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Why Curb Appeal is a Big Deal

Curb appeal is all about creating that first impression of your home. It tells visitors what kind of people you are and creates a welcoming environment. If you’re trying to sell your house, curb appeal is essential to creating a positive impression.

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal refers to the visual attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street or sidewalk. It is the first impression that a passerby or potential buyer will have of a home, and is an important factor in the overall value and marketability of a property.

Curb appeal can encompass a wide range of factors, including the appearance and condition of the exterior of the home, the landscaping and hardscaping features, the condition of the driveway and walkways, and the overall cleanliness and upkeep of the property.

Where Did the Term “Curb Appeal” Originate?

The term “curb appeal” is believed to have originated in the United States during the early 1970s, a time when suburban housing developments were becoming increasingly popular. The phrase is derived from the concept of the “curb,” which refers to the edge of the street or sidewalk where a property is located.

The idea of curb appeal was introduced as a way to promote and enhance the visual appeal of homes and encourage people to invest in their properties. The concept quickly caught on and has since become a common term in the real estate industry, with many homeowners and sellers striving to improve the curb appeal of their properties to attract potential buyers and increase their value.

Reasons Curb Appeal Matters

Curb appeal can greatly impact the property’s overall value, attractiveness, and desirability. Here are some key reasons why curb appeal is a big deal:

Increases Property Value

Good curb appeal can significantly increase a property’s value. It’s a smart investment to spend time and money on improving the exterior because it can pay off in the long run. When a property’s exterior is visually appealing and well-maintained, it creates a positive first impression that can greatly influence the perceived value of the property. Homes with good curb appeal often sell for a higher price than similar properties with a less attractive exterior.

Additionally, potential buyers are more likely to make an offer on a property with good curb appeal, which can create a bidding war and drive the price up. A well-landscaped and maintained exterior can also indicate that the property has been well-cared-for, which can give buyers the confidence to invest in the property.

Improves Safety and Security

curb appeal lighting

A property with good curb appeal can also be safer and more secure. A well-maintained exterior, including trimmed shrubs, proper lighting, and visible address numbers, can deter potential burglars and intruders. The presence of outdoor lighting, in particular, can make a property less vulnerable to break-ins by providing visibility at night.

Additionally, the presence of well-maintained landscaping and hardscaping can help prevent accidents and injuries. For example, a clear walkway and a well-maintained driveway can reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.

Moreover, visible address numbers can help emergency responders find a property quickly in the event of an emergency.

Lowers Energy Costs

Landscaping and exterior upgrades can be strategically planned to provide shade during the hot summer months, reducing the need for air conditioning. For example, the addition of a tree or large shrub on the west side of a house can block direct sunlight and reduce the interior temperature by several degrees.

Similarly, a well-insulated and sealed exterior can prevent heat from escaping during the colder months, reducing the need for heating. Properly placed landscaping can also serve as a windbreak, protecting the property from cold winter winds.

Consequences of Bad Curb Appeal

There are several consequences of bad curb appeal for a property.

Firstly, it can negatively impact the overall value of the property, making it less attractive to potential buyers and reducing the amount that sellers can command for it.

Secondly, it can discourage people from even considering the property, as a poor first impression can be difficult to overcome. In some cases, bad curb appeal may even deter potential tenants or renters from leasing the property.

Additionally, if a property is not well-maintained on the outside, it can signal to others that the property may not be well-maintained on the inside as well, potentially leading to further issues down the line.

Finally, poor curb appeal can also reflect poorly on the surrounding neighborhood or community, contributing to a negative perception of the area and further decreasing property values.

Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

1. Enhance the Front Door

The front door is the focal point of the front of your house. Make sure it’s appealing. It might just need a coat of paint, but it also might need to be replaced. If it looks dated, you might want to replace it with something more up-to-date or something that fits your home’s architecture. Replacing the front door has one of the highest returns on investment for any home improvement project since it’s easy and relatively inexpensive, but it has a big impact.  Don’t forget to address the elements around the front door as well. The right trim can make a front door pop.

2. Focus on the Walkway

Your front walkway is the visitor’s path into your home and can make it feel warmer and more inviting. If parts are cracked or broken — or weeds are growing through — you should repair or replace it. Consider alternatives to straight concrete paths. A brick or stone path with some curves adds visual interest, or you can edge an existing walkway with brick or stone.

3. Add Landscaping

Homes without landscaping can look bare and forbidding.  The right landscaping can soften the straight edges of your house and make it more inviting.  Don’t limit yourself to landscaping near the house either; you can add a bed of flowers or plantings anywhere in the yard.  Be sure to take a critical look at your existing landscaping as well. Maybe you need to replace some overgrown bushes or do some basic weeding and pruning. You might want to sharpen up the borders of your planting beds or add concrete borders. You can also consider adding some decorative elements such as a sculpture, birdbath, or fountain.

4. Install a Portico

If your doorway is flush with the front of the house, it may give a bland, one-dimensional appearance from the street. Similarly, if you have a recessed doorway, the entrance can feel hidden in shadows. Adding a portico will give depth and character to the front of your home but be sure to choose a portico style that harmonizes with your home’s architecture.  An added benefit of a portico is that it can keep you—and your visitors—dry as you enter the house.

5. Give Your House a Facelift

This can be as simple as a new coat of paint, or it could include new trim, different finishes on the home’s exterior, new siding, fresh shingles, and adding shutters.  While you’re at it, think about whether you want to replace your exterior light fixtures. Maybe it’s time that your lamppost and entrance lights look more up-to-date. Consider adding a splash of color with a bold new shade for your front door, a bed of colorful new flowers, or some eye-catching porch furniture.

6. Do Your Maintenance

You don’t want visitors’ first impressions to be that you neglect your house.  Putting off maintenance can reduce your home’s value. Here are some things to look for:

  • Peeling paint
  • Cracks in the driveway
  • Sagging, detached gutters
  • Cracked windows
  • Unkempt landscaping
  • Crooked or broken shutters
  • Bare or brown patches in the lawn

7. Don’t Forget These Details:

  • Lighting: For the sake of security and to beautify the house at night make sure you have lighting in the right places.
  • Stone choice: The stone in your walkways, planters, etc. should harmonize with any stone on the façade on your house.
  • House numbers: Make sure your house numbers are visible from the street and that the style harmonizes with your home’s design.
  • Mailbox: You can elevate your home’s look at a relatively low cost with a fancy die-cast or painted mailbox.
  • Clean the House: Washing the windows, siding, porch, garage doors, and walkway can make your house look newer and more appealing.

Trying to add some curb appeal to your home?  Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today! Our designers can go over ideas, big and small, to transform the look of your home’s exterior.