Home values are a crucial factor whether you’re buying or selling. Even if you’re not planning on moving immediately but are hoping to boost an appraisal, curb appeal is a key element. The good news is that adding value to your home can be simple, quick, and easy on your budget.
Your home appraisal value will depend on a variety of factors, including comparable properties in the neighborhood. The home appraisal process involves looking at the square footage, room count, lot size, and other features of similar houses. However, if your home and another property hit the same marks, small changes can have a significant impact.
Simple things like maintaining your trees, shrubs, and flower beds can help the home looking crisp and well-tended. On the other hand, overgrown shrubs and leaf-covered lawns can cause curb appeal to dip, no matter who is looking.
A frequently mowed lawn is appealing, but if your home’s landscaping is lacking, now is the ideal time to make improvements. Upgrading your garden to showcase the property is an excellent way to build upon curb appeal.
Choosing low-water plants and shrubs (also known as xeriscaping) can help avoid excess energy bills. If your property is smaller, you may go for zeroscaping, also known as rock gardens. You can also keep maintenance to a minimum with stone elements or mulched flower beds. Staging the area can also help; placing an attractive outdoor dining set can do wonders for the ambiance of the backyard, explains SF Gate.
While air conditioning units are a necessary piece of equipment for most homeowners, they can affect your property’s curb appeal. Think about covering up HVAC units by adding fencing or other decorative elements. If trash cans are an unsightly home feature, think about investing in a way to cover them up, whether with a pre-made bin or additional fencing. The more streamlined the exterior, the more appealing it is to potential buyers. At the same time, if you extend fencing for a more utilitarian purpose, that can add value to the property too.
You may not want your home to stand out from others on the block in a bad way. However, adding a pop of color to the front entry can help attract positive attention. Painting can be an intense chore, but you can boost curb appeal with a quart-sized can of paint to cover your front door. Depending on whether you have a storm door, you may be able to complete the project without removing the door from its hinges. Painting mailboxes — where permitted — is another way to make your home unique. Even without paint, adding color with potted plants, patio furniture, or a new doormat can make a difference.
Replacing a driveway is a significant expense, but cleaning up the existing driveway can make a good impression. Power washing may rid your driveway of oil stains and discoloration.
You can also fill in cracks with cement patching kits or even seal the surface with a paint product. Any crack smaller than a quarter of an inch wide can be patched.
You might not think of swapping lightbulbs as a means of adding curb appeal. But a clearly lit front drive, walkways, and stairwells can make a home feel inviting and cozy. Landscape lighting is another consideration that can help with both aesthetics and deterring would-be criminals.
Studies have long claimed that increased lighting helps decrease crime. And while current research suggests that might not be true, better lighting does help people feel safer. Therefore, adding better lighting to your outdoor spaces could be a boon for its value.
Any steps you take toward cleaning up your home’s exterior are excellent for maintaining and enhancing its value. But with these projects, you can easily boost your property’s curb appeal without spending much time or effort.