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Seven Steps to Boost Curb Appeal

by Eve Thompson October 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm 2 Comments

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This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate

First impressions matter. And that means the curb appeal of you home influences whether a prospective buyer even wants to look inside. Boosting your curb appeal doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are seven simple things you can do to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers.

  1. Install lights along the sidewalk — Lights lining the path to your home are cheery and inviting … and not very expensive. Lighting can also emphasize your landscaping and any other features you want to highlight. Also, lights improve security. Solar lights are perfect for this job. Since they don’t require running electrical cable or extension cords, you can put them wherever you want — down the sidewalk, around a tree. All you have to do to install them is stick them in the ground. There are so many designs today that they can add a nice, decorative touch. It’s a small thing that has a big impact.
  2. Plant Flowers — Need I say more? Just thinking about flowers makes me smile. And I’m not alone. Whether they’re in flower boxes, hanging baskets, or berms, they provide a huge boost to your curb appeal. Planting flowers is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to make a big impact. We have tons of nurseries in the area that can recommend exactly what to plant for your yard conditions. It won’t take long or break the bank, and it will make you happy.
  3. Cover Up Dead Spots on Your Lawn — Oh, how we love our trees in Reston. Alas, we don’t love their constant shade, and the inevitable dead spots that surround them. I say surrender to the dead spots. Rather than fight them by constantly planting grass that will never grow, cover them up. Plant some shade loving flowers or plants around them (Hostas do particularly well here). An even easier solution is to mulch them. You will be amazed at how clean and appealing your yard looks when you cover the dead spots!
  4. Upgrade the Hardware on Your Door — Another super simple upgrade is to change the hardware on your door. Styles change, even for door handles and locks. Swapping out old light fixtures and mailboxes (if you have one by your door) can also add new life to your entrance. And while you’re at it, painting the door will add new vibrancy. You can refresh the entire entrance to you home with those simple fixes.
  5. Replace Rotted Wood — Many of the homes in Reston have wood exteriors and HOA requirements forbid any other type of siding. In our moist climate, wood will sometimes rot, especially around window casings. The good news is that fixing it may not be as costly as you think. Sure it’s not as quick a fix as planting flowers, but it will drastically boost your curb appeal, and reduce home inspection issues once you’re under contract.
  6. Clean the Gutters — Cleaning the gutters really doesn’t take that long. Whether you do it yourself or pay to have it done, it will help make your house look more inviting. Something about weeds growing out of gutters just looks untidy.
  7. Power Wash Your House and Decks — Over time, your house and deck can start looking grungy. Sometimes a new coat of paint or stain is called for (you should do that every six or seven years), but often a good power washing is more than enough to make your house look brand-spanking new. Your house will look so fresh, you may wonder why you’ve never done this before!

There are many more things you can do to boost your curb appeal — some small, some more involved. But these seven things alone will drastically improve how your house looks to potential buyers and will make them want to come in and see more.

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