June 28, 2017 | Posted in:

Improve Your Home’s Value by Upgrading Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything. Whether you’re preparing to sell or are in the mood for a little spring cleaning, fixing up your property’s curb appeal can have a nice impact on improving your home’s market value.

The condition of your front yard, entry area, driveway, and sidewalks will color the impression of everything else a potential buyer sees during a visit. Homes with great curb appeal usually command higher prices and spend less time on the market. Luckily there are simple, inexpensive ways to help your home impress.


  1. Make it sparkle. Walk around the outside perimeter of your house and take note of what looks dirty. Parts of your house that may get grimy over time include windows, downspouts, gutters, siding, and garage doors. These can usually be tackled yourself with soapy water, a scrub brush, and a little elbow grease. For a bigger job, consider using a pressure or power washer.
  2. Coat of paint. Updating the color of your front door, trim or shutters may help your home look newer and more modern. A gallon of exterior paint costs about $30, so this will probably cost less than $100. If you’re a fan of HGTV, their monthly magazine features a “front door of the month” that can provide some inspiration and illustrate what difference a little color can make. If you reside in a townhome or a community with an HOA, check with them first in event they require certain exterior paint colors.
  3. Replace hardware. Another way to modernize your front entrance: Don’t overlook your house numbers, entry door locksets, doorbells, mailboxes, or light fixtures. These elements add visual interest, but can detract from your home’s appeal after they show years of wear. Replace, clean, or paint pieces that have become dingy or out of date. A new light fixture can give your front area a whole new theme, while browsing Pinterest can teach affordable DIY projects for door numbers that can help your home reflect more of your personality.
  4. Mow the lawn. It may be hard to stay on top of mowing when the weather warms up, but a mangy lawn riddled with dandelions won’t make your home attractive to guests or prospective buyers. Try to cut it once a week to keep it looking neat and clean-cut around any garden bed edges.
  5. Add landscaping. Planting a tree is a great way to add long-lasting dimension and appeal to your yard. Consider flanking your front door with an assortment of trees or shrubs. Add a pop of color by placing flower planters on your stoop, hanging floral baskets along your walkway, or adding window boxes to front-facing windows. You don’t need a green thumb per say, but maintain their vibrancy by keeping them watered as needed.
  6. Install landscape lighting. Outdoor landscape lights lining a sidewalk or driveway provide safety and security, but they can also have big impact on your yard’s appearance. You can also add some interest by using light to frame your housing structure or accenting parts of your garden areas. If you’re unable to install wiring for electric lights, solar-powered light fixtures can do the trick and have become wildly popular as a way to simply accessorize your front lawn or even backyard.
  7. Incorporate outdoor art. Show a little of your personality by adding some tasteful features, such as a birdbath, beautifully arranged rocks, bold planter pots, a sculpture, or wind chimes. Invite your guests or prospective buyers to feel welcome in an inviting space with a seasonal wreath, doormat, and a bench or porch swing.
  8. Upgrade fences and railings. If you have privacy fences or railings leading up to your front door, consider repainting or replacing them. While a shiny new railing probably won’t make or break a sale, buyers don’t look kindly to a future expense right away.
  9. Repair the driveway. Cracked asphalt is not doing you any favors. Fill cracks with concrete as needed or an asphalt patch followed by a surface coat of blacktop refinishing compound. Potential buyers may see a deteriorating driveaway as dollar signs that they don’t want to have to deal with.
  10. Hide your trash bins. Everybody needs trash cans, but nobody likes to look at them. Store them in your garage, hide them on the side by your backyard or behind a shrub, or consider building a dedicated fence or enclosure that complements your house’s style.


Sometimes it takes money to make money. Investing in one, several, or all of these ideas could mean the difference in a bidding war or begging for house showings. Most of these suggestions can also apply if you’re considering placing your house, condo, or townhome up for rent and beginning the process of becoming a landlord.

If you do make a sale on your home this year, consult with your CPA about which expenses to track and the tax implications you may face.


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The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. For more information or for assistance with any of your tax or business concerns, contact our office at 856.667.4100.


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