6 Quick and Affordable Ways to Boost Curb Appeal for Home Sellers
Creating a great first impression for home buyers is easy and affordable.
Guest Post by Andrea Davis
Spring curb appeal can make or break the sale of your home. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on spring landscaping, though. You should focus on landscaping aspects that need the most work and find ways to cut costs where possible. Hire a lawn maintenance service when necessary but otherwise see what you can do yourself. Here are some tips to help your home stand out:
#1 Accent your front door and trim
To help your home stand out as buyers walk up, consider painting your front door, window shutters and trim. Likely, these areas have lost their original sheen after a few years and inclement weather conditions. So you can go out, get some paint for about $25 to $50 a can — depending on paint quality — and spend a day or two repainting these areas so they look refreshed. They will accent the rest of the house and catch a buyer’s attention from the get-go. You might use bold colors for the trim and shutters, but steer more towards neutral colors for your door, depending on how it fits with the interior of your home. If your door is really worn down — scratched, cracked, nearly falling off the hinges — you might need a door professional to make repairs before painting it.
#2 Add new house numbers
To make it easy for buyers to know which house is yours, buy new numbers to put on the mailbox or the front of your home. You could buy easy stick-on numbers, but those could blow away or fall off over time. Consider stainless steel, brass or aluminum numbers you nail onto the home; they will last longer and hold up better against the weather. The cost of numbers will vary depending on the material, but you could expect to pay anywhere between $5 per number or up to $50 for a customized plaque.
#3 Install outdoor lighting
In case people are viewing your home at night, it’s good to have landscaping lighting installed to accent your home. It’s also a good security measure to prevent personal injury and dissuade anyone from breaking in. Pick your lighting fixtures based on budget and what will show off your home the best. You want them to light up areas like your flower beds, front area and the walkway, if you have one. You might want standing lights, a mounted fixture or a security strobe light. Mix and match as needed. The cost to install lighting fixtures is between $150 and $380, depending on the fixtures you choose and if wiring needs to be installed. If you buy solar lighting fixtures that you install yourself, you could pay around $10 to $20 per fixture
#4 Put up some flower boxes
Instead of working to install a whole new garden in your front yard, think about smaller improvements like flower boxes on your windows or around the front area. Flower boxes are a cheap alternative that still improves the quality of your front lawn. You can buy flower boxes and the accompanying plants at a home improvement store for $25 (per flower box) and $3 to $10 per plant. Then you can hang them, lay them down or attach them to your windows or porch, depending on what looks best. It will add that extra touch of nature to your home exterior and increase the visual appeal for buyers. They’re also much easier to maintain and keep alive than an entire front garden.
#5 Enclose the yard with a picket fence
It might be nostalgic, but adding a picket fence is a way to enclose your yard without detracting from its appeal. Fencing comes in various styles, heights and colors — not just white — so that you can accent your home exterior and show off your landscape to buyers. You can either buy picket fence materials for about $30 per foot and build it yourself or have a fencing contractor do it for you. Then you can add flowers and shrubs around the edge to help it better blend into the landscape of the front yard. It will look homey, natural, and appealing to potential buyers when they show up.
#6 Add a walkway or path
Buyers might like to have a direct path leading from the curb to your front door, so why not add a path? It will also protect your grass and prevent other landscape elements from being trampled. You could make it out of cement, stones, or pebbles, depending on what is in your budget and what looks best in your yard. Brick pavers, in particular, are a quick and inexpensive option for homeowners looking to add that extra touch to their landscape. It’s going to cost around $20 to $30 per paver, depending on the style you choose. You can also add those solar lamps around the pavers so nobody trips when walking up at night.
Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+