The typical homeowner is familiar with curb appeal either directly or self-consciously. For example, even if you’re not looking to sell you may dislike that the siding on the facade is deteriorating or the windows look old and grungy. It’s your curb appeal telling you something looks detrimental. When it comes time to sell, REALTORS are going to talk a lot about curb appeal. They may cite varying studies related to the subject, some of which claim it can improve the return on investment (ROI) by 150% or more. What are the ways that you can improve curb appeal? Here are 10 practical, affordable ways to enhance the look of your home and even its value…
1. Maintain the Lawn
Landscaping is one of the most common things that gets neglected in the front of a home. The yard hasn’t been watered in forever and is dying. Or it’s so overgrown it looks like you’ll need a chainsaw to mow it down. The thing with maintaining a lawn is that it’s not all that difficult to do. All it requires is some time and energy on your part. If you truly don’t have the time, hiring a professional landscaping service can help with the property, especially if you don’t live there full-time. In addition to maintaining the lawn, if you’re considering selling the home, other subtle yet important details like weeding, edging, pruning trees and trimming overgrown shrubs go a long way.
2. Make the Front Door Look Impressive
After the landscaping, the second thing most buyers are going to notice and consider is the front door. The door is the gateway to the rest of the house and should not get neglected. Often, sellers will consider buying a replacement entry door just to make sure the curb appeal is far stronger. If you decide to stick with the old door you should consider repainting or staining it for that little extra “wow factor”. Other small things that make a difference include updating the sealing and insulation around the door, as well as making sure it doesn’t open or shut too difficultly.
3. Repaint the Exterior
It’s a more costly option than some of the other suggestions on the list (unless you do it yourself, of course), but definitely worth it. It’s truly amazing how much paint can liven up a structure and make it look brand new. Meanwhile, faded and peeling paint looks awful. New paint will dramatically improve curb appeal. One suggestion though – try not to make the color too bold. Some buyers are picky with their colors, so it’s best to just repaint with the same color or go with a relatively neutral color that doesn’t turn off prospective buyers.
4. Clean Up the Exterior, Not Just the Interior
When it’s time to sell, a lot of homeowners go into overdrive to make sure the interior looks spotless, which is a good thing, but you should also remain mindful of the exterior. Dirt and grime build up on siding and brick. If you know someone with a power washer (you can also rent one), an hour spent scouring the exterior walls can really clean up the exterior. Just make sure you don’t get too close to the structure or it’ll chip away paint. The walkways can also get a boost from blowing them off the day you are expecting to have a showing.
5. Don’t Overlook the Roof
While the roof is up high and it may not seem like a big deal for curb appeal, experts will disagree. According to appraisers, it’s one of the first things they check when evaluating a home. Some buyers will also make note of the condition of the roof because they know roofs are expensive to replace. If the condition of the roof is bad, making the decision to replace or not is far from an easy one. New roofs are expensive. However, if you think it’ll help get the price you want, it’s probably worth it. At the very least, consider removing debris from the roof and repair any immediate issues.
6. Add Plants, Then More Plants
Another issue that experts tend to agree upon is the importance of plants. Since adding new shrubs and trees can be very expensive, most realtors actually suggest you just stick to putting more planters in windows, or outside the front door. It’s a simple yet effective suggestion for easily improving curb appeal.
7. Install a New Mailbox
It may sound like something to scoff at yet there are plenty of insiders that claim it’s a subtle, yet terrific way to improve curb appeal. Decorative mailboxes will only set a homeowner back a hundred or two, yet help compliment the style of your home and look pleasing. Old mailboxes, on the other hand, tend to look ugly and droop down from years of neglect.
8. Avoid Clutter in the Front of the House
Clutter doesn’t look good anywhere, especially in the front of a house. If your garage is overcrowded with junk, at least make sure the door is shut when people show up to view the place. Too much outdoor furniture does not always look pleasing to the eye, especially if it’s old and looks stained. No, people are not inheriting your furniture but believe it or not, it can self-consciously tell them the place is dirty and not worth pursuing.
9. Hide Electrical Fixtures
They’re trivial matters, yet when it comes to people spending six figures or more on a house, they’re going to nitpick everything. So even though an electrical box in the front of a house is something you can’t do a whole lot about its placement, you can do your best to hide these curb appeal ‘flaws.’ For example, home improvement stores sell decorative boxes that you can place over an irrigation backflow or electrical box. You can also paint over the box with a camouflage paint (usually your exterior paint color) that at least blends it better.
10. Make Any Last Second Home Repairs
After considering all of the above suggestions, one last tip is to take five minutes to stand outside the front of the house and study every feature. Does anything stand out in a bad way? Are there any basic repairs that you’ve been putting off that could make a difference? For example, maybe one of the numbers posting your home address is missing. Quick and simple fix, right? Burned out bulbs, ripped screens, areas with some missing paint – all can make a difference and influence the prospective buyer’s decision moving forward.
Stay On Top of Your Curb Appeal
Though studying the numerous things that can detract curb appeal may make you feel like there are countless things going against you, and that your home is not worthy of the price you’re asking – this logic is incorrect. While looking at ways to improve curb appeal with existing features, you can also take the time to realize what the front of your house already does so well. Now that you know these features, highlight them. By making a few basic repairs and adjustments, you can produce a high quality curb appeal that’ll improve home value and get the price your home truly deserves – or simply be the envy of your neighborhood!
ARTICLE PROVIDED BY: FELD CO.