Here in the Northwest, we’re clearly blessed with beautiful mountains, water, views, etc. With that comes some topographical challenges when building homes, so we deal with far more driveway issues than most areas of the country…particularly if you’re looking for a home with a view. I was asked the follwing and thought I’d share my answer if you’re running into the same issue:
Question: We have a steep driveway, everyone loves the house, but… they don’t like the driveway. What is the best way to visually make it look more appealing?
Here was my Answer: The best (and least intimidating driveways) soften a steep slope with clean landscaping, walking paths, and quality landscape lighting. You could also add detail to the driveway itself with brick/concrete/etc. The goal is to make it a point of interest (a grand entrance to the home) rather than a challenge to navigate every time you come home. Think of Lombard Street in San Francisco (Click here if you’re not familiar). This would otherwise be an awful street that people would avoid if it weren’t so pretty and well maintained. Instead, it’s one of the most traveled roads in America and the road itself IS the destination.
If you have a driveway that has the potential to make an impression (whether that is positive or negative), remember that buyers want to be welcomed to their new home in an impressive way. They want their guests to be impressed too. Not everyone has a long, winding, sloping driveway – take advantage of the unique aspects and turn it into an impressive feature.
Branches and limbs scratching your car as you drive to the home probably don’t give a potential buyer the entrance they are hoping for. If the approach is narrow, open it up by trimming back trees and overgrown bushes. Clean your driveway from debris…you don’t want a driveway to look like a huge maintenance item to a buyer. Open sight-lines, neatly trimmed landscaping (think boxwoods, and colorful flowers can make the drive in to your home a joy.
You also want to address any other obvious concerns or issues. If the driveway slopes toward the house – make sure there is a plan for water run-off. If there are pot-holes…fill them. Another thing you could do is offer some sort of credit or driveway related incentive to address a specific concern (i.e. PrePaid snow shoveling for a year or a $5000 credit for driveway maintenance/future repaving, etc.).
I hope this is of help!
If you’re in need of an opinion on how to best list, present, and promote your home, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Ryan Halset, Real Estate Agent
Serving the Greater Seattle area and the Eastside