Outdoor Improvements That Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

By Desiree Miller

Curb Appeal

One look at Graceland or the Hermitage, and you can’t wait to go inside. But you don’t need to own a mansion to entice people in for a tour. You just need curb appeal – especially if you want to put your property on the rental or sales market.

Improving the outside of the house lets would-be renters or buyers know there’s something worth looking at on the inside. Make a checklist and get to work.

5 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

1. Spruce up your lawn and garden

The yard is the first thing anyone sees when approaching the house. An unkempt lawn is a sign of neglect — and gives people the impression the inside needs work.

Spruce up your yard by mowing, weeding, edging, fertilizing, and watering the grass each week. Try mowing the lawn in a different direction each time. This will make the grass stand taller.

A tired-looking landscape is a turn-off for buyers. Before putting your house on the market, trim back overgrown hedges, shrubs, and tree branches. Plant some low maintenance flowers such as wild geraniums and Virginia bluebells in your flower bed.

These native plants will draw birds and butterflies. Even better? Since they’re acclimated to the Tennessee climate, they require little watering or care.

2. Add some homey touches

A birdbath, feeder, and ornamental rocks will add character to the property. Show your Tennessee pride by displaying a few Titans or Grizzlies ornaments.

Flowerpots, urns, canisters, and hanging baskets make the front door more welcoming to visitors. Homes with front porches cry out for a rocking chair or swing — items that show off a comfortable look for outdoor living.

A simple welcome mat lets people know that your home is a showpiece.

But don’t go overboard. You don’t want your yard and garden looking like a flea market.

3. Paint “Buy” Numbers

Large, modern address numbers don’t cost much, but they do draw attention to the house. Buy new numbers at your favorite home improvement store.

While you’re there, pick up a few gallons of paint and stain. Painting and staining old woodwork on shutters, railings, window boxes, and fences is an easy weekend chore.

Spruce up your home’s curb appeal by painting a dented, chipped mailbox or purchase and install a new one. Shine old doorknobs, window pulls, door knockers, handles, and flag pole holders.

A splash of color on the front door is eye-catching — painting the door black could increase the home’s selling price.

4. Shine a light on your home’s exterior

Lighting up the perimeter of your house gives it a welcoming glow. Energy-efficient outdoor lighting uses less electricity and reduces utility bills.

Modern fixtures are attractive, but if replacing the old ones isn’t an option, clean and polish them to remove rust and dust.

Solar light sticks draw energy from the sun — they’re an inexpensive way to brighten shrubbery and flower beds.

5. Power wash your driveway and garage

The grimiest areas on the outside of a house are the driveway and garage. Mud, dirt, oil, and stains build up over the years.

Cleaning the cement and asphalt with a hose isn’t all that effective, but you can buy or rent a power washer to spray areas more forcefully.

Special formulated detergents and degreasers are available.

Final Touches

The to-do list can seem daunting when getting your home ready for the sales market, but it all starts with the right plan.

Your real estate agent can tell you what repairs and upgrades you should tackle first. Remember, you’re not just selling a house … you’re promoting the dream of comfortable and satisfying hometown living.

Desiree Miller staged her first house at age 6. By all accounts, Barbie and Ken loved her work. Miller still stages homes today, and she writes about real estate topics.