Why Curb Appeal Matters
When driving up to a house, do you see a clean yard with inviting spaces, or do you see lights that need replacing and a messy yard with an unkept look? A positive first impression of your property’s exterior is what prompts people to come inside to see more. It’s what makes people think, ‘yes, I want to see the inside’.
Good curb appeal can bring a faster sale (if selling) or reduce vacancy rates (if renting). Even if you believe the exterior looks wonderful, snap a few photos and show them to others for their comments.
Improving — and maintaining — curb appeal should always be front and center in your maintenance tasks. There are many time-tested ways to make your property more inviting to prospective tenants or buyers and make them take notice:
Create Inviting Spaces
Think about how tenants or buyers may want to use the outside space, suggests co-owner Jamie Klingenberg of Gardens For Texas in Dallas. Will contentment at looking out the window at a nice yard be enough? Or are outdoor areas for entertaining guests needed?
Some ways to create inviting outdoor spaces that may improve curb appeal:
- A swing under a tall shade tree
- Rockers on the front porch with a glass table between them for drinks/snacks
- A wooden bench with a ceramic pot filled with colorful flowers on either side
- Trellis with vines as a backyard entrance
If a yard remodel is necessary, remember that many prospects prefer a low-care yard.
Care for Lawn and Plants
Lawn care is essential for good curb appeal while helping to boost the property’s value for both renters and buyers. Keep any lawns mowed. Add mulch or gravel, depending on location, to plant beds for a clean and neat appearance. Remove weeds and prune all bushes and trees. Get rid of any dead vegetation.
Add colorful plants, dependent on time of year, to planter boxes, pots, or in plant beds for a pop of natural color. Klingenberg tells us that to “add color and maintain that eye-catching appeal, change out seasonal plants two to three times a year.” Use a mix of annuals, perennials, and evergreen vegetation so the yard or porch is always alive with greenery.
Try adding a unique planter that fits the property, such as an old wheelbarrow. A few hanging planters by the front door does the trick, too. Just be certain no one will hit their head on them at the entryway.
If a yard remodel is necessary, remember that many prospects prefer a low-care yard. Klingenberg prefers using “native plants that are shrubby and lush and may only need watering one to two times a month.”
Keeping It Clean
Clean up any litter and place garbage and recycling bins away from the front, if possible. If you must keep them at the front, make sure they are always clean – not overflowing – and put some colorful flowers nearby as a distraction.
Freshen up the property. Power wash decks, patios, porches, and building exteriors to get rid of dirt and grime that accumulates over time. Keep your gutters free of leaves and other debris.
Seeing Is Believing
Improve the view from any angle. Whether looking at the yard from the inside or outside, a clear view will ensure a better presentation.
Wash all window coverings and make sure windows all open and close easily. Replace faded or discolored older coverings. While this may seem like an interior issue, window coverings can easily be seen from the outside. Dirty or torn coverings imply deferred maintenance and may keep a prospect from viewing the interior.
Make all windows sparkle, especially those at the front door, and replace any cracked or broken window glass. Wash windowsills, too. Of course, windows won’t show well if the screens are missing or ripped and the frames bent, so you should replace or fix all screens. Keep window coverings open to present a light and bright appearance and to let viewers peek inside.
Show Some Entryway Love
Don’t forget the entryway area, as anyone will have to come inside through the walkway and front door. The entry is where you make your best presentation.
Visitors should feel at home at the front. You could hang an evergreen wreath or other door ornament popular in your region on the front door. Front door decorations should not be overwhelming and must appeal to everyone, acting as an invitation to come inside and look around.
Here are some easy ways to make the entry more visually appealing:
- Remove weeds and grass from walkways. And repair cracks.
- Add lighting to either side of the front door and lighting on walkway to the front door for those early evening viewers.
- Remove all cobwebs, spider webs, dead bugs, and dirt from the front door, windows, and any front porch, patio, or deck space.
- Shine up old door hardware or replace with new hardware for a clean appearance.
- Paint or touchup exterior building colors. Try a contrasting color for the front door.
Of course, make the address numbers highly visible for ease in finding the property. You should put new address numbers on or near the front door or paint the old ones. If curb numbers are done in your area, you can repaint them. Address number visibility gives a cleaner overall appearance and is easier for buyers or tenants to locate your house at any hour.
Improving Curb Appeal like A Pro
Curb appeal not only shows care for the residence, it also beckons prospects to come view the inside and fill out an application or make that offer. It’s a form of marketing. Take pride in your property with careful attention to curb appeal, and it may just reward you with less vacancies, better tenant retention, and increased rents or a faster sale.
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