When it comes to real estate, the phrase “curb appeal” is commonly used to describe the attractiveness of a property from the street view. You’ll hear it mentioned by by real estate agents, property appraisers, buyers, and sellers. But what exactly is curb appeal, and why is it so important? Let’s dig deeper into what it means and why it’s crucial for any homeowner or seller to pay attention to it.

Curb appeal refers to the exterior appearance of a property, as seen from the street. It encompasses everything from the front yard landscaping to the design and condition of the home’s façade. Curb appeal is essentially the first impression a property makes on someone as they approach it.

A home with great curb appeal is inviting and eye-catching. It creates a sense of warmth and welcome that draws people in. Conversely, a home with poor curb appeal can turn people off before they even set foot inside. It can create a feeling of neglect or even give the impression that the property is in disrepair.

Why curb appeal matters

There are several reasons why curb appeal is so important. For homeowners, having good curb appeal can make their property more enjoyable to live in. It can create a sense of pride in homeownership and make them feel good about their investment. It can also increase the value of their property and help it sell faster if they decide to put it on the market.

For sellers, curb appeal is critical. It can be the difference between a potential buyer stopping to take a closer look or driving right past the property. A home with great curb appeal is more likely to get noticed and generate interest. It can also help set a positive tone for the rest of the home viewing experience.

But even if a homeowner has no intention of selling their property anytime soon, curb appeal still matters. A home with great curb appeal is a joy to come home to. It can create a sense of happiness and satisfaction every time the homeowner pulls into their driveway. Plus, having a well-maintained and attractive property can improve the overall quality of life in the neighborhood.

Most Important Factors

So, what exactly goes into creating great curb appeal? There are several factors to consider:

  • Landscaping: The first thing people notice when they approach a property is the landscaping. This includes everything from the grass to the trees and shrubs. A well-manicured lawn and tidy landscaping can create an attractive and welcoming first impression.
  • Exterior Paint: The color and condition of a home’s exterior paint can greatly impact its curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into an older property and create a more modern look. Choosing the right color can also help a property stand out in a positive way.
  • Front Door: The front door is often the focal point of a home’s façade. Choosing a door that is eye-catching and fits the style of the home can make a big difference in its overall curb appeal.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting can make a property look more inviting and secure. Installing attractive light fixtures around the front door and along the walkway can add to a home’s overall appeal.
  • Windows: The condition and style of a home’s windows can also impact its curb appeal. Newer windows can add a modern touch, while older windows can give a home character. At the very least it is important to ensure that windows are clean and well-maintained.
  • Roof: The roof is another important factor to consider when it comes to curb appeal. A roof that is in good condition and complements the style of the home can add to its overall attractiveness.
  • Clutter: Finally, it’s important to keep the exterior of the property clutter. It may seem like a small thing, but people will set their expectations based on what they see–noting the fact that things don’t seem to be picked up and put away regularly can affect the way they view the quality of both the inside and outside of the home

Related: Thinking about Selling? Tips for Getting Your Home Ready

Curb Appeal: Buyer Beware

For the buyer: despite everything said above, it can pay to maintain an open mind beyond your first impression of a home. Be conscious of the fact that your reaction to a home’s curb appeal is affecting your thoughts about the inside of the home–for better or worse. Keep an open mind, knowing that a less-than-perfect outside might have insides that are exactly what you are looking for. Remember too that a fresh coat of paint and some nice yard work won’t make up for problems you may find inside of a home. Let the outside of the home and its curb appeal speak to you, but don’t let it be the only thing you pay attention to.

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Image credit: Fixer Upper