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5 Tips to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

5 Tips to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

The first step to selling a home is getting potential buyers inside—and the very best way to entice them in is to wow them from the street. Here are a few simple, low-cost projects that can make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal.

1. Hose down the exterior

Too many homeowners neglect this easy fix: give the place a bath! Grime collects over years and years, so gradually that most of the time, you don’t even notice how dingy and dull your home’s exterior gets. Especially if you have aluminum or vinyl siding, a quick spray down from an ordinary garden hose can make your home look ten years younger.

If you want a deep clean, you can rent a pressure washer for under £75 a day, but you’ll have to be much more careful about spraying any grout, sealant, or windows—a pressure washer in untrained hands can do more harm than good. In most cases, a hose with a good high-pressure nozzle will do the job just as well, and without the stress.

2. Update your front porch

You can create a beautiful front porch with a handful of little changes. If your door numbers are rusty (or just tacky and outdated), you can pick up new ones for £3 apiece at the hardware store. A classy new porch light fixture can be as low as £20, and they’re surprisingly easy to install. A brand new exterior door is one of the best home improvement investments you can make—homeowners typically recoup 125% of the cost of a new door when they sell their home.

If that’s more work or expense than you’re ready for, repainting your front door and polishing hinges and knobs can make a big difference. Many older homes tend to pair a white or gray façade with a drab, white front door—but you can make your front door pop with a coat of rich crimson or forest green paint. The contrast will not only make the door look good, it’ll brighten the lighter colors around it.

3. Clear up your driveway

When homebuyers look at your home from the street, it should be a blank slate, so they can imagine themselves living there. If you have a garage, make sure all lawn toys, tools, and, of course, vehicles, are stowed out of sight. Cap any external fixtures, meters, or pumps visible from the street. Be sure to stow any garbage or recycling bins around the side of the house, preferably behind bushes.

4. Give your lawn and garden an overhaul

Everyone would prefer to live in a home that was well-maintained by the previous residents, and a crisply kept lawn and garden sends exactly that message to prospective homebuyers. Use clean lawn-striping technique and keep your lawn immaculately edged. If you’ve got some time to prepare, you can plant a tidy flower garden for less than $10—all you need is a trowel, a bag or two of mulch, and seed packets.

If you’re in a rush, you can simply till up the area, lay down a thicker coat of mulch to kill the undergrowth, and pick up a flat of annuals already blooming from the nursery for about £25. The fresh black loam and bright florals are an inexpensive way to make your yard look great—and it’ll look like you put a lot more work in than you actually did.

5. Place one or two tasteful outdoor features

How you execute this idea depends heavily on your personal taste, budget, and time constraints. While you should be careful to avoid clutter, don’t let your porch and yard be completely desolate. A potted plant or window box can add a splash of green to your porch. Depending on your neighborhood, you might even consider a picket fence or an arbor, with gentle lighting to create an enclosed yard space. Planting a sapling in an empty yard can also help break monotony, or draw attention away from a less impressive façade.