Whether you’re planning to list your home for sale soon or you’re simply working to maintain features that attracted you to the charming abode in the first place, careful attention to curb appeal is a must.
In the real estate world, the saying to avoid judging a book by its cover does not apply. The exterior of your home sends an important message about its character, and even its value, making people eager to see what is inside. This first impression sets expectations for the entire property for potential buyers, appraisers and even your guests.
Keep your house looking young and inviting with these five home care tips:
1. Look at the landscaping. Curb appeal is about the whole picture your home presents, which includes your lawn, shrubs and features such as flower beds and rock gardens. Keep grass neatly trimmed and prune vegetation for a well-kept look. Also give your home a thorough look from the street. Are trees or shrubs obscuring an appealing architectural detail? Does vegetation dwarf your home, making it seem small? Would a pop of color from some flowering plants add to the overall look?
2. Beware of dingy dirt. Because you see your home every day, you may not realize the exterior has become dull with a layer of dust and dirt. An adjustable pressure washer will let you wash siding, garage doors and shutters without stripping paint as well as delicate items such as glass top patio tables. Then switch to the high flow mode, which delivers up to five gallons per minute for extended reach to clean second story windows, eaves and gutters or to blast away hard-to-reach cobwebs and insect nests.
3. Update with paint. If a thorough washing leaves a ho-hum look behind, it may be time to revisit your home’s exterior color scheme. Even modest adjustments, from pale beige to a deeper tan, for example, can completely alter the look. Or, focus on adding color to the trim, door and shutters if new, all-over color is out of the question.
4. Wash where you walk. The favorable impression created by impeccable landscaping and a fresh, clean facade can be swept away in an instant if sidewalks, driveways and patios are unsightly. Skip the messy buckets and brush, and instead reach for a high pressure, high flow pressure washer such as those featuring adjustable pressure and flow as well as power-soaping detergent tanks to let you clean tough stains then quickly wash them away with a single machine.
5. Dote on the details. Decks, fences, mailboxes, birdbaths, gazebos and other decorative features all factor into your home’s exterior image. Thoroughly clean these items, repair any loose or broken pieces such as fence slats, and apply a fresh coat of paint or stain, if needed.