Remember when you were first deciding to buy a home? You drove around communities deciding if there were any that caught your eye. Today’s buyers are no different. They drive neighborhoods while browsing websites with homes for sale. They save the ones they want to learn more information about. If a home looks tacky or plain from the front, they won’t even save it. First impressions count, so boost your selling price with a little “wow factor”. You can count on getting back almost 100% of what you invest in a few simple outside upgrades. Step into the buyer’s shoes and look around. Better yet, ask a person walking by to give you their opinions. Are you impressed with what you see? Does your home standout (in a good way) when compared with others near it?
Here are seven specific suggestions for upgrading your home’s curb appeal with little costs.
Come on in
The first thing you should focus on is the entrance. It should be inviting and welcome your future visitors. It should draw attention to your home. You do not need to replace a door to give your home the edge, think about small changes. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint with an eye-catching pop of color. Think big picture here. Choose a color that fits with your overall plan and with the home’s existing exterior. If doorknobs and hinges are outdated or shabby, replace them. If the screen door is sagging, get a new one or just remove it.
Give it a bath
Most homes in the area suffer from growth on the exterior walls. The growth can be easily cleaned with a pressure washer and some special solution. You can rent or buy a power washing machine from any home improvement store. If you are in a rush, you can always call one of the power washing companies in the area. You don’t always need a full paint job, sometimes you just need a deep cleaning of the outside. As a homeowner, you can power wash your sidewalks, driveways, garage door, siding, trim, fences, decks, and all areas you can see. Did you know that roofs can be cleaned by professionals (please do not try this yourself)?
What do you see?
Windows. We all have a love/hate relationship with our home’s windows. We love them, but we hate that it is difficult to keep them clean. When preparing to sell your home, you should definitely take the time to clean them inside and out. While you are at it, be sure to clean all window tracts. Don’t forget about the shutters around your windows. Depending on the material of the shutters, you can spruce those up with a small can of paint. If they are severely damaged, replace them with some that will require little to no maintenance. Remember to keep the color and style of shutters in theme of your home. While you are at it, take a look at your garage door and decide if it is time for a sprucing up of the paint job there as well.
Fix the fixtures
Your house numbers should stand out and be clearly visible from the street. Choose bronze or brass for more traditional homes and brushed nickel if you’re on the contemporary side. Be sure to match the fixtures of the home. If your doorknob is bronze, don’t put a set shiny brass numbers on the front porch. How does your mailbox look? A coat of paint that matches your house will help, but if it’s dented, damaged or outdated, replace it. They are cheap and you can usually find some discounted at different home improvement stores. Keep all these elements in the same color family. You can save money by shopping different stores or online instead of trying to mix and match colors.
Install outdoor lighting
Outdoor spaces are a desirable addition to any home. Adding exterior lighting will help to improve the appearance of your home as well as add to the security of the home. A new light fixture over the front door can add a lot of style. You can set light fixtures to accent just about any part of the home you want to draw attention to. You can point your lights to the branches of a beautiful tree in the front yard, or to the architecture features of the home you are most proud of. Wired light fixtures can be costly to install but are more reliable than most solar. Solar lights are easy to install and relatively inexpensive. You can light the walkway and lead the new buyer directly to your freshly painted front door.
Create an instant garden
Everyone wants a garden. We just do not always have the time to do it. We can be honest here. You are ready to sell, but you have these empty flower beds or empty garden planter boxes. Perhaps it’s the wrong time of year for planting, or you don’t have time to wait for flowers to bloom. No worries. You can fill them with preassembled plant collections from any home improvement store or nursery. If you want to show your creativity, just gather some random interesting pots and fill them with colorful plants and flowers. Placing several pots together will give a dynamic effect not matched when the same pots are spread out.
Add some window boxes
Some of our homes do not allow for much garden space. Window boxes are a fast, easy way to add the appeal without a massive landscape change. Choosing boxes of copper or iron will give you a traditional look but can be more expensive, while painted wood has more of a cottage feel at a cheaper price. There are also many light-weight varieties made of resin and other synthetics that are easy to move around. Some boxes are made to fit over porch railings or window sills, so no installation is necessary. If you have a front porch railing, consider putting the boxes all along the railing to attract the attention to the porch since most buyers are looking for homes with a front porch. Mix and match seasonal flowers and plants to accent your home’s color scheme.
When it comes to catching the attention of the person driving through a neighborhood looking for homes, it is all about curb appeal. Investing a little money and a bit of time will pay off big in the end. Your home’s next owner should drive by and see an invitation to “come on in”.