A home's exterior means everything for that crucial first impression, and if it's not a good one, you need to add curb appeal.
Do it for yourself and fellow occupants — not to mention for potential buyers. Curb appeal is important to 71% of homebuyers, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, and some potential buyers might not even leave the car if the house doesn't look appealing.
But even if you're not selling, keeping up the lawn, landscaping, and facade is an important part of being a good neighbor.
Here are some tips to spruce up your home's exterior:
- Plant the right greenery. Your landscaping choices should enhance the house, not hide it. Use landscaping to call out features like a home's symmetry or to hide trouble spots. Consider choosing fire-resistant plants to help prevent the spread of wildfire to your home. Bonus: These plants are often drought tolerant too. Be sure to keep all plants manicured and trimmed.
- Restore the front door. A new front door looks impressive, plus it can almost pay for itself in added resale value, according to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report.
- Update siding and windows. Though expensive, updating siding and windows is one of the best ways to add value to a home. Keep the windows clean. And if you're selling your home, remove the screens for extra shine.
- Freshen the front porch. A front porch is a key selling point. Keep the porch floor and railings in good condition and add comfortable furniture to make the porch inviting.
- Capitalize on character. Maintain or bring your home's exterior back to its original aesthetic to highlight its features. For example, freshen up siding with period-appropriate paint colors or add a fence.
- Install outdoor lighting. An effective security feature, exterior lights can also give your home a dramatic and attractive look at night.
- Fix what's broken. Repair cracks in sidewalks, the driveway, and masonry. Patching is an affordable alternative to a complete resurfacing job.