Your home’s initial impression sets the tone for a potential buyer, and the difference between good and bad curb appeal can mean thousands of dollars. If you want to receive top-dollar bids, read this.
The four strategies for good curb appeal:
Each has its place, depending on the part of your home in question. Follow this guide as a great starting point, and, as always, feel free to ask us questions!
No one wants to see those messy, dirty coils! Wrap up your garden hose in a designated container, which can range from elaborate Pinterest-worthy things to a simple plastic box from Fred Meyer.
2. Air Conditioning
With summers like this one, air conditioning is a lovely feature of any Seattle home. The only problem: air conditioning units look ugly. So hide them! Build a fenced enclosure around an air conditioning unit to keep that plain, industrial look hidden.
3. Power Box and Cables
You need easy access to your power box, but that doesn’t mean it has to stand out like a gray, blocky thumb. Hiding a power box can be as simple as painting it the same color as your house. It’s an easy fix, and it makes a difference.
Keep those windows sparkling! In addition to letting in more sunlight, clean windows make it easier for potential buyers to see all your lovely landscaping during an open house.
5. Gutters and Downspouts
Last year’s dead leaves piled up in your gutter is not attractive. Clean gutters symbolize a well-cared-for home, so get up on that roof and do some cleaning (or hire someone to get up there for you). If you want to get fancy, copper gutters, although expensive, will make a strong impression.
If you have time and/or money, paint the house. In lieu of that, at least clean the siding of dirt and cobwebs, and make sure no rot has settled into any boards.
Pluck those weeds and fill those cracks! Sealing an average-sized driveway DIY-style will cost $100–$150. You’ll also want to clean the driveway of any irregular stains or oil spills.
Line your driveway with brick, stones, or paving for a clean, refined look. If you raise that border, it will double as a subtle barrier so guests don’t accidently run a tire into your lawn while backing up or turning around.
8. Front Door
No other single feature matters as much as the front door. This is where curb appeal and interior design meet, where outside and inside converge, where skin meets heart. This is the focal point. It’s worth spending money on this improvement.
Improve your front door with a bold, eye-catching color or a breathtaking natural wood; the front door should contrast with the rest of the exterior. Make sure the hinges and the knob are clean and polished, and add molding around the door to make it “pop,” eyeliner-style.
If the front door is the most important piece, the entryway follows close behind. Consider the entryway as an extension of the door. Whatever style you use for the door (hinges, knobs, windows, etc.) should radiate outward into the rest of the entryway. More specifically, you should update light fixtures, add decorative plants, and find an impressive floormat or (better yet) stone/tile front porch.
Don’t have an eye for design? Talk to Darcie, or use symmetry (such as two light fixtures and two potted trees, one on either side of the door). A simple symmetrical look is easy, and it works.
Mailboxes don’t have to be boring! Spruce yours up with brick, stone, or wood. As a general guide, paint the mailbox to match your house trim, and paint the post to match your house’s main exterior color.
11. House Numbers
Your house numbers should match your mailbox (if your mailbox features copper accents, use copper house numbers). It’s like matching your socks to your pants: it’s all about adding cohesion and making disparate pieces work together.
There’s always something extra you can do when it comes to landscaping, so don’t burn out here. A few easy, important tasks: (1) mow and edge the lawn, (2) deadhead flowers, (3) weed flowerbeds, (4) trim trees and bushes, and (5) spread new mulch.
13. Window Boxes
Easy and effective, window boxes can transform a bland wall. Those without a green thumb (or those without any free time) can even buy ready-made containers. Copper or iron window boxes add a regal, traditional look, while painted wood adds a comfortable, cottage-y feel.
14. Outdoor Lighting
Low-voltage or solar-powered lighting along the driveway makes a home look inviting and safe. In addition to an aesthetic improvement, outdoor lighting also adds security and makes it easier for nighttime drivers to enter and exit your driveway.
Anyone can plant a few flowers, and anyone will benefit from it. Planting flowers is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to raise curb appeal.
How’s your curb appeal? Post a photo on our Facebook page, and we’ll give you some suggestions for taking your curb appeal to the next level!