This is one of real estate agents' favorite terms. What does it mean? Judging a book by its cover? First impressions?
The real estate agent stops to show you a triple fronted brick with one scrawny lemon tree in center of front lawn. Don't bother stopping!
Another house has a gate that barely opens fully because of the “garden”! The house has two living areas you feel are essential, it is unusual and quirky: you like that! The garden is overgrown and house unusual but has potential to redesign into something very intriguing and lovely.
A really neat tidy, manicured lawn and gardens: roses blooming, fruit trees laden with fruit: This look fabulous! Stepping inside the house is beautifully painted but cold, tastefully furnished and decorated but dark, looking through bedrooms, kitchen, you see the sun streaming into the bathroom and laundry!
Curb Appeal misrepresents the real house's appeal or otherwise, the livability of the house for you and your family. You gain the impression of the house standing on the street for moments only while being anxious to get inside and look about. First impression is quickly and rightly forgotten.
Once through the gate, up the path inside the front door, you gather much more important information such as the way the plan will function for you, where the sun is for solar benefits, how large the outdoor area is, how well established the garden is, how the neighbours houses impact this one, what appliances, fittings and fixtures are included. The street look of the house is of no importance: it is a glimpse of a house but nothing to do with comfort, style, suitability for your family, aesthetics, solar advantage.
The lemon tree could do well if fed and watered but the house may need more serious attention to modernise and add comfortable living, enticing private garden, comfortable aesthetics, inside and out. It may be just the project you have been looking for to exercise your renovating skills.
The first purchase of a machete for the overgrown garden, you can see the plan will be very practical for your family but most importantly the northerly aspect is evident: you can see this “interesting” property has huge potential for solar advantage.
The house that looks so fantastic has no comfortable areas in which to live and no easy way to create it.
Street appeal might entice or repulse you but it is of no importance in the overall workability of the home you want for your family for years to follow. The comfort for your loved ones should not be dictated in a mere moments glimpse.
Margot Kirke is a qualified architectural drafts person with a passion for practical living, making the best use of space and use of natural light and warmth.