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  • Frank Tadych

Basics of adding real curb appeal

It's no secret that first impressions are important. So when it comes to your home, don’t overlook the impact of curb appeal on potential buyers and the value the exterior appearance can add to the sales price.

Adding curb appeal doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming or complicated. By addressing the basic curb appeal principles, you can create a warm, friendly and inviting atmosphere outside and a strong initial perception of what's left to see inside.

Remember, the outside of your home is the first thing a buyer will see. Try to view it from their perspective, and focus on improvements that will appeal to the greatest number of buyers.

The Entrance. Create a focal point by painting or refinishing your front door. Paint faded trim and molding, and replace worn hardware, light fixtures and house numbers. Add style and appeal to the entryway with symmetry and a blast of color in mind, such as potted plants and sidelights.

Lighting. Not everyone will see your home during the day. While also providing safety and security, lighting along the walkway is aesthetically appealing and leads guests to the front door. If installing wired lighting isn't an option, go for lower-voltage solar powered fixtures.

Do look down. The condition of the walkway and driveway can have a major impact on curb appeal. Remove weeds and overgrowth, and repair cracks or stains. Simply power-washing, resurfacing or resealing can sometimes do the trick. For major impact that adds value, replace concrete with pavers, stone or bricks for a custom feel, or use them to widen existing walkways.

Landscaping. Terrible landscaping is an automatic turnoff. Instead of rebuilding your landscaping, improve what you have by cleaning up weeds, overgrowth and dead plants; restoring color with new plants; adding mulch and defining perimeters. Focus on a mix of colors and sizes at the front of the yard, along the walkway and immediately in front of the house for dynamics that accent and frame your home.

Dress it up. Paint is inexpensive, but a few new coats can transform the look of a home. Along with obvious defects, give a fresh look to flower boxes, shutters, railings, trim and molding with accent colors for a quick and inexpensive facelift.

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