Big news! Mrs. Rainforest Gardener and I are moving into our very own home... and yes, there will be plenty of room for a garden. To celebrate our big step and give me more time to pack, I'm sharing a guest post from Zillow on that enigmatic thing called curb appeal; something that most gardeners wrongly assume they already have. Whether you're also thinking of moving or just want to keep up appearances, here are some tricks to make your home irresistible.
By Tali Wee of Zillow
The first thing that house hunters notice on a listing is its curb appeal – or lack thereof. An influential first impression can be immediately spoiled by a home’s run-down façade, even if the inside of the house is a perfect fit for the home shoppers. Avoid deterring potential buyers or renters with these six easy steps.
1. Invest in a New Front Door
A colorful front door adds charm to virtually any style of home. While red is a go-to bold choice, pick a color that complements the other exterior features of the house. Avoid contrasting tones and anything overly bright that may distract from the rest of the house. The existing door can be painted if a whole new door is not within the seller’s budget. Purchase new and matching hardware to finish off the look.
2. Spruce up the Porch
A porch is a big selling point for buyers. However, if it looks unstable or unattractive, it may turn out to be more of a red flag than an amenity. Those who are looking for a “move-in ready” property may prefer no porch than one that requires upgrades. Don’t forget to add furniture that draws attention to the space. Comfortable swings and white wicker furniture are classic front porch styles, while throw pillows and an outdoor rug offer a more polished design.
3. Add Colorful Plants
Foliage is attractive and helps create a sense of privacy between homeowners and their neighbors. Consider planting trees or hedges along the perimeter of the yard, especially if the property does not have a privacy fence already installed. Even without a green thumb, gardening can be simple with the right tricks. Use pre-planted pots or hanging plants without having to dig into the ground. Also, don’t forget to eliminate any weeds that may be lining a walkway or scattered throughout the yard. Leaving weeds to grow wild gives the house a dilapidated appearance.
4. Accessorize Outdoors
Home exteriors shouldn’t lack in character any more than the interiors. Install window boxes for a traditional and cozy look. Further, crown and base molding is a relatively simple way to make the house appear updated without overspending. Make sure the molding is installed correctly without any obvious do-it-yourself (DIY) errors. The house ends up looking sloppy if the pieces don’t match up precisely.
5. Paint the Exterior
A home can appear neglected if paint is peeling off the front of the home, revealing patches of discoloration. Get to work or hire a professional to remove the peeling paint and repaint the home, but make sure the house is cleaned properly with a power washer before beginning the project. If updating the color of the home, try to select a neutral tone so the house appeals to a wide variety of buyers instead of narrowing the market with a bright or vibrant hue.
6. Keep it Clean
Don’t let trash or newspapers float around on a manicured lawn. Make sure to pick up any garbage near the curb too. Even if debris is not technically on the property, it still reflects poorly on the sale of the house. Although often forgotten, dirty and dingy windows are noticeable to home buyers during a walk through. The inside atmosphere is negatively affected if the natural light is blocked by dust and dirt. Make sure to clean both the inside and outside glass before a showing.
Don’t let indoor updates go to waste because the outside still needs sprucing up. Even on a tight budget, small changes can be made for an outdoor facelift to attract home shoppers. Check out Zillow Digs for curb appeal examples that interest homebuyers and help sell houses.
[A note from Steve: I received no compensation for this guest post, and neither did Zillow. I wanted to work with Zillow (along with my patient real estate agent, of course) because their website and smartphone app made the homebuying process a lot easier. Every morning I got a listing of new homes matching my criteria, which I could then view on a zoomable satellite map that allowed me to see each home's potential for gardening, among other things. We couldn't have done it without a realtor, but Zillow's tools gave me confidence and insight in a seller's market. Since they are the leading website for real estate, I was excited to share some of their insight with you.]