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Increase Your Home’s Value with These 5 Tips

Great curb appeal can improve your home’s value and help you sell it for more. A good-looking face isn’t just memorable – in real estate, an attractive exterior can make or break a home sale. Whether you’re thinking of listing your home or just want to make your home the envy of your neighbors, here are five ways to increase your home’s curb appeal.

1. Make Your Home’s Exterior Look Like New

For many potential buyers, the condition of the exterior of a home can offer clues to the condition of the interior.

Paint the trim wood.  Paint is the best way to make your home fresher. While you can paint your home yourself, if it’s large or more than one story, consider hiring a professional. Painting is a fairly inexpensive improvement.

Maintain your siding.  Over time, the outside elements can make your home’s siding appear dull and dirty. Use a pressure washer to clean or use a cloth and a household cleaner to get into those small nooks and spaces. Although the average life expectancy of siding ranges from 60 to 100 years, depending on the material, extreme weather may reduce this number. If you need to replace the siding, you’ll enjoy a high percent return on investment.

Paint or replace garage doors.  If your garage doors are in good condition, give them a new coat of paint. If they’re beginning to show their age, consider replacing them. New garage doors are more energy efficient and better insulated than older models.

Maintain your fence.  Replace rotted or worn posts and panels and freshen it up with a coat of paint. If you have a hedge that serves as your property’s border, keep it trimmed and in good shape.

2. Pay Attention to the Small Details

The small details tie your home’s exterior together and help it stand out from others in the neighborhood.

Paint the front door, trim and shutters.  This inexpensive improvement adds brightness to a home, whether you choose a bold color, a neutral tone, or classic white.

Install new door fixtures.  Be sure they match in style and finish and complement the style of your home.

Update your house numbers. Make sure potential buyers and guests can find your home. If the numbers have faded or need an update, replace them. If choosing a metallic finish, make sure it matches the finish of your exterior light fixtures.

3. Tend to Your Driveway and Lawn

Well-landscaped homes may sell for more and add value to your home in addition to curb appeal.

Place a border of shrubs and flowers along your driveway.  Or, consider creating a walkway made of brick, stone, pavers or another hardscape element to add visual interest to a plain driveway.

Maintain your green space.  If you have grass, a well-maintained, green lawn makes your home look inviting and picturesque. Xeriscaped landscapes are in option and incorporate drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives in warm climates, such as lavender, sage, wisteria and agave, with water-saving drip irrigation and mulch. Xeriscaping has a cost savings through reduced irrigation and maintenance costs. Additionally, these landscapes are virtually maintenance free, which makes it an attractive option for busy buyers.

Include trees and shrubs to create texture.  Add interest to your landscape by planting a few types of trees and shrubs of varying heights, widths, and flowering times.

4. Make Your Home Feel Inviting

It’s no secret that emotions play a role in a person’s decision to purchase a home. Stage the outside of your home to evoke warm feelings.

Stage your porch.  Christmas isn’t the only time of year to pay attention to your porch. If you have a front porch, make it feel more inviting by including seating, such as a chair or loveseat, an outdoor rug, and a small table. If space is an issue, incorporate small decorative touches, such as a festive wreath or potted plant.

Hang flower boxes on your front porch railings or windows.  If you don’t want to attach flower boxes, purchase nice planters and containers and place them around your porch or on your front steps.

Choose flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year for year-round appeal.  Bulbs not only bloom all spring, they also multiply and come up every year. Perennials often flower for most of the year and will prevent you from having to replant them every year. You can choose low maintenance plants and flowers. Flowers such as lavender, rosemary, and zinnias are a few low-maintenance and drought-tolerant options.

5. Boost Your Online Profile

For those interested in selling, it’s important to know the effect an online profile has on a home. The better impression your home gives online, the more likely buyers will want to see it in person. Here’s how to get your home ready for its listing debut.

Stage your home.  Staging shows your home in its best light and helps potential buyers picture themselves living there. Remove all “personal items”… family photos, the dog bed, etc. Your goal is to sell a lifestyle that almost any visitor can see themselves in.

Hire a professional to take photos for your online profile. A photographer has the skills and equipment to shoot your home in the best light and make it look its best.

Include a short video tour of the home.  Videos are becoming a popular way to give buyers a glimpse of the home before they step foot in it.

And, speaking of your home’s Online Profile…