Adding curb appeal increases the value of your home and makes it more attractive to prospective buyers. Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home anytime soon, a beautiful exterior makes an excellent first impression on anyone visiting your home.
The return on investment (ROI) for landscaping varies but is usually significant. The types of changes you make will determine the ROI. For example, adding landscape lighting may cost around $5,000 and you’ll see about 50% ROI, according to the National Association of Realtors® Remodeling Impact Report.
But what if you want to up the appeal of your home’s exterior on a limited budget? Fortunately, you have options.
1. Use Standard-Grade Materials
By choosing middle-grade materials rather than the most expensive, it may be easier to take on a typically expensive project, like a new patio, and spend less on it.
2. Maintain the Exterior
One simple way to add curb appeal is to keep up with regular exterior maintenance. Remove, sand, and touch up any chipping paint on your home’s exterior. Fill any cracks in cement walkways. Even small chores, such as power washing your siding and mowing your lawn regularly, make a difference in your home’s overall appearance.
3. Make Repairs
Be sure to take care of any needed repairs on your home’s exterior. If your sidewalk is buckled in one spot or the walkway is uneven, take the time to repair or replace the damaged area. If a shutter is loose, fix it. If you haven’t freshened up the paint on your front door in ages, add a fresh coat. If you stay on top of repairs as they come up, your home will keep its curb appeal.
4. Add Small Features
Even small changes, such as adding a house number or upgrading your mailbox, create curb appeal. There are many inexpensive things you can do to create a better impression of your home. Buy discounted trees and perennial plants at the end of the season to plant. Add a painted bench or a water fountain to your landscaping. You’ll be surprised by the big impact these small changes will make to your home’s appearance.
5. Spruce Things Up
While you don’t want to go crazy with the shade you paint your home, don’t be afraid to stand out with a pop of color on your front door or an unusual plant or two in your yard. Adding a bit of interest grabs attention and adds value to your home’s appearance.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
Completing a project on your own usually costs less money — unless you make a major mistake — but there are some projects that require a professional’s touch. If you’ve never installed a water feature, for example, you should at least consult with a landscape professional about the best materials to use and the engineering requirements of the project. On the other hand, adding a few shrubs is something nearly anyone can do.
Find more money management tips on our WalletWorks page.