Curb Appeal

8 simple ways to add curb appeal to your home

What does curb appeal mean?

Curb Appeal is the way your home looks from the outside or from the street, and how attractive it is to anyone who visits or drives past. To assess your home’s curb appeal, look at the front of your home and take it in from the perspective of someone seeing it for the first time. The color and condition of your home’s exterior, the landscaping and the overall maintenance of the outside of the property all contribute to its curb appeal.

Improving your home’s exterior and environs before listing it for sale is important. If people love the look of your home from the outside, they’re more likely to feel open and enthusiastic as they tour the interior.

8 ways to boost curb appeal

Here are tips on how to improve curb appeal, bring in the buyers and get top dollar for your home:

1. Painting the house

If your home’s exterior is looking dingy, it can be less appealing to potential buyers. One of the best ways to refresh it is with a new coat of paint. Warm and earthy neutrals are said to be the hottest trend as of Spring 2022.

Cost: This cost varies depending on the sq. footage of the house, 1 or 2 story houne, different color on trim, etc. 

2. Cleaning windows

Cleaning your doors and windows gives the impression that your home has been well taken care of. If a potential buyer is put off by filthy windows, they may not want to see what sits behind them, even if the interior of your home is actually kempt.

Cost: If you  DIY, this project will cost you nothing but water, cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease. To have them cleaned professionally, Fixr advises the cost will be about $300.00.

3. Repainting doors

Like a full exterior paint job, freshening up outside entryways with new paint can go a long way.

Cost: While you could hire a pro to do this job at an average cost of $275, according to Fixr, most homeowners do it themselves with exterior acrylic latex paint costing between $20 and $50 per gallon. Your local paint shop can help you estimate how much paint you’ll need based on the size and scope of the doors in question.

4. Refreshing landscaping

Seventy-four percent of Realtors recommend sellers revisit their landscaping before listing their home on the market, and 17 percent say doing so leads to a successful sale, according to the National Association of Realtors. If that’s not enough to convince you to call a gardener, consider that your home could yield a price tag up to 20% more when you’re ready to sell. If you already have a patio or deck, do spring for washing it, tidying it, and making sure it’s in good condition.

Cost: The average cost for a professional landscape design, new soil, grading, grass seed, plants, patio and a walkway of a full front yard (the most important for curb appeal) is between $4,000 and $6,000; as high as $10,000 for the whole property, according to Fixr. If you have a rake and lawn mower, however, you can spruce things up for almost nothing. Paying for clean-up services — weeding, tree- and shrub-trimming, stump removal — range from $65-$750, depending on the size of the yard and the task.

Another quick and easy option is to add a few pre-potted plants to the walkway or porch. At a cost of no more than $100 or $200 (depending on the plants), you’ll add color and pop to the entry area, and can take the plants with you after you sell.

5. Power washing the driveway

Leaves, rain and oil stains can wreak havoc on the surface of a driveway, especially a concrete one. That can cause our huse to have a "dingy" look as soon as a buyer pulls up.

Cost: On average, the cost to pressure-wash a 600-square-foot driveway is $225, according to Fixr. If you want to do it yourself, you can rent an electric pressure washer for $39 per day, with a deposit, from Home Depot. Sealants cost anywhere from $15 to $165 per five gallons, according to Angi.

6. Hitting the lights

Clean, functioning and well-placed exterior lighting not only looks nice, but also can be an important safety/security feature. At the very least, inspect and refurbish what lighting you have. No need to go overboard. 

Cost: This DIY project can cost you nothing, unless you need to install the lights or purchase replacement bulbs. According to Fixr, you should budget an average of $400 for outdoor motion sensor lights and about $200 for ambient string lighting.

7. Fixing the roof

The condition of your roof can be a sticking point for buyers. If there are broken shingles or tiles or other issues, it’s best to take care of them with the help of a professional roofer before they come up during the home inspection. This has taken a big hit recently with insurance companies. This is a great conversation to have with your current homeowners insurance or I can recommend a few very knowledgable with these changes.

Cost: This varies on th extent of work needing to be done and the size of your house. Call a licensed, insured, trustworthy and well known in the community. 

8. Upgrading the mailbox

It’s small but significant. The mailbox is one of the first things a prospective buyer will see when they arrive at your home. If your current mailbox is broken, run down or looks out of place then consider replacing it.

Cost: If your mailbox just needs to be cleaned or painted, the cost is next to nothing. If it needs to be replaced, you can find mailbox and post kits at Lowe’s starting as low as $29.

Common curb appeal mistakes

Once you have an idea of which curb appeal ideas to tackle, you don’t want to waste time or money. Here are some curb appeal goofs to avoid:

  • Going overboard – Don’t get caught up in making every upgrade possible. 
  • Investing in projects with no return on investment (ROI) – A feature you may love could be seen as a liability to the next potential owner. 
  • Making bold changes – Stick to neutral shades, especially for exterior paint. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is painting their homes a loud, outrageous color,” Charlie says. “Veer towards more of a classic look that will appeal to a variety of people.”
  • Not consulting your HOA – If you live in a home governed by a homeowners association, confirm that your planned upgrades are within its rules. Sellers should check the bylaws before making any improvements that must go through the HOA for review.

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