I have to admit I have front porch envy. You see, out here in California, front porches are just not all that popular. Oh sure, you can find homes that do have them, but most newer homes do not. But if you do have a front porch or small area at the front of your home, know that could just be the very attractive space that helps sell your home. Think quaint, homey, and welcoming. I once previewed a home that had a Zen-like feel to it. The owner was a Realtor and she knew the importance of making every space -- no matter how small -- attractive. So she had lush plants, a water fountain, some soft lighting for the evening -- all amounting to a tranquil and inviting presentation and the result was a successful sale of her home.

Selling your home from the entryway is similar to the concept of curb appeal. The fact is, the front of your home (the garage, maybe lawn or other landscape) will be featured in still photos and maybe videos too that buyers can preview online. The front of the home is the area that buyers see when they drive by as they’re browsing neighborhoods. But the front porch or simply the entryway can be a way to really sell your home. Ideas to spruce up your porch don’t have to come from your neighbor’s yard, although that can be helpful; the idea is to make your home stand out.

One great resource to browse is Front-porch-ideas-and-more.com The site contains a wealth of information about getting your front porch in excellent shape. It also features before and after pictures that may just make you experience porch envy too. The owners of the site even write that "we once purchased a home just because it had a screened porch. And that was a terrific decision."

Here are a few tips from the Web site to help you increase the exterior appeal of your home before you place it on the market. You can think of decorating your front porch the way you would any other space in your home. That means bringing together colors, textures, lighting, plants, and maybe even the ultimate emotional appeal -- the porch swing as all part of the design.

Front Porch Ideas and More shows homeowners how they can use various colors to create a look for their front porch that matches the architectural style of their home. For instance, a cottage-style home might use colors such as medium blue, white, medium green, beige, pink, and cream. Can’t you just picture those colors combined on a cozy front porch outside of a cottage-style home with a picturesque garden? Very relaxing.

A Victorian home might use deep red, deep coral, deep green, plum, periwinkle blue, and yellow to create a bold statement on the front porch.

Using color can help you to actually reshape your porch and transform it from, say, a rectangular shape to a square by painting a section of the porch a different color. It gives the illusion that the porch takes on a new shape. Experiment and see how color changes the look and feel that buyers will have when they first walk up to your home or see it in a photo.

Just like outdoor living spaces in the backyard, front porches are featuring materials that at one time were more prominently displayed indoors. Some homeowners are using curtains to create a little more privacy or shade the sun from an area of the porch making it more enjoyable to sit and spend time on the front porch. Front Porch Ideas and More also says that screened front porches help to make the time spent on the porch more enjoyable (protecting from those pesky bugs). And if you’re building an entirely new front porch, there are often fewer code restrictions than you might have with a three-season porch, according to the Web site.

Creating an inviting design for your front porch not only helps your home photograph better but it also shows homeownership pride. In this market, boosting your home’s appeal helps with prospective buyer traffic, decreased market-listing time, and buyer satisfaction.

A broken-down, worn out porch conveys more than just the thought to the buyers, "This is going to cost me to fix it up". It draws concern that inside the home they should look out for more things needing a lot of repairs. So, if you’re putting your home on the market, go outside and give your front porch or entryway a good long look. If it looks tired and in need of repairs, fix it up and you’ll have a good chance of creating front porch envy in prospective buyers.

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