Increase Your Curb Appeal

Jul 24
Category | Home Maintenance

Whether your selling or not, everyone wants a home that looks great. Achieving a high level of curb appeal can be easier than you think. Making a few inexpensive changes can take the exterior of you home from bland to exciting.

The best place to start is with a good cleaning. Pressure washing the exterior of your home is an inexpensive way to make your home look great. Professionals will likely charge over $1000 for this service, but at retailers like Home Depot you can rent a pressure washer for about $80 a day. Further, cleaning the windows and any exterior light fixtures will really help spruce the place up.

Now that your home is clean, some landscaping changes can make a huge difference as well. One great thing to do is add a fresh layer of mulch to your flowerbeds. At about $1.50 per cubic foot, this is a really inexpensive fix as well. Additionally, adding small gardens or window boxes will make the landscaping even better. Remember that when choosing flowers, the more color the better. If you want your house to draw people in, bright colors are a nice way to do that.

One area of landscaping to particularly focus on is your mailbox. Adding some small plants or ivy around and on the box will create a beautiful connection between the street and your home. It is also very effective if you have a longer driveway and want to give a nice display even though your home is not easily viewed from the street. You should be careful to not hinder your mail delivery, as postal workers can withhold mail if the box is not easily accessible.

In addition, your front door is an awesome place to add curb appeal to your house. Repainting your door a brighter color will undoubtedly make your home look more inviting and add character. Lastly, adding a flag or some other décor to your main entrance will certainly make your home look more attractive.

Overall, adding a little character and curb appeal to the exterior of your home does not have to be a big project, or even expensive. Some subtle changes can go a long way to make sure your home is the envy of the neighborhood. 

When remodeling, most people hope to get most of their money back if they ever decide to sell the house. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of renovations, this simply is not the case. Based on research conducted by Remodeling Magazine, here are the best and worst remodels in terms of getting your money’s worth in resale value.

The Best 3:

Door Replacement: This is by no means a huge renovation, but according to national averages, replacing a wooden exterior door, hinges, etc. with a steel one is the only project that has a positive return on investment. On average, making this change leads to a value increase of 102% the cost. After you sell, you’ll likely net around $25.

Adding Stone Veneer: Replacing the lower portion of your siding with a manufactured stone veneer is a big aesthetic change to the exterior of your house for a relatively low price. Because of this, you can gain a lot of your money back in resale value. The increase in the value of your house will likely be about 92% of what you spend. Your net loss will probably be around $550.

Garage Door Replacement: Replacing your garage door, especially if moving from a manual to automated setup, will make your home much more valuable. Perhaps due to the security factor, this is the second exterior door in our top three. They are easy and lucrative things to replace to get more value out of your home. Even if you replace an older automated door for a new one, you are still likely to recoup 88% of your cost.

The Worst 3:

Sunroom Addition: Building a sunroom on the side of your house is a poor investment. It’ll likely cost you well over $70,000 and you are only likely to see 48% of that returned to you in resale value. If you really want a sunroom, then go for it, but if you are looking for an option that will add value to your house, don’t even consider it.

Home Office Remodel: Taking a spare bedroom and installing some desks, cabinetry, phone hooks-ups, etc. to transform it into a home office can be a great change for some people. The problem is, it eliminates a bedroom, hurting the value of your home. The bump from the office is offset by the loss of a bedroom and only about 49% of your investment will be recouped in resale value.

Master Suite Addition: Doing an upscale addition of an extra bedroom, bathroom, hallway, and closet can make an excellent supplement to your existing home. While it may cost you upwards of $250,000, it can make it seem like you are living in a new house. Unfortunately, because it can cost as much as a new home, you will not see a good return on your investment. Only about 54% of your investment will be an addition in the value of your home.

Simply from an investment perspective, renovations do not seem to do great things for your home’s value. Only one of the renovations listed paid for itself. A key reason for this is labor. Remodels, especially larger projects, require a lot of time and labor costs and are very rarely done as efficiently as possible. Sadly, the added value of the home rarely moves beyond the cost of the physical improvements, meaning that labor costs are usually not recouped in full. This being said, ROI is only one factor and renovating still has a lot of positives. Updating your home will make it look great and can make your time in it much more enjoyable. Purely as an investment, renovations may not be ideal, but from a quality of life perspective, they are often very worth it.

The trees around your home add beauty and character to the property, so it is important to properly care for the trees in your yard. Old dead trees not only take away from the beauty of your yard but also pose a potential hazard. While beautiful trees that are well planted within a property and neighborhood can potentially raise property values by as much as 15%. Here are some suggestions on when it is appropriate to remove a tree, and when it is ideal to plant a tree.

When Is Tree Removal Necessary?

As with all living things, trees can face numerous issues that can have negative effects on their health. Removing a dead or dying tree is advisable as soon as you notice it. The longer you wait to remove the tree, the more decay can set in, and the more dangerous the tree will be for a tree professional to remove it. As it is necessary to remove a dying or dead tree, there are other reasons for tree removal such as, if the tree was damaged beyond repair from a major storm. You should also remove a tree if it is leaning towards or is too close to the house, other buildings, utility lines, play structures, or a patio. The roots of a tree can also pose a threat. The roots can damage foundations, septic systems, driveways, sidewalks, and other underground utilities if the tree is planted too close. Another reason to remove a tree is if it has become a nuisance by dropping seeds, sap, leaves, branches, or if the tree blocks a view and/or sunlight. It is always important to think ahead a few years about the tree and your property, and consider these reasons we just outlined to determine if tree removal is necessary.

When Is It Necessary To Plant a Tree?

Trees make a home and a neighborhood more beautiful. They mark the changing seasons and can make a house feel like a home. There are many reasons to plant trees, one of which is because trees can provide privacy from neighbors and can mask unsightly views. Trees also muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and absorb dust and wind as well as reduce glare. Trees absorb pollutants and store carbon, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Planting trees in your yard can help to provide drainage for your property by helping rain water soak into the ground rather than run off the surface. Planting trees around your house can also help to conserve energy by providing your home with shade in the summer, and reducing cold winds in the winter. They can also provide wood for a fire on those cold nights. Planting a fruit tree can be beneficial because they provide food for humans, birds and other wildlife. There are so many reasons to plant a tree in your yard. No matter your reason, know that when you plant a tree you are not only adding value to your property, you are also adding a natural setting that future generations will be able to enjoy.


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