Updated: Jun 6
If you plan on selling your home anytime soon or even eventually, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to improve your home’s curb appeal. There are projects you can take on yourself to improve your home’s curb appeal now. Maybe, when you retire, you plan on downsizing and want to get top price for the home you live in now. If you anticipate being transferred at some point, having your home in its most attractive condition will help you sell it fast, for the most money. (Keep in mind; you can use your VA Home Loan benefit more than once.) So, what exactly is curb appeal?
When a prospective buyer pulls up in front of a home they want to tour, their first impression of the house, yard, and neighborhood sets the tone for the showing. Buyers enthusiastic about the look of your home will want to find the inside appealing. Conversely, a bad first impression leads buyers to look for proof that their first impression was correct. They look for flaws and problems while they tour the house. Real Estate agents know the importance of curb appeal and may make suggestions but doing projects while you live in the house will keep you from scrambling.
Even if you are not a gardening enthusiast, putting a little effort into landscaping can make a difference in curb appeal. Adding some well-trimmed shrubs and an attractive garden in the front yard gives the impression that the home has been well kept. Choose easy, hardy plants that take little maintenance. If you hate weeding, use garden sheeting and border barriers in the garden and add mulch or stone to keep weeds from growing. If your walkway is cracked and weedy, consider redoing it or replacing it with do-it-yourself pavers. Flagstone or brick pavers are relatively easy to install. Add some solar lighting fixtures along the path or in gardens. Another easy improvement is replacing your mailbox and house numbers if they are outdated.
If your home needs regular repainting, invest in the best quality, longest-lasting paint you can buy. If your home is brick or has aluminum siding, regularly painting your window and door trim keeps your home looking fresh. Right before you sell, a fresh coat of paint on your front door in a contrasting color makes it pop. Waiting until you are ready to sell to paint can mean much more work at a time when you have so many other things to do.
Cleaning and Clearing
Regularly cleaning the outside of your house and trimming or clearing obstructions is easily done and can make a tremendous difference. If you have aluminum siding, brick, or shingle, there are easy-to-use cleaning products you can attach to your hose.
Spraying away mildew and dirt every spring or summer will not only keep your house looking good but will also prolong the life of many siding products. Make sure buyers will get a clear view of your house when they pull up at the curb. Pull vines down and keep bushes and trees pruned.
Don’t let junk accumulate in the yard. Haul rusty lawn chairs and old appliances to the dump or if your city provides the service, call for pick up. It seems simple, but people put off dealing with such things until their yard looks like a junkyard.
An Objective Look
The best way to improve your home's curb appeal is to stand out front and pretend you are a prospective buyer. It might be hard to be objective, so you can also drive around the neighborhood and see why certain homes look more appealing than others. Once you’ve done that, come back around to your home and look again. For more ideas on how to improve the look of your home, go to Realsimple.com.