First Impressions: Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal

WhiteSidingHouseIt’s spring and I’m noticing more and more homes going up for sale in Toronto. Seems that everyone is coming out of hibernation and starting to think about up sizing, downsizing, moving on and making a fresh start. It’s no secret that good curb appeal helps to sell a house and enhances the preceived value of a home. Owning property is a big achievement, but what good is it if others don’t like it? Ok, so maybe you’re not selling your home, but maybe you’re planning to convert your basement into a rental apartment. Often a tenant’s impression of a property is formed even before stepping inside. Even if you’re not selling or renting your property, maintaining the exterior of your home will make you a happier owner, and a star neighbour. Improving curb appeal doesn’t have to be a big expense. A few small improvements make a huge difference. Here are TOP5 ways you can make your home stand out.

Prune and Refresh
Your front yard doesn’t have to be professionally landscaped to make a great impression. Just prunning what you planted last year will help bring in some freshness. If you’re adding plants, flowering plants add colour and interest. But keep it simple and keep in mind that roses or peonies look beautiful but require maintenance. If you don’t have a green thumb the time or room for a front garden, try incorporating plant filled containers by the front door to add colour, texture and fregrance. There are some great containers out there in many styles and sizes.

Paint It New
A fresh coat of paint makes a world of difference. Giving the exterior walls a new coat or two helps sustain the look of your home. It also gives you an opportunity to investigate the exterior of your property and address any problems before they turn into a major and potentially costly issue. Take a look at your shudders, the garage, and trim around the exterior of your home and if it looks faded and tired from the winter weather give it a face lift.

Light the Way
Just as lighting is an important part of your interior decor, it also adds an abundance of curb appeal. Take a look around the exterior of your house and check that the bulbs in the light fixtures are working. Well-executed outdoor lighting not only enhances architectural detail and plays up landscape features, but it’s also important for security – both to protect against intruders and falls. So how to use lighting to enhance curb appeal without making your house look like Christmas at the Grizwolds? Have a focus – entry way is often centre stage. Add lighting along the pathway using solar lighting or highlight a planter or a tree. Trees make stunning features so if you have one in your front yard, show it off.

A Clean Driveway Says a Lot
If a potential buyer drives up to your house and all they see is your cracked driveway or a ton of weeds, they are likely to wonder about the condition of the rest of your property. Buyers prefer a home with a solid well maintanined driveway rather than have to pay for a new one themselves. Take a look at your driveway. If it’s full of old dirt and oil spots, maybe it’s time to rent a power washer. Also check for cracks that may need patching up. Just as with the exterior of the house, keeping an eye on your driveway is important, especially after the spring thaw. Buckling or cracking are signs of poor drainage and shouldn’t be ignored.

Keep It Clean
Curb appeal is not about expensive and complicated designs for the front of your house. It’s about making it look, well, appealing. If you don’t have the time for a fancy garden design, just keep it tidy. Keep the garbage bins out of sight, put away your kids’ toys as well as sports or gardening equipment. Just making that effort will show that the house is cared for, and your neighbours will appreciate it, too.


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