What is curb appeal??  The definition is:  “The attractiveness of a property for sale and its surroundings when viewed from the street.”


Why is it important??  Let’s give an example:  A buyer is driving around neighborhoods to get a feel on where he/she would like to live.  Driving down one street, they see many well-kept houses, except for the one that is for sale.  The lawn is overgrown, the bushes are climbing up the house, there’s an old car with no tires sitting in the driveway, the house needs painting and there’s garbage bags lying beside the garage.  Their immediate thought is, “if it looks this bad outside, we can’t imagine what the inside looks like.” They definitely pass on setting up an appointment to see that particular house.


Curb appeal is not only valuable to sellers, but neighbors, as well (and keeps nice relations between neighbors!  You do want to get invited to all those parties and picnics, right??).  An attractive view from the street increases your property value and your neighbors, even if you have no intention to sell. 


Here are some simple things all homeowners can do to improve the curb appeal of their home:


-Yard clean-up:  Mow and edge the lawn, trim trees and bushes, weed flowerbeds and apply mulch every spring.

-Lighting:  Replace dead or broken bulbs, replace damaged light fixtures, clean light fixtures and get rid of those cobwebs (yuck!!).

-Clean:  Pick up any debris, sweep the sidewalk, steps and deck, pressure wash the siding and clean your windows.

-Repairs:  Repaint the front door, resurface the driveway, repair a damaged mailbox and paint the outside, if needed.


Here are some additional tips:

Did you know curb appeal detracts criminals? If your trees and bushes are overgrown, it makes an ideal place for criminals to hide.  If a neighbor can’t see the windows, they won’t be able to spot a burglar trying to case your house.  Bushes should be no taller than three feet high around your house.  Also, bright lighting in the front and back of your home can also deter a criminal.

Trees and shrubs can help block wind and sun.  Planting trees on the east, northwest and west of your property provides natural protection from the sun and cuts down on cooling costs. 


Take the time each spring to do these items.  Your home will be the talk of the neighborhood, your property value may increase and when you are ready to sell, you may get a better offer because of the time and effort you put in to making your homes curb appeal outstanding.