First impressions matter. So even though we thought very carefully about how to describe your home in its listing – using such words as “spacious,” “bright,” or “immaculate” – when prospective buyers drive up, that first glimpse they get is worth more than a hundred fancy adjectives.
You want your home to pop, to stand out from the dozens of other homes on the market, but you don’t want to break the bank in the process. No worries. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just spruce it up a bit, there are quite a few things you can do to ratchet up the curb appeal without forking over a lot of cash.
Your front entrance and door should be attractive and inviting, and with minimal time and money you can transform it from plain to pleasing. Start by painting the front door. This is one of the best things you can do to brighten up your home’s façade – and you can do it fairly inexpensively. Choose a bold color that stands out, but one that matches the rest of your home’s exterior. Next, look at the doorknob. Is it weathered and worn? Replacing it can be expensive, but it may be required.
If the area in front of the door is concrete, cover it with tile. A few square feet of tile isn’t expensive, and a few hours’ work could give your entrance way a completely different look. If that seems like too much, use some concrete stain to create a faux tile surface.
Finally, look at the light fixtures near your front door. Are they dirty, broken, or missing pieces? Cleaning them, painting them, replacing missing parts, or replacing them altogether can go a long way in improving the appeal of your front entrance.
Give Your Landscaping a Facelift
Landscaping is one of the best ways to set your home apart and show it off in the best light. Be sure the grass is full, green, neatly trimmed, and devoid of weeds. Bushes should be shaped and even. A wood or stone border around the base of a tree, filled in with flowers or mulch, transforms it into a decorative and beautiful landscaping element.
Strategically placed flowerbeds along the front of the house, walkway, and driveway add color and brighten up the overall appearance. Adding a few extra design elements such as trees and shrubs – taking into consideration size, texture, color, and the size of your yard – can produce an eye-catching first impression of your home. Remember, passersby don’t see individual flowers or trees, but patches of color as well as differences in shape, size, and texture, and how they all blend together. Keep this in mind when planning your landscaping, and check online for ideas.
Upgrade Your Mailbox
Whether your mailbox is by the road or attached to your house, it is constantly exposed to the elements. If it looks weathered and worn, think about painting or replacing it. A replacement mailbox isn’t very expensive, and can add a new sparkle to your home’s exterior. And decorating or painting it in your own unique style changes it from a period to an exclamation point.
Add Path and Accent Lighting
Light up your yard at night by adding path lights along the walkway or driveway. Both functional and decorative, they add an element of charm to your property when the sun goes down. Accent lighting – flood lights installed in the ground or in trees and aimed at the house or at various landscape features – can be strategically placed to create a warm and interesting atmosphere around your home and property after dark.
Install Faux Panels on the Foundation
If the concrete or blocks used as your home’s foundation are exposed, they can be quite an eyesore. Even new concrete looks, at best, utilitarian. Faux panels come in stone, brick, and wood and in different colors and patterns. They install quickly, look great, and can cover up unsightly cracks, chips, and discoloration in the foundation.
Add Window Boxes and Faux Shutters
If the exterior of your home is stark, severe, or monochromatic, buy or build your own window boxes, install them under windows or on railings, and fill them with flowers! And faux shutters, painted in an attractive accent color, can completely change the appearance of your home.
Hide What Shouldn’t Be Seen
Air conditioning units and electrical boxes are necessary, and you rarely have a choice as to where they are located. If they are visible from the road, do what you can to make them less obvious. A small fence or decorative box can be built around an air conditioner. Since electrical boxes, gas meter equipment, and other utilities shouldn’t be covered, they can be painted the same color as the house. Trees or shrubs can be planted in front of them so they are less visible from the street.
Pay Attention to Details
Giving attention to small details can do much to spruce up your property. For example, a new doormat adds to an overall clean look; they come in an endless variety of shapes, styles, colors and textures, and you can get one that blends seamlessly with the décor and expresses your own personality. Hanging plants add color and soften the overall appearance of the home. New or freshly painted house numbers look confident and spiffy. A birdhouse or cute sitting area give the property a cozy and homey feel. And inviting porch furniture, such as rocking chairs or a porch swing, say “sit down and stay awhile.”
Clean and Wash Everything
Finally, rent a power washer for a day and clean everything, including the front of your house, garage, driveway, walkways, porch, deck, steps, etc. You can use it on brick, wood, concrete, vinyl, metal, windows, stucco – everything! Your house will sparkle and shine like it never has before!