Easy Ways to Increase Summer Curb Appeal

Curb appeal, or the appearance of your home from the street, is a popular subject among homeowners. If you’re considering selling your house this summer, your real estate agent may have already recommended ways to enhance your curb appeal. But is it that crucial? After all, it’s scorching outside. Mowing, weeding, and planting may not be the most desirable tasks when the temperature is approaching triple digits. However, neglecting the exterior of your home could significantly affect the level of interest in your property, the offers you receive, and even the appraisal value.

As the summer season brings the busiest time for home selling, it remains crucial to make a great impression on potential buyers. Even if you are not planning to sell your house this summer, enhancing the appearance of your home’s front is a valuable investment. Unsure of where to begin? Let us help you make your home more attractive.

Components of Good Curb Appeal

While it may seem daunting to invest time, effort, and resources into enhancing the exterior of your home, it can ultimately save you from a disappointing summer of missed opportunities with potential buyers who may dismiss your property based solely on a quick drive-by. To simplify the process, here are the key components of achieving exceptional curb appeal:

  • Landscaping: Mow the lawn frequently, weed the flower beds, and keep trees and shrubs pruned. Plant some colorful flowers to make the front of your home more appealing.
  • Roof and siding: Make sure your roof and siding are in good condition. If both are showing signs of age or damage, invest in getting these repaired or replaced.
  • Windows and the front door: The windows and front door should welcome people to your home. If your front door doesn’t stand out, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. Don’t shy away from color — a pop of turquoise, red, or sunny yellow could make your entrance a showstopper. Make sure the windows are clean and aren’t covered by tall bushes or plants. Paint the windowsills if they look chipped or worn.
  • Driveway: If your driveway is stained, give it a good pressure washing. Do the same with the sidewalk.
  • Lighting: Even in the daytime, buyers will notice the exterior light fixtures. Make sure the porch light is clean and working. Accentuate the walkways and garden areas with solar lights.

Is Curb Appeal Important?

Having a strong curb appeal is crucial, particularly when trying to sell your home. The first impression that buyers have of your house can greatly influence their decision. In fact, the National Association of Realtors conducted a study in 2018 on the effect of outdoor features on home renovations. The results showed that 99 percent of NAR members considered curb appeal to be a crucial factor in attracting potential buyers. A lack of curb appeal can not only affect a buyer’s interest, but it can also impact the final selling price of your home.

How to Increase Curb Appeal in Summer

As a homeowner, it’s important to take a step back and assess the appearance of your property. Are there any signs of wear and tear that catch your eye? Is the front door the focal point, or are there distractions like unruly shrubs or an unkempt lawn? Are there any unnecessary items cluttering the space? And don’t forget about the mailbox – is it in good condition? Take a moment to view your home through the lens of a potential buyer upon their first visit.

Depending on where you live, the strong summer sun can be tough on plants, making your yard look a bit droopy and tired. To give your front yard a little bit of sizzle, consider planting flowers that love full sun and will bloom all season long, such as zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, begonias, and lantana. Before planting anything, check your area’s hardiness zone and find plants that will hold up to whatever your summer may deliver.

As summer calls for spending more time outside, why not enhance your outdoor living area to create a welcoming space? For instance, if you have a front porch, adding an outdoor swing will entice potential buyers to envision themselves savoring their morning coffee there. Even a simple bench or chair can add charm to your front porch. Additionally, incorporating some plants and outdoor lighting at the entryway can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. To further attract buyers, consider installing a pathway using materials like pavers, concrete, or stepping-stones. And don’t forget to make your front door stand out as the focal point by painting it a vibrant color, adorning it with a wreath, or placing flowerpots on either side.

Don’t overlook the garage doors and their impact on curb appeal, especially if your garage is visible from the street. If your doors are old and worn-looking, consider replacing them to instantly give your house an updated look.

Does Curb Appeal Impact the Appraisal?

Although some may argue that it shouldn’t hold much weight, curb appeal has a significant impact on your appraisal. A poorly maintained exterior can result in a lower appraised value for your home. It’s worth noting that the appraiser will begin evaluating your property as soon as they set foot on your yard. By the time they reach your doorstep to assess the interior, they have already formed their initial impression of your home.

Not only does curb appeal affect the appraisal, but it can lower the overall value of your home by as much as 15 percent. A home with curb appeal is likely to sell faster than one without. In some cases, up to six weeks faster. Even if you have a limited budget for upgrades and you’d rather spend it on the interior, the impact of curb appeal makes it worth the investment. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do with very little money.

Creating Curb Appeal on a Budget

Looking to enhance your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank? Here’s a pro tip: a simple edger along your driveway and sidewalk can give your property a polished and well-maintained appearance. And the best part? You can find one for under $100 at your nearby hardware store or even at a garage sale or second-hand shop. Keep reading for more budget-friendly ideas to boost your home’s curb appeal.

  • Spray paint old light fixtures. If you can’t afford to upgrade your fixtures, give them a fresh look with spray paint designed for outdoor metal objects. The paint comes in a variety of colors, including metallic. Consider spray painting other outdoor items that could use a pick-me-up, such as your mailbox, planters, or even wrought iron lawn chairs.
  • Put away the clutter. This includes bicycles, toys, lawn equipment, hoses, and even lawn ornaments (a few are fine, but if your flowerbeds are cluttered with gnome statues and pink flamingoes, they could be distracting from the beauty of your house).
  • Mulch. Nothing spruces up the front of your home like freshly mulched flower beds. To save money, try contacting area tree removal services. They sometimes offer wood chips at a discount or even for free. You can also try reaching out to city services, like the electric or phone company. These services sometimes provide mulch to residents after pruning trees away from power lines.
  • Plant a tree. If your home is a vast expanse of lawn, consider adding a tree as a focal point. Look for a colorful or decorative tree that does well in your area. For example, in the South (especially zones 5-8), a delicate weeping cherry with its soft, pink petals might be just the thing to take your yard from boring to stunning. In the northeast, the Crimson Queen Japanese Maple’s lacy, burgundy leaves will add color and texture to your yard. If you live in the Southwest, the Texas Mountain Laurel, with its bright purple flowers and wonderful fragrance, will have visitors to your home dreaming of afternoons lazing in the yard and enjoying the sweet scent.
  • Add some clever DIY. If you’re handy or know someone who is, you can add curb appeal with some unexpected features. For example, if you’re good at woodworking, consider making your own window boxes, bird feeders, or adding a hexagonal bench around a tree. If your house numbers are worn, make new ones using wood, tiles, concrete, or metal. There are several online DIY videos you can follow or use your imagination. Just make sure the materials you choose are suitable for outdoor use.

As a homeowner, you don’t have to overhaul every aspect of your property. By making a few strategic changes, you can greatly improve the appearance of your home. Boosting your curb appeal not only attracts more potential buyers, but may also increase the value of your home during the selling process. Take steps to make the front of your house shine and stand out.

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