How to Save Money on Fall Curb Appeal

 December 3, 2014

In this tough economy, every home seller is trying to minimize expenses in one way or another. However, that doesn’t mean that a home should be cold and boring. It should be a pleasant sight, something that puts a spring in your step each time you go for a showing. Homeowners can still make quality upgrades even on a tight budget. Wilted plants and cracked siding are things buyers can’t see past. Here’s how you can help sellers save money and still make a big impact.

Exterior Paint

Exterior paint is usually affected by heat and humidity. Sellers should avoid applying a coat of paint on top of another as this shortens its lifespan. They should remove the old paint and paint a fresh coat instead. Advise them to paint test patches before committing to a single color. Some paint colors look great on sample cards but are too intense for homes.

Homeowners should also paint their front doors to perk up their entrances. They should ensure the doors contrast with the façade. For example, those with white houses and black shutters can paint their front doors red.

Highlight Major Architectural Elements

After painting, sellers should accentuate the key architectural features of their exteriors. They can use a contrasting color for features like brackets, windows, and trim. They should trim trees and bushes to make sure the elements are easily visible. Buyers need to see the front of the house whether they are in cars or walking by.

Create a Healthy Lawn

A healthy lawn is easy to achieve. All sellers need to do is apply weed-and-feed treatments to their lawns to provide the grass with the soil nutrients it needs. These treatments nourish grass and get rid of weeds. Sellers should also sharpen their lawnmower blades regularly and cut the grass at the mower’s tallest setting. They can edge the lawns for a professional look. Homeowners with unhealthy lawns can consider installing new sod. Those in a hurry to sell can spray their lawns with spray paint that’s specially made for grass. It is environmentally safe and non-toxic.

Power-Wash Surfaces

Homeowners should set aside weekends to freshen up their homes’ exteriors. Wood, vinyl, and aluminum siding can be power-washed. However, it is important not to get water under the siding. Sellers should also make sure they don’t put the power washers very close to windows and doorways as the pressure can remove materials sealing their homes. Those who don’t have power washers can use regular garden hoses.

Clean Windows

Sparkling windows make homes sparkle. If the windows tilt out, sellers can wash them easily. Otherwise, they might need long-handed brushes to wash them. They can use garden hoses to remove dirt and cobwebs, sponge the windows with vinegar or diluted detergent, and rinse with water.

Tidy Up the Driveway

A driveway is the first thing buyers see as they approach a home. It is the key to maximizing curb appeal. Garbage and recycling containers should be removed as they are a turnoff for buyers. They should be stored on the side of the house (behind bushes, small fences, or screens). Sellers should repair cracks in driveways and grow plants to make them seem less utilitarian. Low-growing plants on both sides can transform the area.

Plant Trees

Small ornamental trees improve aesthetics, freshen the air, and provide shade in hot weather. Fast-growing and ornamental species include:

  • Redbud
  • Flowering pear
  • Pagoda dogwood
  • Japanese maple
  • River birch

These grow easily and do not require years to get established. Tell your clients to choose plants that can grow in any soil and withstand different weather conditions.

Ronique Gibson

By Ronique Gibson

Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.