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15 Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

Posted by Johnine Larsen on July 16, 2019
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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:

A. Hide

B. Clean/Repair

C. Improve

D. Add

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!

A. Hide

water-hose-storage-containers1. Hose

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.

B. Clean/Repair

4. Windows

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.

facade-258169_12805. 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.

6. Siding

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.

7. Driveway

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.


C. Improve

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.

9. Entryway

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.


milk-can-704093_64010. Mailbox

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.

12. Landscaping

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.


D. Add

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.

images-215. Flowers

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!

  • Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
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