How to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal in Mid-Missouri
You’ve probably heard the phrase curb appeal talked about before, but what does that really mean? Merriam-Webster defines curb appeal as “the visual attractiveness of a house as seen from the street.” Yet, we know that curb appeal is so much more than that. It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get when you take a step back and look at a home. Does it make you feel happy? Does it make you feel welcome? Do you feel like you want to live in that home because of what you see on the outside (if you don’t already)? This is what curb appeal really is. A home with curb appeal speaks to you and tells the story that it is well loved and cared for. Any home, no matter the size or price point, can radiate a positive emotional response when you look at it from the street if the owners put time and focus on its curb appeal.
If you are a homeowner considering selling your home, spending some time cleaning, maintaining, replacing, or freshening up the front exterior of your home, yard, and landscaping will often minimize your time on the market and maximize your return on your investment. When buyers get that warm and fuzzy feeling from what they see on the outside of your house, it will leave them wanting to see more.
For homeowners who just want to love where they live or maybe keep up with the neighbors, increasing a home’s curb appeal is great for your neighborhood, for building equity in your real estate investment, and for providing you pride and joy in your own home.
Whether you hope to increase your home’s curb appeal because you are preparing to sell it, or you just want to be able to enjoy when you see when you pull into the driveway, these tips will help you begin your home improvement project. So let’s get to it! Below are our tips to freshen up your home’s curb appeal.
Tip #1 - Refresh Your Front Door and Front Porch
The front porch often sets the expectations for what your guests or your buyers will experience once inside the home. We encourage our sellers to pay special attention to this area. When buyers come to tour your home, the front porch is going to be one of the first things they see up close as they enter the home. While the real estate agent with the SUPRA box or the lockbox, the buyer is usually standing right beside them, inventorying for any defect they can find. Think about what might deter you if you were the buyer viewing your front porch, and take care of these things before listing your home. Is there faded paint? Bugs’ nests or spider webs? Spend some time sprucing up this area in order to create the best possible first impression. When it comes to your front door, consider if a fresh coat of paint on the door and trim is in order. We recommend at the very least washing the dirt and pollen off of the front door.
Tip #2 - Update Your Home Accessories
With a clean front porch and fresh-looking front door, it’s time to decorate and spruce up the accessories! Look at things like your house numbers. Could they use a fresh coat of paint or is it time to replace them with something newer and more modern? What about the doorbell...is it faded or even broken? Even minor items like these can turn a buyer off to the idea of buying your home before they step foot inside. We also recommend adding a fresh new doormat or a seasonal wreath; these things go a long way when it comes to making the entry of your home inviting.
Tip #3 - Check Your Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting illuminates the exterior of your home for safety, but it also provides aesthetic appeal. If your outdoor lighting is looking worn, consider spray painting what is there or even installing new fixtures (especially if what you have is dated). We recommend using the highest wattage bulb that your fixture supports for maximum brightness.
Tip #4 - Wash or Repaint Your Siding
Whether your home has vinyl, aluminum, wood, stucco or brick siding, it will benefit from power washing at least every couple of years. The north sides of homes are typically prone to more mildew and may need more frequent washing. Many hardware stores have DIY options, or you can hire a professional to do the job.
Tip #5 - Wash Your Windows
While you’re pressure washing the siding, consider cleaning the exterior windows as well. When your windows are clean, light can flow into your interior giving a better appearance to the features inside. Make sure you also clean the windows on the inside of your home too.
Tip #6 - Add Flowers and Greenery
Take a look at your existing bushes, trees, and flowers. Over time, your landscaping may have become overcrowded and may benefit from thinning out. Check for weeds that need to be pulled from garden beds so the exterior of your home does not look neglected. If you want to add a year-round pop of color to your garden or landscaping, perennials and bulbs are a great choice.
Tip #7 - Rejuvenate Your Yard (Especially the Front)
A well-manicured lawn speaks volumes about the curb appeal of a home. While the extreme heat over much of the summer in Mid-Missouri can make maintaining a vibrant green lawn difficult, there are some things you can do to keep it looking fresh. The best-looking lawns in our area are treated regularly with weed pre-emergents, fertilizer, grub control, and possibly fungicide. While a lawn irrigation system isn’t a necessity, it sure makes regular watering easier; and regular watering is important to give your home lush grass. For a quick spruce up, use an edger along the sidewalk, front walk, and driveway.
Tip #8 - Inspect Your Roof and Have it Cleaned if Necessary
Your roof is such a huge part of your home, so it is important to pay special attention to its overall appearance. In Columbia, Missouri (and surrounding areas), asphalt shingles are common. These are relatively low maintenance, but the Mid-Missouri weather can take its toll, leaving stains on your shingles. You should inspect your roof (or have a professional do so) and consider having your shingles carefully cleaned by a professional.
While you are up there, check the roof for missing or damaged shingles & flashing and make any necessary repairs. Again, consider hiring a roofing contractor to make these repairs; if you are seeing loose shingles it may be indicative of a larger issue.
Tip #9 - Clean Your gutters
In areas of Mid-Missouri with more mature trees, leaves and twigs can accumulate in the gutters. This looks messy, but the bigger issue here is that clogged gutters can result in water creeping under the roof shingles, causing potential damage to your home’s foundation. Nobody loves cleaning their gutters, but it is a relatively simple and inexpensive job that provides great improvement to the overall appearance of your home. If you find you are having to clean your gutters often, you may want to consider having gutter covers installed.
Tip #10 - Spruce up Your Driveway
Your home’s driveway is often a large but forgotten feature of your home’s curb appeal. A dirty driveway with a lot of cracks can definitely detract from the curb appeal of your home. You should take some time to inspect it. Does it need to be pressure washed to remove stains and dirt? Does it need crack maintenance? Address anything that you find unappealing because buyers will probably feel the same way.
The best place to start in increasing your home’s curb appeal is to simply take a step back and try to see it fresh through a buyer’s eyes. It’s easy to overlook minor or even major imperfections with features that you see on a daily basis. It can be helpful to ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to take a look and provide honest feedback about the curb appeal of your home. Or better yet if you are preparing your home for sale, ask your real estate agent on tips to increase the curb appeal of your home. Our team provides a free staging consultation with a professional staging company that can help you prioritize projects to provide maximum curb appeal.
These tips to increase the curb appeal of your home may add value to your home or even perceived value in the eyes of potential buyers. If you are contemplating selling your home, register today for a seller consultation with our team of real estate experts.