Friday, June 29, 2018

Upside on the outside by Rick Yost

As a Realtor®, I am constantly asked “How can I add value to my home?” While there are many ways, most of them focus on the inside of the home: new paint, new flooring, upgrade the kitchen, upgrade the bathrooms, etc.  

There is another area of the home that allows for adding value and that is the outside. There are two main approaches to adding value to a house on the outside, curb appeal and outdoor features.
Curb appeal is important to the value of your home because, simply stated; it is the first thing potential buyers see. Improving curb appeal can be simple and inexpensive.
Maintaining a lawn is a simple way to make improvements. Keep it mowed, patch bald spots, fertilize the lawn, use weed killer and all the other steps that go into a nice-looking lawn. Some added plantings in the front of the home, that are well maintained, will take curb appeal to the next level.

Metal accents add an upscale look to a home’s exterior; such as metal roof flashing, metal house address numbers, metal door knockers, and upgraded metal door knobs. Make sure the metal chosen matches the character of the home. For example, silver looks good on modern homes, brass looks good on older homes and copper is a transitional metal that looks good on a variety of structures.

A nice mailbox is not expensive but can really impact curb appeal. A granite post with a metal oversized post box featuring large numbers is a great look that goes with many style houses. 
Home owners should avoid plastic postboxes or anything too customized or theme-oriented; like a ship as a mail box. Adding value comes from broadening the appeal of the home. Anything too customized narrows the appeal of the home.

Finally, a dramatic change in a home’s appeal can be made with a new upscale door and shutters.  It creates a whole new look that can improve the curb appeal of the home with relatively minor changes. 

The second way to add value on the outside of your home is by adding outdoor features, like adding more usability to your outdoor space. Outdoor features include hardscaping (rock walls, stone patios, and concrete work), but those typically are cost intensive with relatively no added value. Because of those facts, hardscaping will not be part of this discussion. 

Barbecue areas and outdoor entertaining areas can be super elaborate and expensive, but they don’t have to be. An area with some outdoor furniture that is level and inviting can serve the purpose as well as make the home more appealing.  Just letting buyers imagine the grill covered with burgers and the chairs filled with friends, will add interest.  A nice DIY fire pit kit from Home Depot takes it to the next level and shouts “socialize.”  

So, the next time you are considering adding value to your home, think outdoors. Wouldn’t you rather be building a fire pit in the sunshine than painting a bedroom anyway? 

Rick is a Realtor®, real estate author, and long time Windham resident.  You can reach Rick with all your real estate questions at


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