Don’t judge a book by its cover. While that may be a worthy expression in life, it definitely does not apply to homes. Curb appeal is a strong part of a look and feel for a home. After all, the outside features of a house are what people see first.
“Curb appeal for a home is the first impression,” said Chris Davis, technical expert at Florida Pest Control. “A well-kept lawn, colorful landscaping and an attractive paint color is a great way to entice buyers to come inside. Having great curb appeal also makes a house feel more like a home.”
It’s important for homeowners to know that the outside of a home is just as important as the indoors. A finely manicured lawn is not the only way a homeowner can increase the attractiveness of their home. Great landscaping also includes revamping a sidewalk with long panels accented by horizontal insets that integrates with shrubs, trees and plants.
Curb appeal is extremely important in real estate. If a potential buyer doesn’t like the outside look of a home, they will likely move on to the next.
“Curb appeal is really important for both new homes and older homes,” said Kara Bolton, Realtor and president of Kara Bolton Homes, a local home builder company. “A well-maintained home with thoughtfully designed and manicured landscaping will also attract buyers … and the cost of ownership can be estimated accurately.”
Maintenance of curb appeal usually means that all of the typical components are in place — the yard is well-kept, the paint is vibrant, the siding looks good, the roof is intact and things are in order. Regular lawn maintenance is extremely important as the best landscaping and décor will not overshadow overgrown bushes and an abundance of weeds. A simple pressure washing can strip away grime and give a home an instant gleaming makeover.
Recent trends have upped the ante on curb appeal using many fun and creative design ideas.
“Painting the front door a bright contrasting color, upgrading the look of the house numbers, and re-thinking the old and drab mailbox area are all inexpensive ways to change the look of a home,” Davis said.
Other trends that show no sign of disappearing are vintage and farmhouse touches including planters, birdcages and floral displays such as containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. For houses with steps, colorful pots with topiaries of blooming annual flowers that contrast with a neutral house color add flair.
Driveways have also evolved from slabs of asphalt or concrete to patterned motifs made of decorative stampings, bricks or other materials. Don’t miss an opportunity to jazz up a home walkway. Southern Living suggests choosing materials such as reclaimed brick pavers or well-worn stone.
With curb appeal, nighttime matters too. Landscape lighting is used to illuminate a walkway or light up the exterior of the house itself, as well as important fixtures of the home such as large trees or bushes.
At minimum, if a homeowner is planning to put his or her house on the market soon, they should seriously consider refreshing the paint, siding and trim. According to a study done by Michigan State University, a home with landscaping and effort put into curb appeal can increase perceived home value by 5 to 11 percent.
“Curb appeal is so important for real estate because it’s a form of marketing for the home and it attracts prospective buyers,” Davis said. “It may also help in selling a home faster and for more money.”