It is municipal election time and the campaign trail is being trod by many hopefuls; both new and seasoned alike are stepping up their platforms and giving their ideas to those who will listen.
I find it interesting how people will put their toe in the ring and see the persona they put forward right out of the gate. Some will pose a professional demeanour and some just have a ‘take me as I am’ kind of approach.
Our homes are a direct reflection of our ‘public persona’, whether it is within the walls of our private space or the face on the street, we are being watched and graded!
The random passer-by out walking their pup will eyeball the exterior of your home and come to a decision in a split second about you and all your relatives and friends with very little information.
A house that is in disrepair or has an unruly yard will encourage disdain and will enable some people to deem you as either bad or good people.
If this shocks you, it shouldn’t! I know we have all done this at one time or another.
It isn’t accurate and we rarely know the circumstances for why a person’s grass is longer than on the plains of the Serengeti yet we have all made a snap judgment on a quick outward appearance, haven’t we?
A home that is well cared for will draw approval out of us and we appreciate and wonder at the time taken and the attention to detail which is pleasing to our eye yet a poorly maintained property can give us license to assume the worst about people.
Everyone has a different idea of what well maintained looks like and I wonder if it is preferential or learned.
Let me share an example: when I was little we lived in a grand three-storey brick home which is just as charming as you think it might be.
My parents were meticulous about keeping things repaired yet the thing that sticks with me is the way my mom cut the grass away from the sidewalk.
She would use a shovel and cut a trench in between the sidewalk and the edge of our lawn which would trap the water run off and (in my mom’s opinion) just looked neat and clean.
Fast forward 40 (ish) years and here goes Kim trimming her lawn edge and purposely looking around at the neighbour’s to see who didn’t perform this obvious requirement of lawn maintenance.
Your best foot forward is your best public face.
It works on several levels by maintaining the value of your home and will make fans out of your neighbours as their property values will hold true if the surrounding properties look neat and trim.
You will be more well-liked by strange dog walking strangers and less people will drive by shaking their heads at the sight of your broken down and sad home.
If you take the extra time to excavate those gutters in your grass you can guarantee that I, Kim Wyse, will approve of your home and think that you are a good person and who wouldn’t want that?
Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.