difference, often for a small cost.  Consider adding color.  Yards that are all green are not bad, but they don’t tend to warm hearts the way that a splash of color can.

Sometimes the 2 way blinds – the ones that can go down from the top or up from the bottom – can solve a lot of visual problems, such as ugly RVs, old cars, or messy yards on the lower part of the window or power lines or tall buildings on the higher end.

Still not sure what to do? Hire a great home stager to help you to make your home attractive, and make sure that you’re considering not just what’s inside of the home, but what visitors see when they look out through your windows and doors too.




Selling Your Silicon Valley Home? Photo Tips for Better Marketing

color-potsIf you want to sell your Silicon Valley home, you need a good amount of qualified traffic coming through your doors. That is, you want people who really do want to buy a home and who are capable of doing so to have a look at your condo, townhome or house inside as well as out.  Should the photos in the MLS and online be non-existent, scarce, or poor, those buyers may reject your home without ever seeing it.  It is imperative that your home’s photos nicely showcase your property so that buyers want to come and see more in person.

In this post I’ll share a few tips on how to make the front of  your home show well for the photos (and for in-person visits of real estate agents and home buyers), a few things to do or not to do.  This will help you even if someone else is in charge of taking the photos – you can properly set the stage before the photographer ever gets there.


Stage Your Silicon Valley Home Like Your Sale Depends On It!

Do you want or need to sell your Silicon Valley home this year? If so, you ought to take the staging of your home very seriously. Often homeowners hire a Realtor (or other real estate licensee), ask for their advice on preparing the house and yard for sale, and then proceed to disregard all or most of the guidance given.

Why do would sellers hire an agent and then not take the professional advice offered? Especially in THIS market? The result is frustrating for both the homeowner (who will not realize the best possible price) and for the agent (who cannot control the condition, but who is hampered in selling the home because of it).

To be candid, the odds are that you will not be able to sell your home in San Jose, Los Gatos, or Saratoga this year. Countywide, most homes are NOT selling. Actually, let’s look at the numbers for just a moment – you will see that it’s fairly sobering.

In the Cambrian Park area of San Jose (zip codes 95124, 95118 and a little of 95008), there are 241 single family homes and condos or townhomes for sale (the “active listings”). In that same district, just 109 are pending sales. This reflects about a 45% chance of selling.

In Almaden Valley, an upscale collection of neighborhoods comprising the 95120 zip code area of San Jose, it’s much worse. There are 121 houses and townhouses or condominiums for sale, and a mere 34 which are under contract to sell. The odds here are 28% that you’ll sell.

For Los Gatos (95032 and 95030), it’s 203 available vs 50 pending. Down to 24% opportunity to sell.

Saratoga (95070) has 152 active listings and just 33 pendings, or a 21.7% sales success.