They say never judge a book by its cover but, honestly, I’ve never bought a good book that didn’t also have a good cover. After all, don’t they also say that first impressions matter? The truth is, the best way to get someone to pay attention to the interior is with an eye-catching exterior, and that’s as true of houses as it is of books.
We call this “curb appeal.” Improving curb appeal is a great, inexpensive way for homeowners to increase the value of their property. Best of all, the things that contribute to curb appeal are practically universal.
Sure, everyone in the housing market is looking for something different. A person seeking out Buffalo houses for sale might want a place nearby New York City but without that level of urban chaos, while a person in the Arizona market may be more interested in private ranch property with wide-open spaces. Regardless of location, though, there are a few important qualities everyone likes to see when looking at a house, such as cleanliness, sturdiness, symmetry, and comfort.
Here are some quick, simple, and affordable ideas for enhancing all of those qualities and more.
Make small repairs
Making things pretty is great, but before you do that make sure things are in good condition first. Replace cracked window panes. Repaint areas that are chipping. Get rid of rusted metal fixtures. Patch any holes in the front-facing roof and pave over potholes in your driveway. Oil that creaky hinge and tighten that wobbly doorknob. If there’s only one suggestion from this list you adopt, make it this one. All the potted plants in the world won’t make up for basic disrepair.
Maintain your lawn
Like a good haircut, a freshly trimmed lawn will always help you shine. Don’t wait too long between mowings, and stay vigilant against pests and weeds. Weeds especially can grow out of control in no time at all. They can also pop up between cracks in the sidewalk, overgrowing and damaging the path to your home and just generally turning it into an unsightly mess. Conversely, planting a couple of flowerbeds or arranging some potted plants along the porch can breathe new life into your house’s exterior.
Keep your gutters clean
Gutters choked full of dead leaves and other debris aren’t just ugly to look at, they also defeat the purpose of having gutters in the first place. Overflowing rainwater can cause water damage to the roof, walls, and foundations of your home. Clean your gutters regularly to prevent this, and wipe away any clinging dirt to the outside of the gutters while you’re up there. If your gutters have begun to sag or pull away from the house, see about fixing or outright replacing them.
Update your mailbox
It might seem like a trivial thing, but swapping out an old or bland-looking mailbox for something more stylish (but not ostentatious) can have a surprisingly reinvigorating effect for the look of your house. It’s so subtle that it might not even be noticed, but it’s a good way of setting your home apart from all the other houses on the block.
Install a porch light
If you don’t already have a porch light, get one. If you do, now might be the time to upgrade it. Consider the look and style of your home when picking out fixtures. Make sure the ones you choose complement your house and don’t stick out like a sore thumb. A porch light obviouslyworks and looks best at night, but even during the day, just having one is enough to add a saleable and eye-catching feature to your property.