Why is curb appeal important and how can you improve it?

If you’re not clear on the term, the description of “curb appeal” means that first impression people get of your home. Basically, the view they get as they are outside still standing on the curb. Regardless of what lovely architectural additions (more ideas on that if you click here) you’ve made inside, the outside appearance is still important.

Why does it matter?

There is so much more to your house than just the outside surface, so why is curb appeal an issue at all? No matter what you may or may not have going on inside the house, it’s human nature to form opinions and viewpoints on first impressions. Once that first opinion has been established, it will color everything else from that point onward.

For the average homeowner, you may not care one way or another what people think about your house at first glance. It becomes an issue when you are planning a move and are trying to sell your house. Grabbing a potential buyer’s attention right from the start with a positive impression is vital.

How can you improve it?

There are many ways to boost your curb appeal. Some may require more time and money (like renovating that front deck), but you can make several significant changes for very little.

The first one is to clean up all the clutter. Take an honest look at your yard, and do some tidying. Garbage cans, gardening tools, outdoor toys and even bikes should all be stored out of sight. If you don’t have a shed or a garage, consider renting a small storage locker where any of your outside gear can temporarily be stowed.

Next, step up your landscaping. Existing flower beds should be trimmed and free of weeds, and any dead plants should be cut back or removed. If you just can’t make the time to do a lot of maintenance, add a layer of wood mulch between your plants. No more weeds and it gives a clean look to any garden. If you don’t have much in place for flowers, just get a couple of pots to bring extra color and greenery to the front of your house. And it goes without saying that the lawn should be kept mowed.

How does your front door look? A fresh coat of paint can make a bigger impact than you might think. Or go an extra step to replace the beat-up old knobs, or the dented house numbers. And don’t forget the mailbox. All of these small details add up.

And speaking of dented house numbers, are there any other elements at the front of the house that need repair? Cracks in the sidewalk, bent gutters, broken light fixtures and split siding should be on your to-do list for the next weekend. Don’t assume that a potential buyer is fine with a little work. Nobody wants to buy more chores.

Lastly, take a look in the windows. Technically, the curtains and blinds are on the inside, but they are very visible from the street. Consider them to be part of your curb appeal package. Are they faded, crooked or broken? Replace any damaged window treatments, or remove them altogether. A bare window is better than one surrounded by ratty drapes.

With all of this work done, your incoming buyers will have a positive attitude before they even get inside.

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