Quick Cheap Curb Appeal: (noun) the actions taken to preserve and promote the attractiveness of a property from the outside, generally creating very important first impressions. Can affect perceptions of the rest of the property, and influence its value and appeal. Quick Cheap Curb Appeal is a much less expensive, more targeted, generally easier set of actions to take, compared to most generally accepted larger Curb Appeal projects.
These QUICK CHEAP CURB APPEAL steps will create the biggest impact:
1. PRESSURE CLEAN 2. MOW/TRIM 3. PAINT 4. REMOVE THE GNOMES!
Quick cheap curb appeal fixes are needed at lease every few years, as trends change, colors fade, and foliage grows. When you're getting ready to put your property up for sale or for rent... the first thing to consider is "how's the curb appeal"? We don't recommend spending lots of money. That defeats your goal of getting the most bang for your buck!
Statistics show that putting large sums of money into completely redoing a front yard will NEVER come back in full (in a sale) or even close the amount spent.
So discount the asking price if you must, by a little. Because we recommend following these quick cheap curb appeal tips which WILL significantly help the exterior attractiveness of your home and attract positive attention.
There are SIX MUST-DO quick cheap curb appeal fixes (list below). When the front curb appeal is at it's best... the next question is: what else should you do to add value and make the property as appealing as possible to the greatest amount of serious buyers (or renters)? We aren't fans of taking on significant costly time-consuming projects just to sell or rent a home. Those projects should only be done for your enjoyment, to enjoy them yourself.
Why? According to the 2016 Hanley Wood Cost vs Value Report, there's only ONE home project that gives more value than what it costs! Check out the report to gauge how much a project may cost, versus how much it'll be worth.
Clean? Well kept? These are the first two impressions you want to create for prospective buyers. Why? 1) Your neighbors will love you and... 2) Your potential buyers or tenants will reward you!
If your goal is to get the highest $$ amount in the quickest amount of time, having your property show as "clean and well kept" will ensure more interested buyers, faster contracts, higher amounts offered, more successful inspections, more solid appraisals. CURB APPEAL is where to start.
This is THE most effective way to quickly and inexpensively bring back a cleaner, newer look to everything including the sidewalk, driveway, walkway, garage door, and the entrance/doorway. The roof and fascia should also be cleaned.
We recommend pressure cleaning everything 1-2 times per year, so it's a quicker less expensive job when it does get done, and keeps everything looking good year-round. Pay special attention to any areas nearest the front door where potential buyers will see... clean up dead buggy corners, underside of porches and around porch lights, house numbers and front windows where these elements are most noticeable.
This electric pressure cleaner (right, amazon) is the exact one we purchased and have been using for over a year. We use it to pressure clean roofs, sidewalks, patios, driveways. Its very easy to use, not very loud, and so far it's been super reliable.
Electric pressure washers these days can be very strong - nearly as high powered as gas models. We prefer electric because they are super easy to operate, and not nearly as noisy or intimidating to use as gas powered. Just plug in the hose, plug in the electric cord, and turn it on! That's it!!
You can also rent a machine from stores like Home Depot or Lowes. Hiring a company is fairly inexpensive, and they can usually do everything within 1-2 days. We like looking for deals on Angie's List or getting estimates/hiring someone from:
As in the photo above, the impression is "well kept". This comes from the lawn and trees all being manicured well. There's nothing that looks like it isn't being taken care of.
Make sure the lawn is mowed weekly in warmer months, at least twice a month the rest of the year, keeping it low and clean looking at all times. Make sure all hedges and bushes are trimmed at all times. Make sure trees are trimmed, leaving a good 6.5' - 7' open space below the lowest branches. Make sure to trim back all branches (and especially any that drop fruit or lots of leaves) if they hang over the driveway in any way.
Front doors and mailboxes are HUGELY IMPORTANT!!! Pay attention to them!!! They should look clean and freshly painted at all times throughout the selling process. This is HUGE in determining a buyer's first impression of your property.
You can use regular exterior house paint for front doors, but for the most durable paint job... we find Modern Masters, available at Home Depot (and amazon), to the best. Check out their Modern Masters Door Paint free app if you are considering changing the door/mailbox color. Why an app? Because they offer so many wonderful front door colors, and you can simply upload a photo of the front of your house and use the app to apply all the amazingly beautiful colors they offer!!! Easily see which might look the best, before you buy.
We normally recommend matching your front door with the house trim color, but by using the app... you may find a color that will really make your front door and house "pop"! You can paint a front door for about $35. The paint is thick and creamy, and self-correcting (doesn't leave streaks). A little goes a long way. IF the property is very neutral and needs a splash of color... click here for some inspiration.
Don't forget THE MAILBOX! Usually after painting the front door, you'll have enough paint to give the mailbox a good coat of matching paint as well. Clean, freshly painted mailboxes always look the best.
Don't forget the garage door and trim of the house. If they have any chipped paint, or if any sections are significantly faded, consider painting. The price of paint is cheap compared to the return you'll receive from the renewed curb appeal it'll bring you. Is your driveway faded?
If it's blacktop, we recommend taking on the project as a DIY. For a double car driveway, it'll take you approximately $50 and three hours!
Sure, he's cute. Maybe even adorable. But your garden gnome, along with any other decorations, pinwheels, fairy gardens, sundials, keep away signs... they should all go into a box until you can introduce them to their new home. Why? Your taste may not be shared by potential buyer's taste. Also, it can look like clutter to someone that's used to a more minimalist lifestyle. Employ this quick cheap curb appeal tip today... it WILL make a big difference (and it's free and easy).
While you're trying to make your home appeal to the most amount of people possible... remove any garden decorations, ornaments, and garden gnomes. Remove any dead trees or plants. If you have many planters all over... group them into one or two corners in the yard away from any walkways or patios. Make sure everything looks clean and freshly painted. And keep things looking this way throughout the process of holding open houses and showing potential buyers your home. It WILL pay off!