Whether you are looking to sell your house or simply make upgrades to improve its exterior aesthetic, there are a number of improvements you can make to boost your home’s curb appeal. Small tweaks can dramatically increase the value of a house and make it more inviting to neighbors and guests.
According to a research study at Texas Tech University, improved curb appeal can raise the price of a residential home by 17%. In fact, curb appeal is the second most important factor, behind home size, in determining home value. The researchers concluded that landscape quality and home appearance updates can equally impact curb appeal.
No matter how pleasant a home is on the inside, potential buyers will be less inclined to take a serious look at the property if the outside appearance leaves a bad impression. Here is a list of things you can do to immediately create curb appeal:
1) Fix the small stuff
The easiest ways to boost curb appeal are to fix things that are broken. From shutters, to siding, to windows, even the smallest details can go a long way. Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily need to do a complete overhaul of everything. For example, if you have cracks in your driveway, you don’t need to redo your entire driveway. Instead, simply fill any visible cracks in the front area or adjacent sidewalk.
2) Concrete stain the driveway
Staining your concrete will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to home renovations. For less than 50 cents per square foot, you can achieve the look of high end marble, stone or tile. Outdoor concrete staining adds curb appeal that will increase your property value and saleability, at a fraction of the cost of traditional flooring and surfaces. Concrete staining is now accessible to do-it-yourself homeowners ready to roll up their sleeves. Check out this guide to staining concrete to learn how to apply concrete acid stain to your home’s walkway.
3) Clean windows and gutters
Believe it or not, even small details such as clean windows and gutters can make a difference in curb appeal. Thoroughly wash your windows and shutters, and remove any debris or leaves from the gutters. The cleanliness of a home on the outside shows a pride of ownership that is appealing to buyers.
4) Landscape the Yard
A little bit of landscaping goes a long way. A research study at Virginia Tech found that landscape plants can increase the value of a home from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on its location. This means a home worth $150,000 could be worth $8,250 to $19,050 more by adding landscape and plants.
At a minimum, your grass should be cut and edged regularly, weeds removed, and front walkway swept. Basic landscaping can give a property a crisp, attractive look. Place potted plants near the front door and garage with flower colors that complement the outside paint of the home.
5) Paint the Front door
The front door is the face of a home. It’s often the first thing that our eyes are drawn to. A freshly painted door can do wonders for an older house. The hard part is selecting the right color. If you aren’t sure what color to choose, then you can test out different colors to see which one you like best. The good news is if you don’t like a color then you can always repaint over it.
6) Replace Old Address Numbers
House numbers are more than a physical address, they are a part of home’s stylistic design. Choose a new font that matches your home’s feel. Little additions like updated house numbers can give your property charm and personality. Feel free to get creative!
7) Revive the Mailbox
Don’t overlook your mailbox. While it might seem insignificant, even a mailbox can impact the perspective of a potential buyer. If your mailbox is weathered and rusted then it is time for an update.
Remember, curb appeal can make or break interest in a home. Subtle improvements help enhance the overall look of a house. Keep in mind that less is more. Buyers want to envision how the home can become theirs. Fortunately, you do not need to be a professional home builder to strengthen the curb appeal of your house. With a little bit of money and a lot of elbow grease, you can make your house a more enjoyable place to live and increase its sale price by thousands of dollars.
Earl Choate is the founder and CEO of Concrete Camouflage, a company that designs and sells its own proprietary concrete acid stain and floor wax products. He has worked in construction and real estate for more than 30 years.