Seven Cost-Effective Ways to Increase Curb Appeal

Ah, spring.

That ideal time for buying and selling a home is approaching. With it comes the rush to make your home pop against the neighborhood backdrop, to win over buyers as they saunter past at a leisurely parade-pace on lazy Sunday afternoons. Visualize it. Can you just see it?

Now, pretend you are also house-hunting. You’re in the mood to find something great as you drive through various neighborhoods, or, let’s be honest, scroll through listings online, looking for that perfect showpiece that will snag your heart and get you ready to pack up the moving truck and relocate across town or, even, dare we say it? Across the country.

Let’s take it one step further. Pretend you’re driving through your own neighborhood and you come across your personal abode. Does it make your heart sing? Are we in a musical?

If we’re not, if we’re instead in a tragic opera because of its #curbappealfail, never fear. We’ve tossed together a list of low-cost measures that can shine the bright stage lights on your home and possibly cause house-hunters everywhere to break into song.

1. Spruce up the yard

If your house is the priceless painting, the yard is the frame. Take a few steps back and observe what you’re working with—is it clean and organized? Maybe you threw out all the greenery and did some xeriscaping. Whatever is going on in yard-town, assess and organize. Pull the weeds. Check paving stones to align them, or look for cracks. If you’ve got mulch, freshen it up with several new batches. Flowers? Planters? Work on making these items look clean and new to give your home the sort of first impression it deserves.

2. Pressure wash the exterior

What can we say? The world is a dusty place. And it’s known to have a few spiders busily spinning webs here and there. Nature is good. But the last place you want dust and cobwebs is all over your house making it look like something out of The Addams Family.

Grab the hose and get busy. If you don’t have a pressure washer—which can make this job much easier—consider renting one from the local home improvement store.

While you’re working this angle, do a quick check of your house numbers. Make sure they look good or if they need to be updated, snag a couple of shiny new numbers to replace the cracked, old ones. It may seem like a minor thing, but those digits tend to stand out. When a potential buyer is looking for your house in Real Life, they’ll be noticed almost immediately. 

3. Make the entryway positively shine

It may seem like a frivolous aspect of curb appeal, but great outdoor lighting is a way that your home says “welcome.” Are the lights in your entryway working? If it won’t break the bank, check out the possibilities of updating the fixture(s). If nothing else, simply ensure that Charlotte the spider and all her friends haven’t done their own decorating with webs. By that we mean: clean it off. Possibly with the pressure washer. Or a broom. There are also opportunities here for lighting up the pathway to the door with solar lighting, which will define the path to your front door in an inviting way.

4. Give that front door a fresh coat of paint

Slapping some new paint on the front door can go a long way to making your house look fresh and new. Stick with a strong color that matches the rest of your home, but doesn’t clash with the current tones. While you’re doing this project, think about replacing the door hardware to increase the appeal. 

5. Outdoor furniture is next level

What we’re looking for is yard furniture that whispers “someone lives here” and not “a tornado dispersed its booty here.” So go with minimalistic, classy, and appealing—something a potential buyer can dream of using once the house is finally theirs. Whatever you may already have in terms of yard furniture, check its condition and replace anything that isn’t working, and give it a good once over with a dust rag.

6. Spruce up your fixtures

This includes things like outdoor lights, door hinges, garage door handles, your mailbox, pathway lighting, and any electrical fixtures. These small pieces easily ride just under your notice, but to a newcomer, they stand out. Our advice is go over all of these to make certain they’re in good condition.

7. Do a drive-by

So, we don’t usually recommend role-playing, but we already started with it in the introduction, plus it can serve you well in this instance. Get in the car and inch past your house while pretending it isn’t yours. If you have no acting skills (we get it, we don’t either!), consider asking a friend to do this.

Look for things that sag or appear dingy and worn on your house. These are aspects that you’ve just gotten used to seeing. But house hunters will notice them.

Are there roof tiles missing? Is there a rain gutter that’s clogged with pine needles? Attending to these things before you get photos done for your online listing will ensure that you won’t be surprised by a broken shutter while the professional photographer is there.

Now you have the tools to get started on finding the curb appeal your house really deserves. Get out there and look her over, after all, spring is coming. It’s time for new beginnings.

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