Whether you’re planning to put your house on the market or want to upgrade the home you just bought, the outside is the first thing anyone looks at. Real estate experts say improving curb appeal draws interest to your property. No matter where you live, rejuvenating the outside can be affordable, and cost-effective, since it increases the value of your home.
Nothing makes a first impression like a well-manicured yard. High grass, weeds, shaggy bedding, and dead flowers could make others think caring for this property is too much of a hassle. If you don’t want to — or cannot — do the yard work yourself, hire a lawn service. Vegetable and flower gardens are a nice touch, but they can draw insects to the greenery. Organic pest control keeps the bugs from destroying the lawn and garden, and it doesn’t damage the environment.
Keep flower beds and shrubbery neat and trimmed. You can add bright, colorful blooming annuals, perennials or potted plants for visual appeal. You’ll find that native Texas flowers such as Texas lantana and black-eyed Susans will give your garden bright color with low maintenance. Make it more visually appealing by adding colorful mulch on top of the soil.
New light fixtures don’t cost much, but they do a lot to brighten up the home’s exterior. Check out your favorite hardware or home improvement store for the latest fixtures that conserve energy. LED lights don’t get as hot as standard incandescent bulbs, and they’re available in many colors — perfect for the perimeter of your home. If you don’t want to install new lights, apply metallic paint to older fixtures.
Paint and Primp
A good paint job goes a long way when it comes to sprucing up the house. The front entry is a simple place to start. Black doors are trending right now and can increase the price of your home by as much as $6,000. Faded, chipped paint is another turn-off to buyers, giving them the impression your home is a fixer-upper. Along with the front door, splash some paint, stain or varnish on railings, trim, decks, shutters, fences and the garage door.
Mailbox and House Numbers
Chipped, dented mailboxes are immediately noticeable, especially when someone’s looking for the house address. A new coat of paint may be OK, but it’s a good idea to replace damaged mailboxes. Large, modern house numbers on the front door also don’t cost much, but they do bring eyes to the building.
Window Boxes and Hanging Baskets
Flowers are always a draw to the exterior of a house. Hang varied colored flowers in baskets on the front porch or walkway areas and place a few flower boxes outside front windows. Suncatchers and birdbaths are nice for the yard too. Buy a swing or rocker; front porch living is a definite draw!
Driveway and Walkways
Rocks, solar light sticks, and hanging wind chimes along the drive are welcoming. Replace old, moldy outdoor carpeting, and don’t forget to place a welcome mat by the front door! Dressing up the drive lets your friends and neighbors know you’re receiving company … and it makes people want to look inside.
Properties that look as if they belong in the neighborhood will be of interest to anyone searching for a house to buy. When your house looks nice from the outside, people assume the inside is also well kept. And that’s where it all begins when it comes to enticing the next owners.
Meredith Hale is a gardening and landscape writer, and design addict. She has coordinated the design on many house flipping projects, admitting that her favorite part is creating inspired outdoor spaces.