Commerce in Longview Tx

The economy in Longview is healthy. Despite a national downturn within the housing market Longview has been growing, and residential prices still rise. Some major sectors of the Longview economy include the East Texas Oil Field, services, technology, and manufacturing. In 2007, Longview added some major chain stores to its side . The addition of Kohl’s, two Starbucks, a replacement Target, a 3rd Walmart supercenter on the side , and a couple of hotels means Longview is becoming a regional hub for shopping. Keeping shoppers in Longview and faraway from Tyler, Dallas, and Shreveport has been a crucial strategy for the town . Most new construction has been located on the side around Hawkins Pkwy. and US 259, with lesser development on the side near Estes Pkwy.

In October 2007, Longview was recertified as a Texas Urban Main Street City. There are 89 cities within the Texas Main Street Program, 10 of them are Urban Main Street Cities. In December 2007, Longview was awarded the “Certified Retirement Community” designation by the Texas Department of Agriculture through its “Go Texan” initiative. Longview was also included in 2007 within the “Top 100 Best Cities for children .”

Longview is one among several cities in East Texas that is a middle for the “patent troll” industry, thanks to a perception that the us District Court for the Eastern District of Texas may be a favorable venue for violation plaintiffs.

The Longview Economic Development Corporation (LEDCO) is an economic development group managing economic development for the town of Longview. LEDCO was created by the voters of Longview in 1991 under the event Act of 1979 (Texas revised Civil Statutes article 5190.6 section 4A) for the aim of making and retaining primary jobs. The Corporation’s independent board of directors is appointed by the mayor and council . The Corporation owns two business parks in Longview with 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land. The Corporation’s website maintains information on available sites and buildings, demographic data, psychographic data, maps, aerial photographs, and a neighborhood manufacturing database.

Largest employers
According to the municipal financial year 2018-2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the highest employers within the city are:


  1. Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center
  2. Eastman Chemical
  3. Longview Independent School District
  4. Longview Regional Medical Center
  5. Walmart
  6. Trinity Rail
  7. City of Longview
  8. Pine Tree Independent School District
  9. Komatsu 604
  10. Gregg County

The Maxwell Team
1505 B Judson Rd
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 806-3207



Longview Convention Center

Maude Cobb Convention Center

The Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview Texas may be a 40,000 square ­foot facility with five (5) auxiliary activity rooms, a room box office along side registration and pre-function areas within the lobby. Amenities include PA sound systems, mounted projectors and screens, wireless internet access, electrical plugs along the perimeter walls and interspersed across the ground , portable staging units, catering kitchen, ample restroom facilities, glassed foyer with courtyard fountain, and covered portico entry. While the most Hall provides an open plan for tradeshows, concerts, weddings, banquets or trainings, the five (5) Activity Rooms and Eitleman room provide more intimate rental spaces for smaller events or breakout opportunities.


Maude Cobb (October 9, 1880 – October 29, 1964), was an industrious, genteel lady, sold newspapers at the post office corner in downtown Longview from the early 1930’s until her death in 1964.  She was a friend and an inspiration to everyone in Longview, from the richest millionaire to the roughneck who just arrived to start work in the oil field.

Her constant companion was her beautiful granddaughter, Cecile, who helped her sell papers.  From this humble beginning her granddaughter became an outstanding leader and benefactor in the business, cultural and civic life of Longview.

Only in the United States of America, which nurtures the freedom of individuals to work and accomplish, could such a facility as this be made possible through a grandmother and her granddaughter who sold papers only a few years ago.

The Maude Cobb Convention Center shall enhance the quality of life for all people in this community and shall be a focal point for all phases of cultural, civic, and community activities.  But most of all, it shall be an inspiration to present and future generations to follow the example set by Cecile Moeschle – to do something that will make this world a better place in which to live.

The Maxwell Team
1505 B Judson Rd
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 806-3207


Longview School District

Longview Schools district is one among leadership and innovation. We do not follow the trends in education, we set them.

Longview ISD is home to 8,400 students and 1,400 staff members, with our richly diverse student population from East Texas homes reflecting our wonderful city and therefore the East Texas area generally . But our academic offerings are even as diverse as our people, including everything from magnet public school STEAM campuses to project-based learning.

For our youngest students we recently built a $31-million state-of-the-art campus that houses the most important public Montessori program within the us . This year our Montessori program is expanding into the Ware Elementary campus, where it’s expected to grow into the East Texas Montessori Academy for grades 1st through 5th. this is often an elite, Montessori-style education freed from charge to the whole community.

Our district is one among the few school within the us that gives the esteemed International Baccalaureate Programme, with an increasing number of National Merit and GLOBE scholars. We lead East Texas in state TEA distinctions and dual-credit college hours earned, and every year we graduate more students to more prestigious universities than the other district within the region.

We are one among the most important employers within the city of Longview, and our staffers are among the highest-paid public school educators within the area. In July 2018 our Board of Trustees approved a 3 percent raise and step increase for teachers, which makes quite ten-straight years such a measure has been passed. Our district also offers the LIFT bonus fund for high-achieving teachers and campuses.

But that’s not all! Here’s an inventory of just a few of the foremost recent accomplishments:

• LISD schools earned 40 total distinctions on state accountability ratings, a rise from 34 earned last year, and therefore the highest within the region.
• annually many out-of-district students transfer INTO into Longview Independent administrative district , citing “education opportunities” as their reason.
• International Baccalaureate project partners with “We Help Two” and sells “funky socks” to assist supply legs and feet to amputees everywhere the planet .
• fresh partnership for innovation with East Texas Advanced Academies which can bring new funding and concepts to public education.
• Three campuses with national STEM certifications (Judson STEAM Academy, Bramlette STEAM Academy, and Ned E. Williams).
• Largest FREE public Montessori school (for 3-to-5 year-olds) within the Nation. Provided freed from charge to Longview area children.
• Partnership with Longview Chamber of Commerce to assist foster community partnerships and mentors for Ware students.
• Went totally ‘green’ on all building projects leading to a $200,000 award from SWEPCO for energy conservation
• Graduates matriculating to EMT, Cosmetology, welding, Culinary Arts, Meat and Butchering programs nationally.
• Eight-week Montessori training for other districts in Texas hosted by East Texas Montessori Prep Academy
• Award-winning Theater Arts program with a director who has been with the district for quite 50 years.
• Raising Highly Capable Kids parenting class in partnership with Longview Chamber of Commerce.
• Horticulture Program harvests own bee hives to sell honey, wax, and wax products at FFA shows.
• LIFT program annually paying out on the brink of $1 million in staff bonuses for improved testing scores.
• Hosted Adjunct Fair for SFA to assist employ Adjunct staff in Longview and thru Longview ISD.
• Purchased multiple pieces of strategic land , without increased debt, for future expansion.
• “Playing for Keeps” childcare program for college kids with children, also as LISD staffers.
• May 2019 hosted first LHS CTE Signing Day for college kids getting to college or workforce.
• quite 100 teachers earned Project Based Learning certifications in Spring 2019.
• Multiple graduates with offers to Ivy League and other prestigious universities.
• Lobo University to assist prepare students and fogeys for all times after highschool .
• 36 students graduate with Associates Degrees (50 projected in school of 2020).
• Longview ISD secondary school students earn “Duke Scholar” honors per annum
• LISD farm-to-table program, partnering with local farmers for cafeteria produce.
• Award-winning elementary, secondary school , and highschool choir programs
• Perfect scores on PSAT as middle schoolers from Foster secondary school .
• Only free public K-12 International Baccalaureate program within the world.
• Fall 2018 LHS donated quite 400 coats to KLTV’s Coats for teenagers .
• Summer backpack program to form sure kids get fed year-round.
• Signing Santa to assist deaf ed students communicate with “Santa.”
• Culinary Arts CTE student-led catering program began Fall 2018.
• Only International Baccalaureate program east of Interstate 45.
• quite 500 LHS students were taking dual-credit last year.
• 116 incoming Freshman applying for dual credit courses.
• State and National Technical Student Association winners.
• Orchestra offered at elementary, middle and highschool .
• Named 2018 board of education of the Year from Region VIII.
• quite 30 teachers with national STEM certifications.
• Wall of Honor honors Veteran alumni and their families.
• LHS music students annually perform at Carnegie Hall.
• Privatized custodial services to save lots of taxpayer dollars.
• Gold Standard Award yearly for financial transparency.
• but 2 percent dropout rate at Longview High.
• Class of 2019 earned $8.5 million in scholarships.
• 236 unduplicated seniors with dual credit hours.
• Over 6500 hours of school by 2019 graduates.
• 6,531 semester credit hours for dual credit.
• Award-winning highschool art program.
• 2018 UIL Academic District Champions.
• Class 6A State Football Champion.
• 2,601 Workforce hours earned.
• National Welding Champions.

Longview ISD believes in excellence for all, one child at a time! we’ve a high specialise in academic achievement, also as building partnerships with our community. We are truly working to supply a top quality education which serves all students within the Longview area.

The district website provides the foremost current information for our district.

The Maxwell Team
1505 B Judson Rd
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 806-3207


Longview TX History

LONGVIEW, TX (GREGG COUNTY).Longview, the county courthouse of Gregg County, is on Interstate Highway 20 and U.S. highways 80 and 259, about 125 miles east of Dallas in eastern Gregg and western Harrison counties. Within the early 1990s it had been the most important city in Gregg County. Its current boundaries include three leagues of land granted to Anglo-Americans late in 1835. There was no significant settlement of the world , however, until the 1840s and 1850s. What became Longview consisted of mostly hilly land within the southeast corner of Upshur County, devoted more to small farms than to large plantations. Before the war there have been , within what are now the Longview city limits, two rural communities with us post offices: Earpville within the east and pine within the west. A Methodist congregation at Earpville, dating back to 1846, later became this First United Methodist Church of Longview. Today’s pine Cumberland Presbyterian Church was chartered in 1847.

The town of Longview itself was founded within the early 1870s, when the Southern Pacific Railroad (later the Texas and Pacific) extended its track from Marshall in Harrison County westward into Gregg County. The railroad bypassed Earpville and laid out a replacement town a mile to the west ashore purchased from Ossamus Hitch Methvin, Sr. Railroad management called the new settlement Longview, reportedly due to the impressive view from Methvin’s house, which was on what’s now Center Street. A post office was established in January 1871 before regular rail service to the town began. thanks to financial problems the Southern Pacific delayed further track construction for 2 years, and Longview became the western terminus of the railroad. Wagons from throughout East Texas journeyed to the town, which quickly developed as a crucial regional trading center. a billboard district, composed of hastily built wood-frame buildings, sprang up round the terminal.

On May 17, 1871, Longview incorporated, the primary community in Gregg County to try to to so. Earpville disappeared from the map, but pine endured as a recognizable community, known later as Awalt, then as Willow Springs, and eventually as Greggton before being annexed by Longview within the 1960s. During its early years the town was dominated by Republican Party interests. Among the first opponents of the Republicans was James Stephen Hogg, who established, then discontinued, a triweekly newspaper during a two-month stay in Longview in 1871. In its first years Longview was a rough railroad town; violence was common, and nearly half the town’s businesses were said to possess been saloons.

Despite its rough character, however, there have been already signs within the early 1870s that the town was developing into a skilled city. In 1873 a weekly newspaper, the Longview New Era, began publishing. In 1872 the International Railroad (later the International-Great Northern), built a connection between Longview and Palestine. The railroad joined the Southern Pacific a few mile east of the Longview depot, and therefore the area became referred to as Longview Junction. a 3rd railroad, the Longview and Sabine Valley, began construction from Longview Junction in 1877. because the railroads furthered the economic transformation of the region, seven new counties were established in northeastern Texas by the fragmentation of long-established larger counties. In 1873 a county centered geographically and politically on Longview was proposed; it had been to require pieces from Upshur, Rusk, and Harrison counties. Longview became the county courthouse . When the Rusk portion clothed smaller than hoped and therefore the Harrison part proved unattainable, Longview was left very near one fringe of alittle and peculiarly shaped Gregg County.

During the 1870s and early 1880s the town grew rapidly. Partly thanks to a serious fire in 1877, the first frame buildings of the commercial center were replaced with structures of brick and stone. By 1882 Longview had Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Christian churches, also as three sawmills, two schools, a bank, a planing mill, a gin , a foundry, a workshop , a street railway, an opera with a capaciousness of 450, and three weekly newspapers-the New Era, the Surprise, and therefore the Democrat. At that point the estimated population was 1,525.

The area around Longview Junction also developed into alittle commercial center, and a street railway running along Fredonia and Methvin streets operated between the 2 depots. Longview Junction was annexed to the town in 1904. From 1882 until after war II, the city’s main plant was the Kelly Plow Company, a really substantial agricultural equipment factory. The town’s population grew steadily during the last years of the 1800s. By 1910 it had reached 5,155. The Longview light bulb and power service began supplying electricity around 1895; the primary municipal waterworks was installed in 1904; and a sanitary sewage system was installed around 1910. In 1903 the Graham Manufacturing Company built an outsized crate and box factory for farm produce next to the Kelly Plow Company. The Port Bolivar ore Railroad Company, formed in 1911, built about thirty miles of track north from the Junction as a part of an unsuccessful decide to develop Ore City.

Between 1910 and 1920 the increase slowed, and in 1920 Longview was a rural cotton and lumbering center with an estimated 5,713 residents; African Americans made up 31 percent of the population. Racial tensions, which had long been simmering beneath the surface, erupted into violence within the Longview riot of 1919. Black residences and businesses were burned and one African-American man was killed several miles west of Longview. During the 1920s cotton prices fluctuated and timber supplies dwindled, resulting in economic uncertainty for Longview. However, a paved highway, later referred to as U.S. Highway 80, was built through the town, and therefore the population increased by nearly 2,000 during the last decade . By 1929 the town had quite 7,000 residents. The Longview Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1916, promoted the town with an aggressive ad campaign . A Rotary Club was organized in 1920. In 1926 Longview became the headquarters of the newly founded East Texas Chamber of Commerce. In 1929 the Texas and Pacific Railway moved its division offices to Mineola, and nearly 700 families moved away. By 1930 the population of Longview had dropped to five ,036, slightly less than its population in 1910. the invention of the rich East Texas oilfield within the early 1930s, however, saved the town from the tough economic effects of the good Depression. Located several miles outside the oilfield, Longview was spared the worst aspects of boomtown chaos but was ready to maximize its position because the established business center and governmental seat of Gregg County. the town was transformed from a sleepy cotton, lumber, and railroad town populated largely by natives to a thriving commercial and industrial city dominated by mostly Southern newcomers. The population quite doubled during the 1930s, to 13,758 in 1940. that very same year the town reported 750 rated businesses. Burgeoning tax receipts allowed city and county officials to create numerous new government structures and schools, including a replacement county seat in 1932.

In 1942 construction began on the large Inch pipeline, which originated in Longview (see BIG INCH and tiny BIG INCH). From February 13, 1943, through August 31, 1945, this pipeline transported quite 261 million barrels of petroleum to the East Coast for refining. This ensured an uninterrupted supply of gas and oil during war II. Concerted efforts to draw in diversified industries to Longview during the war and for twenty years thereafter were led by Lewis Estes, newspaper publisher. During war II the federal built an outsized hospital complex, Harmon General Hospital, just outside of Longview. After the war, Robert G. LeTourneau opened an outsized factory for earth-moving equipment, and he acted with other civic leaders to show Harmon General Hospital into LeTourneau Technical Institute. In 1950 Eastman Kodak Company chose a site near Longview for its new subsidiary, Texas Eastman Company, which became the most important chemical complex in inland Texas. Other developments during the immediate postwar period within the greater Longview area included Gregg County Airport and Lake Cherokee. In 1966 a Schlitz brewery and an associated container factory were inbuilt Longview; the beer plant later became the Stroh Brewery, the most important in Texas, producing 4 million barrels annually.

During the 1940s and 1950s the population of Longview grew steadily, from 24,502 in 1950 to 40,050 in 1960. The city’s growth was fueled by a growing migration from rural areas of Gregg County and by the annexation of neighboring Greggton and Spring Hill. More recently the Longview metropolitan area has spread east into Harrison County. the town population reached 45,547 in 1970 and 62,762 in 1980. within the early 1990s Longview was a crucial regional industrial and center . the town is served by the Longview, Pine Tree, and Spring Hill independent school districts, each having a serious highschool . Longview’s population in 1990 was 70,311; the metropolitan area had an estimated population of 170,200. In 2000 the population was 73,344.

The Maxwell Team
1505 B Judson Rd
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 806-3207


About Longview Texas


State of the City

There is tons of great progress happening in Longview that’s worth recognizing. Each year, the Mayor delivers his annual “State of the City” speech to spotlight the accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities facing Longview. The speech is additionally how to acknowledge individuals, organizations, and businesses who are helping make Longview an excellent place to measure .

The State of the town Address is typically delivered in conjunction with the Longview Chamber of Commerce fall quarterly luncheon. the town records the speech and makes it available online and on CityView Municipal Television.


The City of Longview operates with a Council/Manager form of government. The City Council is comprised of a Mayor, who is elected at large, and 6 Council Members, 1 elected from each district. The Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, Municipal Judge and City Secretary, who work with direction from the City Council. All other staff members work under the direction of the City Manager.


The Maxwell Team
1505 B Judson Rd
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 806-3207


What Do Real Estate Agents Do?

What Real Estate Agents Do

Real estate agents act within the best interest of their clients, whether or not they are an inventory agent or a buyer’s agent. Both act as a liaison between the parties, including during offers and counteroffers. They’re available to answer any questions which will arise during the method . land agents on each side also:

Walk their client through any necessary paperwork
Communicate with their client and other parties involved
Provide information on the inspection process
Continue to support their client through the closing process
While both sorts of agent are involved, all provides different services to their client. One thing to stay in mind is that each one land agents should be:

Familiar with the local housing market, including pricing
Knowledgeable on local and state land laws
Understanding of their clients’ needs
Here’s a glance at what land agents do on each side of a true estate transaction.

What Agents Do For Sellers

Homeowners looking to sell their homes address listing agents. Listing agents provide clients with an unbiased valuation of their home and help set an inventory price. land agents are in tune with the market, in order that they also make suggestions for home updates which will cause a successful home sale.

Listing agents also handle marketing a home listing. This includes entering the house into the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. Marketing is additionally done through networking with other land agents, creating advertisements, fixing open houses, and other methods.

It’s vital for listing agents to vet buyers, too. Not most are a significant buyer. Listing agents often check on potential buyer’s finances before arranging a showing or accepting a suggestion . Listing agents know the proper inquiries to ask to seek out out if a buyer can afford to shop for the house or not.

Listing agents also negotiate various aspects of a home sale on behalf of their client. they’ll negotiate the worth of the house or smaller expenses like closing costs, home warranties, and any fees. There are legal actions that occur during the method of selling a home that fall on a true Texas realtor too. Their job includes preparing, submitting, and filing any documents, like contracts and agreements.

What Agents Do For Buyers

Buyer’s agents look for local properties that match their client’s requirements and price range. This involves searching online but also scouting houses face to face . They also found out showings, inform clients on the local area and housing market.

It’s also important for land agents to form sure clients are preapproved for a mortgage. Being preapproved shows your agent, the homeowners and their agents that you’re serious about buying a house.

Once you’ve found a house you’re curious about , land agents help submit bids and negotiate on your behalf throughout the buying process.

Real estate agents also help found out home appraisals and inspections. Often, they need existing relationships with reputable people within the industry who provide those services.

There’s tons of paperwork that happens during the house buying process. It’s a true estate agent’s job to guide you thru all of the contracts, agreements, and other documents necessary when buying a home. They are also those who submit paperwork on your behalf.

From first contact to closing, your land agent is your connection to all or any parties involved when buying a house.

What Role Do Agents Play At Closing?

Real estate agents also play a task during the closing period. Throughout the method , agents communicate between their client and therefore the other party. Communication continues during closing also . they’ll suggest a final walkthrough of the house on the brink of the deadline . this enables you to see for any damage that has occurred since the initial contract.

Real estate agents also look over every document, ensuring accuracy which all terms and conditions are met before the house deed is transferred. Mistakes happen, and it’s an agent’s job to seek out and proper them initially is finalized.

Agents also represent you at any meetings or contract signings. Several different parties are often involved within the closing process, counting on which state you’re in, including lawyers, a title or escrow agent, a mortgage lender, sellers and buyers, and land agents. Agents represent their client’s best interest until the sale is final.

What Happens If You Don’t Have An Agent?

If you’re buying or selling a house yourself, all of the important realtor duties mentioned earlier become your responsibility. If you’re selling your home, you’re responsible of listing your home, marketing it, fixing showings and open houses, providing necessary paperwork, negotiating price, and dealing with the opposite party’s land agent.

If you’re buying, you’ve got your hands full, too. You’ll submit bids, negotiate pricing, line up inspections, and handle all of the legal tasks related to buying a home. It’s tons to oversee, especially if you don’t have experience or knowledge of land transactions. It’s not impossible to represent yourself, whether you’re a buyer or seller, but it’s a substantial time and energy commitment.


The Maxwell Team
1505 B Judson Rd
Longview, TX 75601
(903) 806-3207


What is PMI? How Does it Work?

What Is PMI and How Does It Work?

PMI is a form of mortgage insurance that borrowers with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price are usually expected to pay for a traditional loan. Many lenders have low-down-payment plans that allow you to put as little as 3% down on a home. PMI, which covers the lender’s investment in the event you default on your mortgage, is the price of that flexibility. In other words, PMI protects the investor rather than you.


In the event of a default, PMI aids lenders in recouping more of their funds. Since you hold a smaller interest in your house, lenders need coverage for down payments of less than 20% of the purchase price. Mortgage lenders are lending you more money up front, so you risk losing more money if you default within the first few years of ownership. Mortgage insurance is required for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA loans, but the rules are different from those for traditional loans (more on that later).

The Price of PMI

According to Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored company that buys and sells mortgages on the secondary mortgage market, you’ll pay between $40 and $80 per month for every $100,000 borrowed. Keep in mind that the amount you pay depends on your credit score and your loan-to-value ratio, which is the ratio of the amount you owe on your mortgage to the value of your house.

You could subtract the expense of PMI from your federal taxes in previous years. Congress voted not to renew the provision for 2017 and beyond, so you can no longer subtract PMI payments from your annual taxes. (The deduction was later reinstated, but only for 2017.) It will be phased out beginning in 2018.)

PMI premiums

PMI can be charged in one of two ways: a one-time premium paid at closing or monthly premiums. In certain cases, lenders use PMI as a monthly fee in your mortgage payment. Your PMI balance will be itemized in the Projected Payments section on the first page of each document when you collect your loan estimate and closing disclosure papers.

You can also pay for PMI as part of your closing costs. On page 2, section B, of the loan estimate and closing disclosure forms, you’ll notice this premium. The disadvantage of this choice is that you would almost certainly not be reimbursed if you transfer or refinance your mortgage. You may be required to pay both upfront and monthly premiums in some situations.

The Importance of Photos When Selling Your Home

Not investing in listing photos is a huge mistake made by some agents and home sellers who choose to sell their home themselves.   Here at The Maxwell Team, this is one investment we never skimp on because we know the value of good photography.

You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have any visuals of your home because too many buyers search for homes online these days, and so many of those homes have images. At the same time, there are so many bad pictures of houses for sale that if you do a good job, your listing will stand out and attract more attention.

Here are a few tips if you are taking your own photos. The best pictures are crisp and simple, and they are taken during the day when there is plenty of day light. They should highlight the best features of your home. If at all possible, use a wide-angle lens to give prospective customers a clearer understanding of what the entire space looks like. Take a look at magazines and study why those photos are so appealing.  You can also use some of the same techniques as the professionals do to make your home look great online.


Also, don’t limit yourself to pictures. To improve your listing, consider including a virtual tour or a 360-degree view. Any smartphone can be used to do this. You will definitely persuade more prospective customers to visit your home for a viewing. If you give them an introductory tour of your house, you could get even more showings.


When it comes to photography, the more photos the better.  And, you’ll be glad you did all the decluttering and staging we have previously recommended.  Too cluttered photos don’t necessarily show off how spacious a home is.  The buyers might actually focus on the clutter, and not the spaces you have for sale.

Thinking About Selling Your Home? Part II

Curb Appeal


It is very rare that a property is sold sight unseen. It does happen, but it is certainly not common place. As a home seller, your first job is to get people interested in your home enough to want to get a look inside. Whether that happens or not all comes down to something called curb appeal.

Curb appeal is an intangible quality that speaks to peoples’ tastes and emotions. It comprises things like the architecture, building materials, the way the home sits on the lot, and to some extent the landscaping. There are certain things about a home you can change, such as planting more trees or shrubs. But it is hard to compete with a 100 year old oak tree in your competition’s front yard.

What you do have control over is the first impression your home makes “from the curb”. This usually comes down to things that come under the category of maintenance. A well-maintained home on the outside usually means that the owner has taken care of the inside with the same level of attention and care. A nicely kept home means that there won’t be expensive surprises showing up in the inspector’s report or a few years down the road.

Starting at the curb, take a good long look at the mailbox. Does it look fresh and clean? Are the address numbers visible or are they buried under an inch of dirt and dust? It is surprising how many homeowners miss taking care of the very first thing people see when driving down the street.

Your planting beds and shrubbery should be neatly trimmed and mulched from the curb to the front door. Make a crisp delineation between the grass and the beds and you will catch people’s eyes.

The lawn is a very large part of curb appeal. Fertilize your lawn so that weeds disappear and the grass greens up and gets thicker. This alone will help create a positive first impression on potential buyers. Keep your grass cut regularly so that it looks well-tended and lush.

Any hardscaping should be looked at with a critical eye. Is the driveway falling apart or has the asphalt cracked in so many places it is a hazard to walk on? Similarly, the front walkway should be in pristine condition with no trip hazards or cracks. A good power washing of these surfaces should make them look like new if they are in otherwise good shape.

As you get to the front door, people will notice peeling paint, dirt, cobwebs and debris on the home. Make sure these maintenance items are cleaned up and repainted if necessary. Give your front porch lighting a good cleaning to create the best first impression.

Although technically not part of curb appeal, the back yard should also be spruced up. Clean your wooden deck and repair any loose boards or wobbly railings. Pay attention to the lawn as many home buyers are looking for play space for their children.

Clean up around your air conditioning condenser which will help it look better and run more efficiently. Trim away any low hanging tree branches which block the view from outside and from the inside. Get rid of any clutter that you find around the yard.

These simple tips can mean the difference between getting someone inside your home for a showing and a drive by. Mostly they involve elbow grease and not much money, but the result is priceless.