When it comes to selling a home, first impressions matter. The appearance of the exterior of the house and its surroundings speaks to potential buyers and communicates the maintenance and current condition of the home. According to a joint study conducted by the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington, homes with inviting exteriors and well-maintained landscaping tended to sell an average of 7% more than homes with similar styles, but unkempt exteriors with overgrown grass. This study also suggests that buyers view a high curb appeal as a direct translation of the appearance and maintenance of the interior of the home. As a result, curb appeal can greatly influence home value. Here, we discuss some projects, big and small, that can add curb appeal to your home.
When it comes to the exterior of the home, keeping up with outward hardware is important for both the style and the functionality of the home. One simple improvement for curb appeal is maintaining the gutters. Keeping the gutters clear by regularly cleaning them prevents the possibility of replacement in the future, and streamlines the look of the home. Regular maintenance of the roof is also important and includes replacing broken or loose shingles. Thorough cleaning and refreshing of the home siding through pressure washing and/or painting also works to improve the appearance and integrity of the exterior.
The aesthetics of the front of the home can be changed by replacing the doorknob, attached mailbox, and even a lighting fixture. According to Better Homes & Gardens, a bronze fixture finish suits traditional homes, while a nickel fixture finish suits more modern styles. Consider adding outdoor furniture and/or potted plants on the porch for a fresh and inviting appearance. Painting the front door and shutters to add a pop of color, or to refresh the current color’s condition, can also work to brighten the space. Another important aspect of curb appeal is the condition of the windows. Repairing any possible damage to windows, as well as making sure they are regularly cleaned on the outside, also works to improve appearance.
During the warmer months of the year, curb appeal can be significantly improved by having a well-manicured lawn. It is important to regularly mow and water the lawn for a luscious green landscape. Weeding around mailbox posts, the trim of the home, and any other small spaces pesky weeds grow is another way to maintain a clean yard. The addition of flowers can add a pop of color, and cause passersby and potential homebuyers – to stop and ponder the view. For an impressive look, but low maintenance work, flower beds filled with perennials are suggested. If your home has existing trees, bushes, or flowers, it is also important to trim and water them for a bright and healthy appearance. Furthermore, consider adding mulch, pine straw, or river rock to spruce up bare spots in your landscaping. Don’t forget clear any debris that may appear after storms, and regularly rake leaves that fall during the colder months.
In some cases, a way to “wow” a prospective homebuyer can be creating an outdoor oasis. According to Remodeling Magazine, an outdoor addition such as a patio or a deck can see a return on investment of more than 64%. This may be as simple as adding large potted plants and comfy lawn chairs to an existing patio in the backyard, or more complex with the addition of a deck, complete with a grilling area. If your home already has a patio or deck, make sure to clean and maintain the wood/concrete for improved appearance and replacement prevention. Also, if space and soil allows it, consider adding a small garden filled with a variety of flowers or vegetables for a colorful and functional space. Adding water-resistant artwork, such as fountains, statues, or stepping stones can also add variety and appeal to an outdoor area.
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