Even if you’re not going to be selling your house in the near future, it’s wise to start thinking about increasing your home’s curb appeal. Creating curb appeal, also known as exterior staging, involves much more than simply fixing broken shutters or screening your garbage cans. Did you know that studies show an investment of just $400 – $500 in landscaping can bring returns of up to four times the initial investment? A house with a well-maintained landscape draws potential buyer’s right to your door and lets them know ‘this house has been loved and well-cared for’.
Here are just a few easy steps to boost your curb appeal both today and in the coming months:
♦ Edge all your planting beds and borders and apply a fresh layer of mulch.
♦ Prune back shrubs and trees so they do not obscure your windows. Rejuvenation pruning this season can pay off with healthy, beautiful shrubs in the coming months.
♦ Remove any overgrown and scraggly trees and shrubs (not only will they date your house, they will send a message that it has not been cared for).
♦ If you’re left with a hole where a shrub used to be, consider adding annuals or perennials for a quick filler and splash of color. Or better yet, plant a quick growing shrub that will provide several seasons of interest.
♦ If appropriate for your home’s style, add window boxes full of colorful annuals.
♦ Plant a small garden around your mailbox to welcome potential buyers.
♦ Place containers or urns filled with colorful plants near your front door and near the entrance to your front walkway.
♦ If you plant new trees and shrubs, buy ones with multi-season interest. There are numerous plants that flower in the spring, have berries in the summer and then colorful leaves in the fall. They will help showcase your home all year long.
Viewing your landscape with an objective yet knowledgeable eye can be difficult. But be creative and have fun. What’s the worst that could happen?
What suggestions do you have for this candidate that is in need of some serious curb appeal help?
Note: This post is excerpted from an article I wrote in 2009 for a local Stamford real estate newsletter.