Curb appeal refers to how your home looks to those passing by. Places with detailed landscaping, careful maintenance, and inviting features “sell” your neighborhood as great a place to live; if you are actually selling your home, curb appeal also gets buyers in the door. An attractive, well-kept exterior sends the message that the inside is likely to be worth seeing too.
The thing to remember about curb appeal is that you don’t need to make costly renovations to create it. Here are a few ways to increase the exterior beauty of your home without spending a fortune.
Clean And Freshen Up Your Siding And Trim
If you have vinyl siding that is in good condition, you don’t need to upgrade it to make your home more appealing. Only if the siding is deteriorating should you go to the next step of replacing it. Annual Cost vs. Value surveys by Remodeling Magazine indicate a return on investment nationwide of over 76% by replacing siding before sale, but this involves a large out of pocket investment. In contrast, real estate professionals point out that washing down the siding can add $10,000-$15,000 to the sale price of many homes.
Power washing off dust and dirt that accumulates on your exterior will vastly improve its appearance, whether it is sided in vinyl, wood, brick, stucco, or other material. You can do the job yourself with an equipment rental and some elbow grease or hire out the job for a reasonable price. While you’re at it, make sure to wash down fascia, soffits, and gutters, along with your garage door, porches, decks, patios, drives, and walkways. Clean windows also enhance your home’s curb appeal
If cleaning does not provide enough of a facelift, painting the siding or at least the trim or door will provide a needed facelift at a cost far less than replacing these items.
Attend To Needed Repairs, Especially On The Roof
Even from a distance, gutters or shutters that are hanging off the house send a bad message, as does a roof that has missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Fixing these details are a must. Your roof might last for 20-50 years; potential buyers are less likely to focus on the age if the structure looks sound.
Repairs might only cost a few hundred dollars, but buyers multiply the potential cost to repair these items themselves. Proactively repairing and restoring exterior features creates a positive impression even from the curb.
Let Your Landscaping Stop Traffic
On many homes, your lawn and landscaping are one of the first thing people notice when driving by. Having a neatly manicured lawn and well-managed shrubs and bushes, set off by fresh mulch, increases the attractiveness of your overall property. Adding colorful flowers in beds or even pots adds a striking pop of color that draws the eye toward your home.
Add Exterior Lighting
Once you have covered the exterior basics with your home, one the best things you can do to take your exterior presentation up a notch, is add quality exterior lighting. Beautiful lighting such as post or column mount lights up the drive make an impression from the street or close up; they add a certain richness to the property. Wall mount or hanging lantern lighting fixtures in your entry way, bathe your home in warm, flattering light at night. The use of matching fixtures in all styles create a pleasing, cohesive appearance.
Increasing curb appeal is the first step in marketing your home if you are selling, but paying attention to these details also brings out the best in your home, increases it value, and exhibits your sense of pride in your property.