Friday, January 25, 2019

Curb appeal that adds value to your home

By Rick Yost

As we sit inside cursing the snow and the cold, it is time to contemplate the upcoming spring and the possibility of selling your home. It is time to plan your spring exterior projects that will beautify your home and bring added value. 
Exterior projects can add a great deal of curb appeal to a home.  Any potential buyers see homes on line and then do a drive-by before asking for a showing.  Many potential buyers also start forming an opinion of a property as soon as they pull in the driveway.  The drive-by and first opinion are the major reasons curb appeal is so important and, as a result, a few minor projects can make a big difference in curb appeal.

If your home is vinyl sided or brick, it should be pressure washed to eliminate dirt, mold, moss, pine  
needles, cob webs, etc. It is an inexpensive and quick project that will improve the look of your home and will give potential buyers an impression of a well maintained and cared for home.

Paint your doors and replace the hardware. In a couple of hours for a few hundred dollars, you can dramatically change the look of your home. Contrast doors are very popular right now and make a home stand out and it’s simple to do. Pick a color that contrasts but doesn’t produce a visual shock, then ad upscale hardware to provide an outstanding appearance. If your door has a knocker, pick an ornate knocker that matches the material of your hardware. An expensive knocker and upscale hardware send a message that quality materials were used to build and maintain your home.
Your lawn should be neat and well kept.  Get everything that is not meant to be decorative off your
front lawn such as toys, debris, boats, cars, etc.

Renting a storage space for all your stuff while you are trying to sell your home is a good investment. Your yard should appear as large as possible - clutter will makes your yard look smaller. a couple of bags of loam and some grass seed from your hardware store and fill holes and cover dirt patches in your lawn.  This easy project will make your yard look more appealing and welcoming for kids and pets.

Now that you have improved the look of your lawn, keep it mowed. This is another clue to potential buyers as to how well kept the home is.

The entryway to your home should have a clear and defined walkway. If you do not have a walkway at all and cannot afford to have one installed professionally, an inexpensive way to create one is to buy borders that you push into the ground. Use a chalk line to mark a straight path. Dig down at least six inches inside the chalk line and place your borders. Lay landscape cloth the complete length of the path to prevent weeds from growing and fill between the borders up to about two inches from the top with sand and compact it as you go then fill the last two inches with crushed stone. Water the path down heavily and level where needed. You now have a clearly marked entry way.  If you already have a walkway that is concrete, an easy upgrade is to line it with bricks.  Dig out both edges of the walk way about four inches, lay landscape cloth, fill with sand to about one inch from the top, and place and level the bricks.  

Another inexpensive improvement is lighting. Replace your current porch lights and other exterior lights with decorative lighting that matches your new door hardware.  Place motion sensor lights on your garage and solar lights along your new walkway. 

Light It up.  Your home will be more appealing to those potential buyers driving by at night.
Now that you have your projects planned, start dreaming about how beautiful your home is going to look and how quickly it is going to sell.

Rick Yost is a Realtor®, real estate author and longtime Windham resident. You can contact Rick with all your real estate questions at

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