Curb appeal: The attractiveness of a property and its surrounding landscape when viewed from the street.
Are you selling your home? Wondering how to add curb appeal? Don’t stress if you forgot about the landscape while remolding the kitchen and investing in your home. Potential buyers will appreciate that kitchen and anticipate putting their mark on the lackluster landscape. But, there are a few things you can do outside before hitting the sell button. Focus on these six simple touches to add instant curb appeal. If you’re not selling your home, add these touches anyway. Why wait to sell it to give it curb appeal? Could you do it for yourself?
Add House Numbers
Take the guesswork out of finding your home. House numbers are helpful to visitors, potential buyers, and emergency services. The mailbox is the most prominent spot for house numbers, but that’s for the postal carrier. Cars parked on narrow streets can hide those numbers. The best solution is both the mailbox and the house. House numbers should be on the side of the house facing the street, preferably on the door, doorpost, or above the door where a light shines on them. If your Homeowners Association doesn’t allow numbers on the door but requires them discreetly by the driveway, please keep the area mowed or pruned for easier spotting. If you share a driveway with your neighbor, mark the distinction, directing drivers to the right house. When giving directions to your home, note where your house address is. These simple steps remove stress and frustration for potential buyers trying to find your home and provide an immediate impression of order.
Help potential home buyers find your house. Don’t assume the mailbox numbers are sufficient.
Add Simple Lighting
Outdoor lighting can get expensive quickly. Driveway lighting, uplighting, path lighting-some of it for safety reasons, some purely aesthetic. If the budget doesn’t allow for fancy, expensive lighting, don’t worry. Keep it simple by adding a light beside the front door (and entrance door if they’re different) and over the garage. Is the sidewalk to your door long and poorly lit? Add solar lights that don’t require an electrician but provide a dim glow at night to help guests (or emergency services) find their way. Solar lights are safe for use around water. Place them near hot tubs, pools, and water features as accent lighting. Use outdoor lighting to create a secure approach to your home at night or highlight features in the landscape.
Lighting is safety and aesthetic addition to your landscape.
Add Window Boxes
Window boxes ooze charm, and they don’t even have to be in front of a window. Adding them to the front gate, the pet fence, or under the mailbox is an instant appeal. Nothing says welcome home like window boxes full of seasonal flowers and displays. Get creative with pumpkins and gourds and acorns in fall, redtwig dogwood stems and pine cones in winter, or plant them with pansies or petunias for a spring or summer color pop. Do invest in self-watering boxes that help with hard-to-reach places. It isn’t always necessary to have an elaborate landscape when a window box can do the trick.
Don’t focus so much on the more oversized items in a landscape—new home buyers prefer to put their stamp on the landscape—but they love the small details like window boxes.
Place Matching Planters By The Door
Planters by the front door say welcome home. Have you noticed a trend? Adding curb appeal is a lot about highlighting the entrance to your home. So to that point, add a welcome mat! Only have room for one planter? Then add one. That makes for less watering, and it is still a happy sight. And, just FYI, those planters stay with the house (as do the window boxes above), so buy ones you don’t mind leaving behind.
Matching planters (or single planters) are a welcome treat for potential home buyers and you! Welcome yourself home each day with a splash of color.
Do Prune The Plants In The Front Foundation
If the foundation shrubs are eating your house, get out the pruners. Keep front foundation plantings below windows and don’t allow plants to crowd one another. Determine if any of the foundation plantings need culling or a hard cut back (rejuvenation pruning). Be sure to weed and water well (so plants are upright and hydrated), and then add mulch. Sweep or blow the sidewalks, driveways, and porches and get the cobwebs off the shutters. Sparkly, clean windows are a nice touch, too.
Get the pruners out if the foundation plantings are eating your home, blocking the view from windows, and crowding the door. New homeowners would prefer you did the trimming.
Do Clean Up The Yard
Tidy is the keyword. A brand new landscape isn’t necessary, but a tidy one is. Potential homebuyers won’t be disappointed by a lack of a beautiful landscape, but a messy one will put them off. Prune overgrown shrubs, get the grass out of the perennial beds, weed, and clean up the corner you’ve avoided for years. Seed bare spots in the lawn and rake leaves where necessary. Finish the beds with a fresh layer of mulch. Repair fences and walkways and hide the HVAC unit with a cover fence since plants now don’t have time to grow and disguise it.
Be sure to clean up unsightly weeds, rake up and reseed grass where necessary, and prune trees and shrubs.
Written by Cinthia Milner, Landscape Consultant, and blog writer.
B.B.Barns Garden Center serves all of Western North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.