Curb appeal. It’s that combination of good upkeep, overall charm, and nice detailing that makes a home beautiful and inviting from the street. It has an almost magical effect on people and on property values.
It’s a layered phenomenon that can take time to build, so even if you don’t expect to sell anytime soon, you might want to get busy. As you’ll see, small investments can mean a lot, so don’t let a modest budget stop you.
MAINTENANCE COMES FIRST
Maintenance and cleanliness are part of the big picture. Take note of whether your home appears clean, fresh, and well-kept. Also look at working elements like gutters, siding, and shutters. Are they in good shape or is it time to repair or replace them?
It’s definitely time for an update, so why not make sure the house numbers are legible and easy to find, attractive, and in a font that complements your home’s architectural style?
CHANGE THE MAILBOX
If you were the mail carrier, would you be able to find your mailbox easily? Or do you have a cast iron mailbox that would look better with a Georgian or neo-Colonial home than your Midcentury-modern? It’s a simple and quick change that can start to make an improvement.
RETHINK THE FRONT PATHWAY
Assess it from the viewpoint of a visitor; in other words, walk up the path from the curb, across the sidewalk, and past your front yard. Is it safe? Are any bricks, pavers, or other materials missing or coming loose?
If you have a front porch, make sure it’s freshly painted, repaired, clean, and nicely furnished. Also, think about repainting your front door with something colorful that goes well with your home’s exterior or replace the door if it’s in poor shape.
Look at your home’s add-ons, like light fixtures, railings, and columns. Examine awnings, porticoes, overhangs, and the porch. Make a note of any changes you’d like to make and add them to the ever-increasing list.
In addition to the color of the door, assess the color of your home’s exterior. Hire a designer or contractor to assist you in choosing colors for the exterior, trim, railings and other architectural features.
DON’T OVERLOOK THE GARAGE DOOR
Think about it: the garage door is a prominent feature of many homes, really in your face from the curb. When that’s the case, you want a good-looking steel door that matches the style and color of the house and has a lifetime warranty.
CARVE OUT A PLACE TO SIT
A cozy seating area on the front porch, complete with pillows and potted plants, may be the ultimate. If you start hanging out in your front yard, you just might turn your neighbors into friends.
LANDSCAPE THE FRONT YARD
Without a doubt, nice landscaping builds equity and increases the market value of your property. Since curb appeal is so important, your front yard is the place to start, and you don’t have to do a lot to get results.
The simplest way to assess the curb appeal of your house is to walk to the curb and view it with the critical eyes of someone who has never looked at it before. Enlist the help of a friend whose opinion you value, sense of style you admire, and who will be honest.