How to improve curb appeal

How To Improve Curb Appeal

February 15, 2022

A brief outline

Improving a house’s curb appeal isn’t just about landscaping, it extends to the entryway, the verges and even the exterior lighting. Learn more about how to improve curb appeal for your home, or one you might be selling, to raise your chances of getting it off the market fast.

Table of Contents

Whether you’re selling your own home, or investing in a fix and flip project, if you want to attract potential homebuyers, you’ll need to put a specific focus on achieving this. The curb appeal of a house can make or break a sale, so it stands to reason that this aspect simply cannot be ignored in the home selling process. If you can create curb appeal for a house, chances are more buyers will be interested in seeing the inside of the home too, and this gives you, the seller, a foot in the door (literally and figuratively) with potential buyers.

First things first, it’s important to know what buyers look for in a home. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to improve curb appeal for your property to attract as many potential buyers as you can.

House exterior

What is curb appeal?

Curb appeal is a term used in real estate to describe the attractiveness of a property from the outside, or from the perspective of a potential buyer. It refers to features like a well-manicured yard, trimmed shrubs, an inviting entryway and fresh paint.

The term is often used in relation to selling houses because improving the curb appeal on a property can greatly increase the likelihood of finding a buyer. Curb appeal also has an impact on a home’s value, so you can see why it plays a fundamental role in the sale of any property.  The follow factors are included in curb appeal:

  • House: The windows, paint, gutters and other features belonging to the house itself form part of its curb appeal and should be in good condition.
  • Landscaping: The front yard, lawn, trees and shrubs should all be manicured and trimmed, and flowers can be added to the yard to give it better curb appeal.
  • Lighting: Exterior lighting can brighten your house and give it a warmer appearance, as well as light up pathways and make the property more secure, which all adds to its curb appeal.

How much does curb appeal affect home value?

Studies indicate that curb appeal can add between 7-14% to the selling price of a home

Curb appeal is the first impression that your home has on someone. This can either draw them in and make them want to see the inside of the house, or it can put them off right away. Homebuyers often view the state of the home exterior and yard as an indication of how well kept the interior may be.

It can be more difficult to quantify the exact impact of curb appeal on the value of a home. If you’re wondering just how much curb appeal would impact your home’s value, a joint study by the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington discovered that homes with more curb appeal typically sell for 7% more than similar homes that don’t have as much curb appeal. The study shows that in slower real estate markets, this number rises as high as 14%.

In the study, it was found that even your neighbor’s curb appeal can impact the value of your property, with the appearance of the yard next door accounting for about one third of your property’s overall premium. So, curb appeal has a significant impact on the overall attractiveness of your home.

10 ways to improve curb appeal

There are a variety of ways that you can improve the attractiveness of a property to find potential buyers quicker, but here are 10 of the most effective ways.

1. Light it up

Installing outdoor lighting is on of the best ways to improve your home’s curb appeal. You can light up pathways, your entryway, and various spots in the garden to simultaneously create a warmer ambience for the property and ensure that it’s a secure environment.  You can mix it up with different types of lighting and fixtures, for different purposes, and instantly add a whole lot more curb appeal to your house by welcoming buyers before they even enter the house.

2. A fresh coat

white house exterior

A fresh coat of paint for the exterior of your home can liven it up and make it stand out. The right color combinations on the exterior of a house can do wonders for its curb appeal. Not only does a house look cleaner with a new coat of paint, but it also looks like its well-maintained. Using a contrasting color for the trim, doors and shutters can create an even more attractive look for your house.

3. Front door statement

Front door

Your front door is the window to the soul of your home, and as such, it should be the most inviting part of the exterior. It’s the first thing people see when they look at your home, and it tells a story about your house, either welcoming visitors in or discouraging them from wanting to enter. Replacing your front door can be a great addition to your home’s curb appeal to make a statement and invite people inside.

4. Pop of color

red front door

Using color around your house’s exterior goes a long way to drawing attention and creating a more inviting house for potential home buyers. You could paint the front door a bright color, put a colorful chair on the porch, paint some posts a brighter color, or even simply add some colorful flowers to the entryway to give it life.

5. A roof revival

house roof

Your roof isn’t only an essential element of your home, but it’s also a huge part of the curb appeal. Take a look at the condition of your roof and consider replacing it or making cosmetic fixes, depending on what’s needed. This can go a long way towards making your home more visually appealing overall. Your roof takes up a large part of the house so it stands to reason that this should look as good as possible, and a new or upgraded roof can be a great drawcard for home buyers. It’s also one of the best renovations to increase a home’s value.

6. Don’t forget the garage

House exterior

One of the commonly overlooked areas of the home is the garage. However, your garage can have a big impact on your home’s overall curb appeal, especially if it faces the street. People’s eyes are drawn to garage doors immediately, so a garage door replacement can be a big bonus for your house’s curb appeal. When it comes to home improvements, replacing your garage door/s currently tops the list for return on investment, so this is a no brainer to increase the value of your home and improving its curb appeal.

7. Add some pressure

house pathway

Pressure cleaning your home’s porch, walkways, driveway and deck is a great way to clean up the exterior and give it a fresh and sparkling look, which adds to its curb appeal. Buyers are looking for a clean and neat space, and this will remove dirt and grime that has built up over the years that you’ve owned the property. Power washers can easily be rented from Home Depot or Lowe’s.

8. The perfect porch

Porch

Give your porch some attention and add some seating so that it looks welcoming and comfortable. Porches can be a real drawcard for buyers, so some chairs and a small table can go a long way towards making your porch more inviting. Add in some greenery, and you’ve created a relaxing area for guests or new homeowners to sit.

9. Manicured front yard

garden

A well-kept yard is one of the most important ways to create curb appeal for your house. It’s one of the first things that people see when they look at your house, so having a manicured yard is an important part of the overall appeal. Shrubs should be trimmed, the lawn cut, and pathways cleared. It’s also a good idea to have a low-maintenance yard, so that potential homeowners aren’t put off by having to do a lot of maintenance.   

10. Add a fence

house fence

If your yard doesn’t have a fence, consider adding a picket fence to frame the yard. It adds a punch to the general visual appeal and fences that are in good condition can add value to a house. This will have more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood, however it could be a worthwhile option to consider regardless.

Clever ways to improve curb appeal on a budget

Some people simply don’t have the funds to make major changes, like new garage doors or replacing the roof, so here are a few ways to increase your curb appeal without breaking the bank.

  • House numbers: A quick and easy way to add to your home’s curb appeal is by replacing your old house numbers with modern, stylish ones. Make sure to choose a font that matches the architecture of your house, and you can quickly add a cost-effective change to your home that makes a difference.
  • Mailbox upgrade: A new mailbox goes hand in hand with changing your house numbers, and a more stylish mailbox is an inexpensive way to freshen up the look of your house exterior.
  • Window or flower boxes: This is a quick way to add some color to the outside of your house without having to spend a lot, and it’s a great way to increase curb appeal by giving your house a fresh feel.
  • Clean windows: Sparkling windows can make a house shine and not only will they provide better light, but they’ll also sparkle to those who are looking at your house from the outside, making it more attractive. You can open the blinds or curtains to accentuate the windows as well.
  • Window shutters: If you don’t have shutters for your windows, you could add a few to create symmetry to your home exterior and give it personality. These don’t need to be the most expensive shutters because you’re getting them simply for the effect so vinyl will do, if need be.
  • Rocks and boulders: If there are sparse areas in your yard, or on the pathway, you can make these look a lot more appealing by simply adding some rocks or small boulders. You may be able to find some for free from constructions sites and other areas.
mailbox

Final Thoughts

Adding curb appeal to your home can be done with a few small projects, particularly if you already have a well-kept home exterior. If you choose to do bigger projects however, it certainly won’t be a waste thanks to the increase in home value that these projects will result in. Either way, your home’s curb appeal needs a specific effort because it’s the first thing potential buyers will be looking at and can make or break a sale.

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