Is it fair to judge a book by its cover? Probably not, but that is likely what you did when you bought your home. Your first impression of a home happens right when you pull up and before you even enter it. How a house looks from the outside can make or break a real estate deal.
A cluttered yard, grass in need of mowing, broken concrete steps, and shabby landscaping can make even the loveliest of homes look dumpy and unappealing. This is where creating curb appeal ideas matters!
When you first moved into your new house, you probably spent much of your time working on improvements in the interior of the home. As you get settled in, you move in your own furniture, purchase new pieces, and begin the process of decorating to make it your own. But whether you are ready to sell your home or simply want it to look its very best, taking the time to consider curb appeal ideas is smart.
Why Curb Appeal Matters for a Home
What exactly is “curb appeal”? This phrase is an easy way to explain how a home makes a first impression on a buyer. It encompasses the front exterior of a home, from the driveway to the mailbox to the landscaping to the front door. Really, it’s anything that can be seen from the curb down by the street and describes the aesthetic attractiveness of a property.
Improving curb appeal has a big effect on the value of your home. Real estate agents have always known that a home with great curb appeal is easier to sell and brings in a better purchase price offer. But quantifying just how much it increase a home’s value is hard to pin down.
A study in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics was able to do this. The researchers examined photos on Google Street View and created a scoring system to measure each home’s curb appeal. They then compared home values among the properties.
They found that good curb appeal can boost the overall value of your home by an average of 7%. The impact is even greater in slow housing markets, with a benefit as high as 14% increase in property values from good curb appeal ideas.
Curb Appeal Builds Connection to a Home
Buying a home is an emotional experience, no matter how hard we try to keep a level head and approach it rationally. After all, a home is fundamental to our family and life experiences. It makes sense that we have to feel that a house is right for us before we put in an offer.
And those feelings begin right when we pull up to a home. A recent RE/MAX Twitter poll revealed that almost half of the respondents thought that an untidy exterior was the biggest turn-off when shopping for a new home.
“The buyer walks in and judges that house within 30 seconds.”
Much of that 30 seconds is taken up by examining the exterior of the home. In fact, some buyers make a decision simply based on how they feel as they walk up and then enter the home. This is why good curb appeal ideas are important!
Top 10 Curb Appeal Ideas
If you are considering selling your home or just want to make a great first impression for your visitors and neighbors, you can easily upgrade your home’s curb appeal.
Home improvements can be expensive. But improving your home’s curb appeal doesn’t have to break the bank. There are lots of easy and affordable things you can do to make your home look its best. Here are some of the best curb appeal ideas on a budget.
1. Paint or Replace Your Front Door
Your front door is front and center and attracts attention right away. You don’t need much paint to make a big difference. This is an easy way to add a pop of color and set your home apart from others on the block. You can save money by asking for “oops” paint.
These are gallons of paint that have been returned or paints that were mixed and the customer changed their mind. These are heavily discounted and would work perfectly for a front door. Be sure to get paint intended for exterior use for a long-lasting finish.
Cost: $50 - $100
2. Get New Hardware
If your front door handle and hinges are original to your home, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Installing a new door handle and a coat of fresh paint can make your door look brand new. If you don’t want to invest in new hardware, you can spruce up your existing fixtures. Remove them and give them a good cleaning. Spray paint the hardware with a durable exterior paint designed for metal. Replace the hardware for a great new look.
Cost: $100 - $150
3. Install Outdoor Lighting
Replace your home’s old light fixtures for an instant upgrade. There are lots of options for adding outdoor lighting along walkways and in your flower beds, including fluorescent tubes and inexpensive solar lights that don’t require access to electricity.
These come in a variety of styles, illumination, and colors. String some outdoor light strands along the top rafters of your porch. These lights give off a cozy vibe and let you use your porch as entertaining or relaxing space well into the night.
Cost: $50 - $150
4. Clean Up Your Landscaping
Give your lawn a careful mow. Pull weeds or apply weed-and-feed to the grass. Use an edger to maintain a crisp line in your landscaping. Prune any overgrown bushes or trees and remove any dead plants in your landscaping. Consider removing any large vegetation that blocks a view of the front of your home. Add fresh mulch around trees and in your flower beds.
Cost: $25 - $100
5. Add Potted Plants and Flowers
Colorful plants and flowers around your property add a pop of color and are warm and inviting. Using pots let you place flowers right by the entrance to your home. Be sure to select plants that are easy to care for and will thrive in your climate.
Cost: $50 - $200
6. Get a New Mailbox
It might be time to get a new mailbox, especially if yours is dated, damaged, or sagging. There are a variety of inexpensive mailboxes in styles that will match your home. Installing a new mailbox is an easy DIY project for most homeowners.
Cost: $50 - $150
7. Tidy Up the Exterior Surface of Your Home
Give the outside of your home a good wash using a power washer. Clean the siding and along the foundation. Touch up any paint that is peeling or missing from your siding and trim. Install new large house numbers in a modern style for an easy upgrade to your home’s entrance.
Cost: $100 - $125 for a power washer rental
8. Wash and Repair Your Driveway and Walkways
Use a power washer to really clean your sidewalk and driveway. Remove any weeds or grass from the seams of your driveway. Repair any cracks in the concrete. If your driveway is damaged, consider replacing the concrete or resurfacing it.
Cost: $100 - $500
9. Spruce Up Your Front Porch
Give your front porch a makeover, starting with a good wash of all surfaces. Replace any broken outdoor furniture and any damaged railing. Add a cozy seating arrangement and include some colorful pillows and cushions. Replace your old welcome mat and add a few hanging flower pots. If you have the room, a porch swing is a fun addition to the space.
Cost: $100 - $500
10. Clean and Repair Your Windows
Your windows are the eyes of your home and a natural focal point. Replacing windows give you a big bang for your buck, with over 70% of your cost recouped in a home sale. But replacement can be expensive.
Inspect your windows and repair any broken or loose window frames. Clean the windows inside and out for maximum shine and clarity. These simple changes can make a big difference in how your windows look.
Cost: $25 - $150
Curb Appeal Makes Your Home More Welcoming
You have lots of options for making your home look great while staying within your budget.
You don’t have to wait to put your home on the market to upgrade your home’s exterior. Maintaining good curb appeal should be an ongoing activity. It will increase your property value and give you more enjoyment of your home. Even making small changes here and there will go a long way to making your home look its best without busting your budget.
Call Discount Dumpster for an Affordable Dumpster for Your Cleanup
Discount Dumpster works with homeowners on all kinds of cleanup and DIY projects. Our compact dumpster sizes fit nicely on a driveway, making it easy to clean up the exterior of your home with handy access to your dumpster container. Our low prices ensure you’ll stay within your budget while getting the job done.
Call us to discuss your options, get a free quote, and schedule fast delivery right to your driveway!
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