If you’re thinking about selling your home, one of the best ways you can improve the value of your current home is through home improvements. A renovated bathroom, a new kitchen or even new flooring may seem expensive, but they are often the best way to ensure that potential buyers will be interested in purchasing your home, allowing you to recoup much of your original investment.
Another important way to improve the resale value of your home is to enhance your curb appeal with exterior home improvements.
We all know how important first impressions are. You want to look your very best because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential home buyer. They are looking for a home to buy, and they see your home in the neighborhood or online. They also see that your lawn hasn’t been mowed in a while. There are shingles missing from the roof. The paint is peeling. There are holes in the driveway where pieces of asphalt or concrete have come out. Your front door looks like it’s been through a hurricane.
Do you think they want to see the inside of your home? Real estate agents say probably not — many potential buyers think that if the outside of your home is not cared for properly, then the inside will not be cared for properly either.
What Is Curb Appeal and Why Is It Important?
Curb appeal is that first impression people have of your home. It’s important because if you have worked hard at curb appeal, it will entice potential buyers to stop and look at your home. Additionally, high curb appeal can increase the resale value of your home.
Curb appeal is not just one thing. It’s more than just mowing the grass or replacing your front door. It’s a combination of several things. Since the 1980s, many different studies have shown that merely improving the landscaping around your home can increase the value of a home by as much as 10%. Combining this with other improvements can increase that percentage.
So what is curb appeal and what goes into it?
According to the National Association of Realtors®, curb appeal can include:
- Improving the landscape by planting flowers, mowing regularly and trimming sidewalk edges.
- Replacing the entry door. If you can’t replace the door then a new coat of paint or a good wash will do.
- Replacing the garage door. If replacing the garage door is financially out of reach, try a fresh coat of paint or a good scrub.
- Repair or replace the roof. You may just need a few shingles replaced. However, if the roof is in really bad shape, you should have the whole thing replaced. The condition of the roof is one of the first things potential buyers consider.
- Repair or replace the siding. If your siding is cracked, sagging or warped, replace it. Consider insulated vinyl siding to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
- Replace the windows. Save money by replacing just the windows you can see from the street. If you can’t replace windows, paint the trim and give them a good wash.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to improve your curb appeal. We’ll look at similar items more in-depth below but the idea is, as we said above, you want that first impression of your home to be one that potential buyers will remember – in a good way.
How Much Value Does Curb Appeal Add?
Landscaping experts and real estate agents find it hard to say exactly how much curb appeal can add to the resale value of your house, but they all agree that done correctly, you will gain a significant return on your investment (ROI). The Washington Post found a “medley of statistics” on ROI that range from 100 to 1,000% for landscaping while other sites said that curb appeal could increase the value of your home by 5 to 20%.
You should always be realistic about how much curb appeal will increase the value of your home. In many ways, it depends on how much you spend. There is also a fine line between overspending and spending the right amount. For instance, if you invest too much in landscaping, it can turn off potential buyers because they will see all the extensive landscaping as requiring extra work on their part to maintain it. Remember, you want to make your home look inviting not intimidating.
Remodeling’s 2018 report on “Cost Versus Value” provides an idea, based on national averages, of what you will pay for some curb appeal items as well as the value that these improvements will add to the resale of your home.
- Replacing your entry door with a new steel one is estimated at $1,471. The resale value it adds to your home is $1,344. That’s an ROI of 91.3%.
- Putting in a new garage door costs, on average, $3,470. The resale value added to your home is $3,411. That’s an amazing ROI of 98.3%.
- New siding is an attractive option as well. The national average to put new siding on a home is $15,072. The value added is $11,554, an ROI of 76.7%.
Remember, the point of curb appeal is to entice potential buyers to visit your home. You want that good first impression. While many of these curb appeal items have a great ROI, the main idea is to get those potential buyers to fall in love with your home from that first look and make them eager to see what’s on the inside.
Curb Appeal Tips
Whether you’re looking for curb appeal ideas for ranch-style homes, brick houses or any style of house, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.
1. Check out Your Neighborhood
Before you plunge into curb appeal projects, make sure you have a look around your neighborhood to see what other homeowners are doing. The last thing you want to do is to create a home that stands out like a sore thumb.
You want your curb appeal improvements to work with the overall feeling and mood of the neighborhood. For instance, if all the houses in your area have a more muted color, painting your home in a bright color like yellow or blue will work against your curb appeal.
Going around the neighborhood will also allow you to talk to your neighbors and get some ideas about what they’ve done to improve their curb appeal.
2. Curb Appeal Requires Making More Than One Change
You can invest money on a new steel door, some great landscaping and even fixing up the driveway, but if your gutters are hanging, the paint is peeling and there are missing shingles on your roof, you still will not have good curb appeal. Curb appeal is an overall effect.
3. Think Like a Potential Buyer
Put yourself into the shoes of someone looking for a new home. Cast a cold eye on your home and take a hard look at it.
Yes, it’s been a wonderful home for you and your family for many years and you love it. But will a potential buyer love it? Be critical. Look for the warts. You will soon see all the areas that you’ll need to fix up if you want to create great curb appeal.
4. Talk to a Professional
If you’ve decided to sell your home and you want to improve the resale value as much as possible, talk with a professional with lots of experience in home improvement like Brothers Aluminum. We have over 40 years of experience in helping clients improve their homes throughout the five boroughs, Long Island and Connecticut. We can help you come up with curb appeal ideas for your home and achieve the best resale value.
Best Home Improvements That Add Curb Appeal
So what are the curb appeal improvements that you can make that can help you achieve the most bang for your buck? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Switch out Windows
Replacing old windows with new, double-paned, energy-efficient ones is a great way to improve the curb appeal of your home — new windows take years off the age of your home’s appearance. New windows also increase your home’s energy efficiency. That’s a big plus for potential homebuyers who care about energy costs. Remodeling’s “Cost vs. Value” estimates put the price of new windows around $15,000, but you recoup almost $12,000 when you sell your home.
2. Beautify Landscape
We’ve touched on this above, but you can add a great deal of resale value to your home by doing a few relatively simple things. Mowing and trimming your lawn regularly matters. Get those garden beds looking great by pulling weeds, mulching, pruning hedges and planting some new flowers.
If you don’t have a garden bed, think about using container gardens. They’re affordable and available at any home improvement store, and you can quickly give your home a colorful and welcoming feel.
Finally, you can improve the curb appeal of your front porch by using large potted plants on either side of the door to create a dramatic look.
3. Freshen up the Driveway
Your driveway is one of the first things potential buyers will notice about your home. If it’s dirty and covered with oil spills or if there are chunks missing from the paved surface, it gives your home a dingy, worn-down feel — the very opposite of curb appeal.
If the driveway is just dirty, rent a power washer and give it a good clean before you put your home on the market. If there are holes in or chunks missing from the surface, repaving is a great idea. A sparkling clean or newly paved driveway adds great curb appeal. Think of it as part of your landscaping efforts to make the front of your house look good.
4. Refresh or Replace Siding
If you’ve lived in your home for longer than five to seven years, painting the exterior of your house will add significant value. If you want to go with the color you’ve already got, take a couple of chips from the outside to your local home improvement store and they can match the color.
Fight the urge to make a bold statement with the new paint job. As we noted above, keep the neighborhood in mind. A home painted a wildly different color than everything else on the block will reduce curb appeal.
New insulated vinyl siding is also another great way to improve curb appeal. Like repainting your home, it’s a great way to take years off the appearance of your house and make it more energy-efficient. If you would like to replace or install siding, speak to the home improvement professionals at Brothers Aluminum. We have the skillset, product and services to address a potentially expensive problem in a way that will make your home look great and ensure that each dollar goes as far as it can.
5. Upgrade or Clean Masonry
Using soapy water and a soft-bristled brush on your masonry is a great way to remove the dust, dirt and grime that’s collected over the years and immediately add curb appeal to your home.
How do you know when it’s time to replace your masonry or upgrade it? Finding obvious cracks and holes are one sure sign it’s time to upgrade. Repairs will improve the curb appeal of your brick home and prevent water from entering, which can create even more damage or let rodents and insects into your home.
If you’re concerned about your home’s masonry, speak to the home improvement professionals at Brothers Aluminum.
6. Renovate the Garage
We’ve already noted above how much a new garage door can add to the resale value of your home. If you don’t want to replace it, however, give it a good clean and perhaps a new paint job. If your garage has windows, clean them as well to make them sparkle. The garage door is one of the first things potential buyers will notice about your home, which makes it one of the most important curb appeal items on your list.
7. Rework the Lighting
Outdoor lighting can add dramatic appeal to your home. You can use lighting to accentuate your entryway, your garden or your path. For instance, solar lights added along the pathway are a great way to accentuate your front yard. They aren’t expensive, and you can typically install them yourself.
Avoid glaring floodlights. Floodlights have their uses, but for potential homebuyers, they can create a harsh look. Also, make sure you replace or fix any burnt-out or malfunctioning lighting fixtures outside your home or in your garage.
8. Refresh or Replace the Front Door
Your front entrance acts as a signal to potential homebuyers about what is on the inside of your home. A new steel door in a bold color that works with the house’s main color is a great curb appeal item. Even if you can’t afford a new door, a freshly painted or stained door with new hardware can have a dramatic impact. Make sure you do a good clean. The last thing you want is for potential buyers to walk up to your home and find cobwebs, dirt and scuff marks all over the entry.
9. Get Rid of the Clutter
Remove all the bikes, landscaping equipment, skateboards and other signs of family life from the front yard. Remember, you want potential buyers to think of your house as their potential new home, not as your old, lived-in home. Grab a garbage bag, walk around the yard and pick up all the little pieces of plastic or paper, branches that have fallen off trees, even dog waste that can sometimes accumulate in your front yard.
Ready to Increase Your Curb Appeal? Contact the Professionals at Brothers Aluminum
First impressions are so important. Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the front of your home can make a great statement to potential homebuyers about the care and the maintenance that you’ve put into your home. Curb appeal is one of the best ways you can entice potential buyers to come inside and see more.
If your plans for curb appeal include replacing the roof, fixing your masonry, replacing or installing vinyl siding or painting your home, contact the home improvement professionals at Brothers Aluminum. We are a family-owned company. Our knowledge of and extensive experience throughout Long Island, the five boroughs and Connecticut helps us to understand your specific needs and how you can achieve a curb appeal that will add significant resale value to your home.
You can schedule a free estimate by using our online form, or you can speak to one of our specialists by calling 800-639-5665.