It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? True, but when it comes to your home, the outside also matters more than you might think. A home’s curb appeal not only provides the first impression for potential buyers but also plays a significant role in determining its value. Whether selling your home is on the horizon or you plan to stay there for years to come, here’s why maintaining its curb appeal is in your best interest, along with some tips on how to improve it.
The Importance of Curb Appeal
In a nutshell, curb appeal comes down to dollars and cents. According to Consumer Reports, outdoor enhancements, such as adding a patio, fixing the siding, or improving your landscaping, can increase your home's value from 3% to 5%. In addition to the financial benefits, improving your outdoor space provides a sense of pride and accomplishment, making your home a happier place to live. After all, enjoying the space you live in now is just as important as any future value you'll gain.
3 Tips for Improving Curb Appeal
So, what are the magic ingredients that give a home that certain je ne sais quoi? While there’s no exact science, below are three simple steps you can take to elevate your curb appeal:
1. Embrace your inner gardener
Even for the most humble of abodes, a well-manicured lawn can give your home a sophisticated feel. Trim shrubs and trees, weed your garden regularly, plant seasonal flowers, and add mulch for a finished look. Planting flowers in window boxes and hanging baskets also adds a warm, inviting touch. In addition, lay down sod or grass seed to cover any dead areas of grass, and keep your lawn raked in the fall if leaves are an issue. Don’t have the time or skill to give your landscaping the attention it deserves? Consider hiring a professional.
2. Add accent lighting
Outdoor lighting is a simple yet incredibly effective way to create curb appeal. The right kind of lighting can produce a dramatic effect that highlights key features of your home while enhancing safety and security. Install uplighting to draw attention to architectural and landscaping features, and add downlighting (also known as moonlighting) to trees to create a soft, romantic feel. Use spotlights to illuminate shrubs and fountains, and install stake lights along the walkway to light up the path. Depending on the voltage you choose, you may need to hire an electrician to install the lighting and bury the wiring. If you’d prefer a DIY version that doesn’t require wiring, solar may be the way to go.
3. Be a clean freak
As your home is exposed to the elements year after year, it’s inevitable that the exterior will become dingy. To make things look like new again, give the outside of your home an annual deep clean. Pressure wash siding, brick, and stucco to remove and dirt and mold. Don’t forget the sidewalk, garage door, patio, and any other areas that are stained or discolored. Breathe new life into your entryway by painting your front door to add a pop of color, and touch up your trim and shutters with a fresh coat of paint. Also, be sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year to keep them free of debris.
With a little bit of work and the right amount of upkeep, adding curb appeal to your home can be a cinch. For more helpful home tips and ideas, click here.