People will learn — or assume — a lot about you by looking at the exterior of your home. For instance, they may ask themselves, “What were they thinking with that paint color? They must have awful taste,” or, “Those flowers are gorgeous! They obviously have a green thumb.” When it comes to judgey neighbors, the sky’s literally the limit. And if your yard looks like a wasteland of overgrown weeds and unsightly walkways, you’ll be the guy sitting inside who clearly doesn’t care about the state of his house.
Whether your home’s on the market or you’re planning on staying put, potential buyers and passers-by alike get one first impression, so you’d better make it count. Furthermore, if you are looking to put your house on the market, maximizing curb appeal is key. In fact, the experts say not only is it recommended, it’s crucial. According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of members consider curb appeal an important factor in attracting a buyer.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are eight ways you can easily improve your home’s curb appeal.
1. Give the mailbox a makeover
Unless you receive mail at the post office, your mailbox is typically the item that’s closest to the street. Anyone strolling by on the sidewalk gets an up-close viewing, so keeping it clean and cobweb-free is certainly best. However, just because your mailbox is free of dead bugs doesn’t mean it’s living up to its full potential.
To spruce things up right from the get-go, consider investing in a new mailbox altogether. If that’s not in the budget, or you’re feeling artsy, achieving a like-new mailbox is easy enough. A little fresh paint and new numbers should do the trick. And if you need a little inspiration, just take a look at how creative these folks got.
2. Clean the roof and gutters
This may seem obvious, but keeping your house looking clean on the outside, not just the inside, is a must. While you may not care much about how the outside of your home looks, your neighbors probably do. So, keep the peace by committing to a maintenance schedule.
A dirty or damaged roof can really impact your home’s value, and not in a good way. If you notice a shingle missing here or there, make a run to Home Depot to get the missing pieces. (Of course, safety is the top priority when doing work on your roof, so make sure you take the necessary precautions.) Additionally, overflowing gutters are never a pretty sight, so clean those out regularly, especially during the fall.
3. Plant fresh, colorful flowers
We’d be hard-pressed to find an individual who doesn’t love flowers — although, we know they’re out there. For most of us, the sight of them brings a smile to our face, not to mention their lovely aromas. Flowers can totally transform the look of your house, and you don’t need to have a green thumb to achieve botanical beauty, either.
If you’re not sure where to start, visit your local nursery or garden center. The experts on staff simply love to nerd out, and they’ll be able to tell you which plants you’re least likely to kill, which ones will fare best where you live, and the wide variety of color schemes you can choose from.
4. Pressure wash the deck and driveway
Due to the one and only purpose they serve, driveways tend to develop oil stains from sitting cars over the years. Similarly, your deck is subject to some pretty serious wear and tear, especially if that’s where you hone your skills as a BBQ master. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to getting rid of those pesky stains. After a little time spent with a power washer, your deck and driveway will sparkle and shine in no time.
5. Add lighting to your walkways
The path leading up to your front door should be warm, inviting, and of course, well-lit. After all, you don’t want guests tripping on their way to the front door. There are plenty of options out there, so you just need to find the ones that match your overall scheme. Not only will this add lighting to your yard, but it will create a clean border along your walkway.
6. Revamp your front door
Is your welcome mat looking old and dingy? If so, it’s time to toss it and get a new one. There’s typically no salvaging a mat that’s been subjected to shoe soles over the last decade. Furthermore, the front door is the entryway to your home, so it’s important you like the way it looks. Perhaps it needs a fresh coat of paint, or an entirely new color. And don’t just stop there. Replacing the hardware, such as the doorbell and knocker, will go a long way.
7. Edit your outdoor decor
You know those houses in your neighborhood with garden gnomes and Greek statues galore? You don’t want to be one of those homes. Never, ever underestimate the power of minimalism, as a discerning eye will really help you edit your outdoor decor.
Toss or donate any unnecessary clutter your yard has accumulated over the years. Maybe you can take down the rope swing your kids used to love but haven’t used in years. Perhaps that bird feeder you thought was a great idea is now a rotting mess. Don’t be afraid to get rid of the things that no longer serve a purpose. You can always replace them with newer, better items, like a fun bird feeder or even updated patio furniture.
8. Give your shutters a refresh
Painting an entire house often requires a professional. More importantly, it’s costly. However, you can find a simple compromise in the shutters. Maybe you’d like to change up their color, or perhaps you usually keep them closed, when they should remain open. There’s room to get creative here, so don’t hold back. For instance, you can really change things up by adding cutouts — if you’re really crafty, that is — or grabbing some shutter holders that you can install yourself.
Whatever your personal taste may be, your home’s appearance says a lot. So put these tips to good use!