How do I increase curb appeal for my Home?
Curb Appeal is how attractive your home is from the front, to people either driving by in a car or driving by virtually online. The ability of your home to attract attention from someone casually viewing it boosts the value of your home. It gets more people to look at it. It gets more people to be comfortable with it. And the evidence over many years of research shows that more people submit offers and they offer more money for homes with good curb appeal.
So how do you boost curb appeal on a budget? Here are some Tips.
First of all, a little bit of creativity and work goes a long way! The good news is that almost all of these low cost curb appeal boosters can be done by you or by someone at reasonably low cost. Taking a little bit of time to organize and plan, followed by a couple of hours fo work, can yeild surprisingly large profits in return.
Curb Appeal Booster #1: Trim / Neaten the Landscaping and create a clear and distinct path to the entrace of the home.
Want to know where to start? Simply walk to your curb and turn around and face your home. What is the first place your eyes are drawn to? Is it a clear path to enter the home? or is it something else that distracts? Are hedges or other plants neat and well kept? Do they frame the look of the home and bring focus to it? If they do not, simply create a plan to trim them, neaten them or replace them with plants / greenery that will accomplish that goal.
Shrubs, greenery and any landscaping in front of windows should be attractive and not block the windows or the view that someone might enjoy from them. In many cases with landscaping less is more, but in the more rare cases where more is needed, a few well selected fullgrown shrubs from a local nursery with some free advice of the people working there can yield great returns.
Here are two stock photos of homes that illustrate the difference between neat and trimmed landscaping and a clear path to the door and the alternative. (Note: These photos are from other areas of the country and used here for reference.)
Curb Appeal Booster #2: Power Wash. It makes a huge difference.
Whether you rent a power washer (usually $50-$75) or buy a cheaper one (that could cost up to several hundred dollars but then you own it, so there's that. ) and keep it handy, power washing is a great investment in that cleaning walkways, the exterior of the home, porches, decks and other sufaces will bring back older homes to life and make a home feel lighter and brighter when viewed from the curb. While you are power washing the front of the home, you can and should powerwash the sides and back of your home as well as the exterior of other buildings.
Curb Appeal Booster #3: Emphasize the Door/Entry and Mailbox
If you are going to spend money on the exterior of a home, the best return usually comes from working on the entry to the home (the front door) and also the mailbox. The keyword for the mailbox is distinctive. Look at the other mailboxes in the neighborhood and make sure that your mailbox stands out from the neighbors while expressing the character of the home. As for the front door / entry, does it need a coat of paint? Do the windows in the door need to be cleaned. Do handles need to be repaired or replaced? These are all quick and easy jobs that often help a home sell more quickly and at a higher price.
Curb Appeal Booster #4: A quick dose of Fertilizer and a Nice Haircut for your Lawn
Just like we look and feel much better with a hiarcut, it is amazing what some fertlizer ($20 or so from the hardware store) applied and then a nice lawn mowing and edging job will do for a home. This will help paint an ideal picture of the home and boost curb appeal exponentially compared to the time / money spent if it has not been done in a while. Again the idea is to spend money on low input, high value activitues that boost the curb appeal of your home.
Curb Appeal Booster #5: Light it up! Seriously!
Much of the time that your home is seen from the curb, it is seen at dusk or in the evening. Outside lights that set off and accent the exterior of your home properly will do wonders for increasing the curb appeal of your home. Proper lighting for your home accentuates the path to your door. It also extends the hours that your home is seen. It makes the entrance to your home feel safe and inviting. A few can lights installed to accent the front of your home or a few lights alongside your driveway highlighting the way into your home can be $100 or maybe $200 very well spent.
Quick and Low Cost Curb Appeal - Now you have it!
With these simple and quick Curb Appeal boosters you have a great start! It does not cost that much and only takes a Saturday or two to knock it out! At least that is the case for most homes and most situations. Want to get some specific hints and ideas for your home? Contact one of the real estate professionals at The Real Estate Group. They can provide you with ideas that are specific to your home and situation. They can even provide you with a full competitive analysis of your home and how it stacks up vs the competition. They can show you how to maximize your chances to both sell quickly and for the highest price. Give them a call today!