If you’re buying, selling, or refinancing, there’s one thing that’s on your mind: value. Is your home worth enough? Is your future home priced too high? How can you get the best possible appraisal? These are all important questions when dealing with real estate (and finances). For many, the answer comes when focusing on the size of the house or property. Of course beautiful kitchens, bathrooms, and game rooms also do their part to raise a home’s overall value. But maybe, just maybe there is an easier way-a less expensive way.
The most important factor in home valuations is aesthetics. Does the property look great? Nothing matters more. If the house looks like a million bucks, it will probably sell for a million bucks. People want to have a connection with their house, and you know what they say about first impressions.
Curb appeal is a major factor in nearly every list of the most crucial elements to selling a house. And the best way to boost your curb appeal is to shape up that landscaping. The good news is that it’s really not that hard to do. The better news is that we’re going to explain how.
Green grass sells fast: You want your house off the market? Look no further than a spiffy lawn. Those nice baseball field cuts and lush emerald blades catch eyes faster than a souped-up sports car. Your home is as good as gone when you get your landscaping in order. One simple trick most people don’t know is that all you really need is a bit of watering and aeration. Aerating your lawn allows fertilizer, water, and oxygen to penetrate the roots. That means the maximum amount of nutrients are getting through to the most vital part of your lawn. After that, it’s just a matter of turning on your sprinklers and spreading some treatments.
Park it: A cracked driveway or dirt path sends a subliminal thought to outsiders: If you can’t even take care of your driveway, what other, bigger problems could the house have. That’s why you need to get your driveway in order. Pave it, seal it, rake it, whatever. Just make sure it looks half-decent when it comes time to show it off.
Planting time: Make a new flowerbed or manicure the ones you have. Either way, a splash of color will brighten up your entire property. With every big box store selling discount plants now, there’s no excuse for not dressing up your exterior. Hang baskets from the porch and line your walkway with perennials. Both boast a tremendous pride of ownership.
Window washer: Welcome to your new job! Whenever trying to gain maximum value for a property, it’s best to start with the most visible areas… and it doesn’t get much more visible than windows.
Front door TLC: Dress up your home entrance by surrounding it with some greenery. Shrubs, flowers, flags-they’ll all do the trick. Or, take it a step further by adding a railing on either side. The look will class up your entire house. And don’t forget to pick up some accent pillars either. The Styrofoam or wood faux columns attach right to the exterior surrounding your door, giving your house a colonial look.
Power wash: Maybe this sounds obvious, but everything looks better when it’s cleaner. So get out there and power wash the siding, shutters, and garage door. Wiping years of grime off your exterior is just what your house needed.
Hide the ugly features: So you have a bulky gas meter. Or maybe it’s the air conditioner that’s an eye sore. No matter what object is preventing your house from reaching it’s maximum curb appeal potential, it can be solved-usually with some landscaping detail.
Give your mailbox some love: Adding a few pavers or decorative stones around your mailbox can make a world of difference. And hey, maybe the school bus will quit running it over now.
Light it up: Make your home pop by grabbing a few yard lights. Shine them on the nicest features of your house and watch the neighbors gawk. Highlighting your home’s best assets with a few well-placed yard spotlights is an easy upgrade.
Ride the pine: Top off your new look by grabbing some new outdoor furniture. If you can’t afford it, that’s okay. Just paint or stain the old stuff. As long as you combine at least a few of these tips, it’ll be a good day when the appraiser comes around.