Mortgage Goals: Adding Value to Your Home with Curb Appeal

Posted by Laine Smith on 5/5/15 10:00 AM

Topics: Home Ownership

People judge the exterior of a home like a book's cover - if they're not impressed by the outside, they may not walk in. With the vast majority of homebuyers beginning their home search online, curb appeal is a critical component when attempting to add value and attracting possible buyers.


Whether you're hoping to make a great first impression on potential homebuyers or hoping to add a little more spring in your step when you walk in your front door, a welcoming home exterior can add comfort to your home and help it sell faster (often for a higher price, as well) when the time comes to list. Exterior home improvements often recoup a good percentage of the investment, with a little maintenance going a long way.

Spring Clean the Exterior

Time and weather can do a number on any house, so before you start with paint projects or landscaping, wash away any dirt, mildew or general grunge off of your home's exterior. Polish up your home by:

  • Power washing siding, driveway, decks and sidewalks
  • Washing windows and screens, interior and exterior
  • Inspecting and cleaning all gutters
  • Freshening up paint on your trim or whole house, if necessary

Create an Entrance

Make the doorway of your home an entrance. According to a study by door manufacturer Therma-Tru, upgrading the front door of a house increased the perceived value of a $190,000 home by nearly $8,000. If you're not looking to spend the cash on a new entry door and installation, create a focal point by:

  • Painting your front door a color that will complement, yet stand out against your home's exterior color palette.
  • Replacing old house numbers, hardware and light fixtures. Oil-bronzed finishes complement traditional style homes and brushed nickel suits modern/contemporary designs.
  • Creating symmetry. Eye-catching and simple to arrange, symmetrical compositions of light fixtures, potted flowers, etc. create an appealing entryway.

Enhance Your Landscape

Landscaping can increase your property's value by up to 12.7 percent, according to a study by Virginia Tech horticulturalist Alex Niemiera. At a minimum, gather leaves and yard waste, lay fresh mulch, pull weeds, edge the lawn, prune back shrubs and plant an assortment of flowers and perennials.

Outdoor lighting is a consistent wanted outdoor feature of homebuyers, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact and provides safety and security for homeowners. Click here for more ideas on enhancing your home's curb appeal with landscaping.

Add a Splash of Color

If you're looking for a cheap, quick-fix to boost your curb appeal, container gardens add a welcoming, colorful ambiance. Purchase ready-made containers from your local garden center or create your own with your favorite low-maintenance, colorful plants. Stagger them asymmetrically throughout your landscape or flank your front door with them.

Take a Step Back

As a homeowner, you may have grown accustomed to certain flaws concerning your home's exterior, such as a sagging fence line or a crack in your pavement. Ask a neutral party to walk around your home and yard to point out areas that may need some attention.

A little home maintenance, landscaping and updating will help you put your home in its best light, whether you're sprucing up the exterior to attract buyers or simply want your home to appear more inviting from the curb.

For more ideas on curb appeal, landscaping and home maintenance, follow us on Pinterest.

Looking for more information on homeownership and home financing? Download our free Mortgage 101 Handbook for what you need to know about buying a home.

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