lets start with what it is. Curb appeal is quite simply the rate
of attractiveness your home projects to viewers from the street.
Why is this important? As the definition states, it is the ultimate
first impression. You may have an immaculate, luxurious interior
but without high curb appeal, few will bother to step inside to
see it. This is even more important when selling on your own because
you don't have a realtor to hype the interior as worth a viewing.
it worth the trouble to invest, if you don't have good curb appeal? The
payback value on exterior upgrades to your property range from 49% for
landscaping improvements to 62% for exterior home improvements, such as
painting. Next to the kitchen and bath, these are the highest payback
ratios for home improvements and are well worth the initial investment.
the order of highest payback value, we have provided some tips to help
you achieve higher curb appeal for your home:
the exterior may appear daunting and not worth the effort, but research
shows that it results in the greatest return on time and money for exterior
improvements. As a guideline, when choosing color, a long and low house
looks most appealing with colours that emphasize vertical elements such
as doors and shutters, while taller more narrow homes should contrast
its horizontal elements likes fascias and gutters. Window boxes are a
nice touch as well.
painting is out of the questions, the bare minimum improvements should
the full exterior to clear it from dirt and cobwebs. Renting a high pressure
washer is best. Fix any loose, missing, or damaged shutters. Clean, paint,
or replace mailbox, doorknobs, and street numbers.
with a freshly painted or washed exterior, dirty windows will stand out
like a sore thumb, and will date them past their true age.
for cleaning windows - Do not clean windows while they are in direct sunlight.
Your cleaning solution will dry too fast. Using a 100% cotton cleaning
cloth, dip the cloth in cleaning solution and wring out excess before
wiping the window to loosen dirt. Using a squeegee, start each stroke
in a dry spot, and squeegee in a pattern from top to bottom or side to
side. If you are cleaning the outside and inside of the window, alternate
the pattern on each side (i.e. top to bottom on the inside and side to
side on the outside). This will make it easier to identify which side
any streaks are on. Keep your squeegee blade dry by wiping it with a cleaning
cloth between strokes. Nicks in the squeegee blade will cause streaks.
Replace when needed. If you do not have a squeegee, newspaper will dry
freshly washed windows, whereas papertowel or cotton will leave lint behind.
Cool clear water is the choice of solution by most professional window
washers. For very dirty windows, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon
should plant colorful flowers along walkway leading to the door, prune
existing trees, shrubs and bushes, and add fresh mulch. Clean out dead
plants and weeds from flower beds and refresh with colorful plants and
annuals. Taller plants at the corners of your house will help anchor it
with the landscape. Shorter plants near your home's entry bring attention
to your front door. However, this could have a negative impact if the
front door is in need of repair (another reason to rethink the exterior
improvements noted previously). Last but most definitely not least and
probably most important, ensure your lawn is trimmed and green. If you
have a lawn in need of attention, you may want to consult a landscaper
for advice before trying to repair on your own.
further touches that will go along way to increasing the appeal of your
home from curbside are:
lighting - Exterior lighting in your garden, walkway or entrance
area add a warmth and welcome feeling that will make a viewer want to
Indoor lighting - While your house is on the market, leave lamps
on in 1 or 2 front rooms. It brings the home to life and, again, provides
the same warmth and welcome feeling as the exterior lighting. Exterior
lighting alone will not provide the appearance of a well loved, lived
in home, like the combination of exterior and interior lighting can.
- As long as the chairs are well kept and not cluttered looking within
the space, two chairs on a front porch provides a tremendous visual appeal
from the street. Buyers view the exterior as an extension of the home
and will want to view more.
best advice for creating great curb appeal, is to take a walk through
your favourite neighbourhood. Analyze what works really well and what
doesn't. Then determine why and incorporate those items to fit your own
exterior. Most of all enjoy the outdoors and don't get too overwhelmed
by the work at hand.
February, 2004 - XstreamRealty Incorporated
Amie Walton is the president and founder of Xstream Realty Incorporated,
a Virtual Agent online real estate service. She has retained her ASP designation
in Home Staging and is managing both XstreamRealty.com and XstreamStaging.com
as complementary businesses for assisting homeowners to sell their homes
quickly and profitably.