Curb appeal is the perceived attractiveness of a home from the street. Since 49% of buyers in a normal market base their home purchase decisions on curb appeal, this is important for all home owners to consider. The key to enhancing curb appeal for your home is to create a visual impact which draws the eye towards the home and to make it appear welcoming and inviting.
One of the most important considerations when making improvements to the exterior of your home is whether the benefits will outweigh the costs. Landscaping and exterior improvements can be very costly, especially if you are hiring professionals to do the work. Ideally, you want to limit your costs to what will provide you with the largest return on investment (ROI). The Boston Area Cost Value Report 2011-12 provides an excellent resource for determining the ROI of your projects.
Below are Robin’s Top 10 Curb Appeal Upgrades:
- Tip #1 – Maintain Your Space – The most important thing that you can do to improve your home is to remove all debris and clutter and to clean and repair the home exterior, driveway, walkway, windows and gutters.
- Tip #2 – Freshen the Paint – Painting or power washing a home’s exterior is an easy way to instantly improve your curb appeal. Try to match your current paint color rather than a bold color change!
- Tip #3 – Welcome Your Guests – Create a welcoming and inviting entry to your home by painting the front door, adding new hardware, adding planters or a front door wreath.
- Tip #4 – Add Flair – Install window boxes, planters or hanging baskets with bold flowers and ivy.
- Tip #5 – Green Your Grass – There is nothing worse than brown or burnt grass. Mown your lawn regularly, keep the grass green with food and water and get rid of crab grass and other invasive weeds.
- Tip #6 – Neaten the Yard – Sometimes landscaping needs to be removed to improve curb appeal. Make sure that any overgrown shrubs or bushes are pruned and shaped. Put a crisp edge on garden beds and surround flowerbeds, bushes and trees with dark or reddish-brown bark mulch.
- Tip #7 – Add a Splash of Color – One of the most stand out differences is painting a front door red, blue or something bold. A brightly colored bench or Adirondack chair can be added to a porch. Flowers can be planted along a walkway or around a mailbox for that burst of color to the yard.
- Tip #8 – Glam Your Mailbox – A new mailbox, address plaques or new house numbers can make an entry way “pop” and be a rather inexpensive option.
- Tip #9 – Fence Yourself In – Fences can add a wonderful visual “punch” and also boost the value of your property.
- Tip #10 – Light it Up – Make sure that your interior lighting shows through at night. It makes a home more inviting. Solar-powered lights along a walkway make a big impact as does shining a spotlight on a tree or other landscaping focal point.
Note: This post was based on Robin’s presentation at the Boston Flower Show, March 18, 2012.