How to Boost Curb-Appeal on a Tiny Budget
First impressions are so important to most people looking for their new home. While you might not be in the market to sell your home yet, now is a great time to make some simple improvements and enhancements around your house to keep it looking beautiful. Then, if you ever do list your house for sale, you’ll have less to worry about. Sprucing up the outside of your house and making it more attractive is very doable, even with a tiny budget. It may take a few weekends of putting in a bit of sweat equity but it can really boost your home’s curb-appeal.
We pulled together a bunch of great ideas for you that are inexpensive ways to improve the look of your house.
Declutter the front yard: Rule number one in creating curb-appeal is to keep the lawn, driveway, and walkways free of clutter. That means putting away kids’ toys, yard tools and hoses, etc. Also, consider simplifying your home’s landscaping by removing overgrown shrubs, plants, and decorative ornaments.
Take care of the lawn: A full, lush lawn is a big part of maintaining curb-appeal. Regularly care for your lawn by mowing the grass, raking off leaves, pulling weeds, and addressing any brown or bare spots. Lawn care doesn’t have to be a huge project if you keep up with it.
Driveways and Sidewalks: Go the extra mile with your curb-appeal and consider edging along your driveway and sidewalks, if you have them. Remove weeds and debris that may have started popping up. Now’s a good time to patch any small cracks in your driveway, sidewalks, and front porch or stoop. If you have access to a power washer, it can do wonders for removing dirt-stain areas and can give your driveway a fresh new look.
Siding and Windows: Use a power washer or a watering hose to clean your siding, especially the north-facing wall of your home that receives less sunlight. It will help remove the chalky film that can build up on the exterior of your home. Washing will also clear out debris, spider webs, bird dropping, etc. You can buy special siding cleaners if you’re looking for a fresh renewed look.
Next, focus on the windows. Clean them inside and out. Skip the expensive cleaner. Just use a mix of diluted detergent and vinegar in warm water. A quick online search will provide several low-cost window cleaning solutions that you can make at home. Try using a lint-free microfiber cloth or old newspapers dry the windows instead of paper towels to prevent streaking.
Outside Trim: Instead of painting the entire exterior of your home, concentrate on the trim, shutters and doors. To make your windows and doors “pop” from the street to increase curb-appeal, consider opting for accent colors that give your home some visual contrast and texture.
Front Door: There’s no need to replace it unless it’s not functioning properly or has seen better days. The answer may be to repaint it. Just like painting rooms inside, a fresh coat of paint really does the trick. Maybe even try a new color, however it should match your trim color. Choose a day with moderate temps and low humidity for best results. If you have a wooden door and it’s dry and cracked, you may want to consider stripping off the old finish, staining it with a wood stain color and sealing it with a clear finish. It requires a little more work but it’s less expensive than a whole new door and achieves the curb-appeal you desire.
A few other things to think about with your front door:
- Adding molding around the door frame will make it look larger
- Replace your house numbers with some great, creative options available online
- Add decorations to your front door and change it out every couple of months
Lighting Fixtures: Clean the glass and remove the bugs and debris that has accumulated there. Replace the lightbulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. Don’t like the color? Buy some spray paint and paint them the color of your choice.
You can also consider replacing the light fixtures with something more appealing right out of the box. However, if you’re not comfortable with handling electrical projects, ask a professional to help.
Outdoor Furniture: Minimize the furniture used in the front of your home to avoid looking clutter. Be sure it’s not faded or falling apart. And if you don’t use it, remove it!
While we highlighted some of the most common areas around your home you can improve yourself, here are few other simple ways to boost curb appeal:
- Install a new mailbox or paint your existing one
- Clean out gutters and downspouts
- Edge around your lawn and remove any ugly weeds
- Replace or add fresh mulch to your landscaping
- New doormat can offer a splash of color and inspiration
- Plant a tree or ornamental bush
- Trim bushes and prune any trees
- Decorate and accent your walkway with solar-powered LED path lights
- Potted flowers are a great addition and are an easy curb-appeal fix
- Hide your trash bins behind a small fence or build a garbage can shed
- Hide your watering hose in a pot or storage bench
- Remove “yard art” that does not complement your home (think pink flamingos or wind socks)
Not only does increasing your home’s curb-appeal make you feel good about your home, it will attract more appreciative homebuyers when you’re ready to sell. If you would like more tips or want more information about selling your home, refinancing your mortgage or beginning the mortgage process, contact Great Midwest Bank and speak with one of our friendly, experienced loan officers today.