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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Let’s Talk Numbers

We all know the importance of first impressions. A good first impression will last a lifetime – and bad one will last an eternity, regardless of what we try to do to change it later on. During my elementary years, as summer would come to an end, I remember shopping the aisles of Sears with Mom each August looking for back-to-school clothes. [Now, if we really wanted to make a good impression, wouldn't Marshall Fields been a better choice?...we'll save that one for later.]  She would stress to us the importance of making a good first impression and how we looked was critical for those first days of the new school year. After all, we could never change that initial first impression. We were going to have a new teacher and meeting new classmates. And, when we looked our best, supposedly, we felt our best and acted our best.  Mom always new best.

First impressions are critical in real estate, too. We’ve all heard how important “curb appeal” is in getting a home sold. HGTV has countless hours devoted to this very subject.  Sprucing up the paint and manicuring the landscaping will go a long way in creating a memorable impression. To make a real statement and set your home apart from the crowd, go beyond the paint and polish.

I’ve always been a numbers guy. Well, maybe not in the algebraic or mathematical sense as my formers teachers can surely attest, but in the geometric sense. A simple way of creating some immediate attention to your home and making a curb side statement is how you display your property’s address – It’s like the icing on the cake and they can show others there is attention to detail at this home. Updating the house numbers is a simple and inexpensive way of enhancing the curb appeal of your home. How you show your house address says a lot about your home.

I love to drive through the North Phoenix neighborhood of Paradise Gardens - not only for my intrigue with true mid-Century modern architecture, but because these homeowners understand what first impressions are all about. They show true attention to detail. Most of these homes were designed by legendary Phoenix area home architect, Al Beadle, in the 1950’s and in recent years, homeowners have carefully restored and updated these beauties, inside and out. The feather in the cap seems to be the house numbers. Take a look at how the house numbers are displayed and what it does to the curb appeal:

Some simple treatments, but they make a big impression.  Consider updating your house numbers – you can find some great inexpensive numbers on the Internet or at your favorite home improvement store.  An area metal, machine or welding shop will gladly help you formulate the idea. Consider mounting numbers in a creative fashion – perhaps vertically along a narrow pillar. Or, mount them on separate piece of material (wood, tile, metal) in an interesting shape - an oval, a triangle or square -  and then mount it to the home.  Maybe your home is more suited for some "yard art" - a boulder where your numbers can be mounted, or some iron work as some of these photos suggest. 

Many Phoenix area homes have been meticulously updated and renovated on the inside - I urge homeowners to finish the job.  Take the extra step and dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" by updating the house numbers.

If you have an address with just a few numbers (one to three digits) - be creative and spell them out....As for my own home, I went with large numerals mounted on a separate surface..  Mine are numerals from Arte's, my favorite Ace Hardware - they were then mounted vertically on a piece of slate tile, 16" x 16" set on a diagonal so it's diamond shaped.  I painted the numbers a plum color to match my front door. 

When thinking about your home, consider the contrast and lighting, and don’t be afraid to be bold and dramatic.

You don't have to own a mid-century modern home to dress up the curb appeal by working the numbers.  Your house numbers can create an exciting architectural element to the front of your home regardless of style.  What you do with your numbers can add up to a big first impression!

Next time your driving the streets looking at Phoenix area homes, pay particular attention to the house numbers.  You'll see some real dogs, but also get some very thoughtful ideas that may work for your home.

©2010 Tom Weiskopf, PLLC. Tom Weiskopf, PLLC is an AZ licensed real estate agent with John Hall & Associates serving the Phoenix area. For more information, Tom can be reached at (602) 953-4000 or via e-mail at

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