5 Quick + Easy Tips to Elevate Your Curb Appeal

Dated: August 24 2016

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You don't have to be an expert in real estate to know that having great curb appeal is a plus for any home you might be buying OR selling. First impressions are everything and though interior pictures may be seen before a showing, the outside of the home is always the first to be seen in person. If you've put work into the home you are about to sell, show it off with the exterior of your home to raise expectations from the onset.

Many homeowner's get panicky when they hear "curb appeal" because exterior or landscaping renovations can often be tedious, costly, overwhelming, or all of the above. However, a little time and research can go a long way with improving the outer allure of your home - even if you're on a budget. Here are 5 important tips to consider.

1. Update & modernize your house numbers.

In decorating and design, it's all in the details. This almost petty detail is part of an unspoken "wow" factor of the home, and thanks to lovely DIY headquarters, Pinterest, there are many affordable do-it-yourself options customizable to any home, anywhere. Plus it's literally the first thing someone will look at when finding and locating your home. We're super fans of these examples.

2. Find a color palette you love - and stick with it.

If repainting the exterior of your home prior to being listed on the market is an option, find a neutral color palette and base everything you do to the front of your home off this specific grouping of colors. It will cut the decision-making stress at least in half and give you the ability to ware off frustration and encourage inspiration. Now, neutral colors does not always have to mean your limited to beige, grey and white. These options below show how everything fits along the same color scheme while still providing life, warmth, cleanliness and everything else we want the color to do for us and our spaces.

**Tip: This same concept can (and should) be used on the inside of your home as well. Whether your home is professionally staged or not, having the same neutral color theme throughout creates fluidity and congruity. It also de-personalizes the space making it easier for someone new to picture themselves living there.

3. Jazz up your front door.

The front door is a great way to make your home stand out, in the best way. From door mats to knobs, knockers and even the door color, there is a lot of room for creativity.

If you're trying to sell your home, focus on being conservatively creative without being outlandish so as to not turn off potential buyers.

If you're looking to spruce up the curb appeal of your home for your own personal enjoyment then the world is your oyster! Choose whatever eclectic hardware your heart desires.

4. Window boxes. Check!

Shutters can be expensive, and window boxes with flower or plant beds are a fantastic way to easily dress up your exterior and add some color to your home. Also, thanks to HGTV shows like Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop, these babies are literally trending in modern homes. See for yourself below.

Fixer Upper Hosts Joanna and Chip Gaines updated the exterior of Karla Griffis’ home with bright paint, unique wooden shutters, fresh landscaping, and window boxes, as seen on HGTV’s Fixer Upper. (detail)

5. Landscaping (GASP...yes, you can do it.)

First start by doing research and looking at pictures of what you would like your landscaping to look like or houses that have a similar exterior as yours. Next, trim your trees and bushes until they look well groomed. If you have too many, remove the random ones that block the view of your home or just look out of place. Consider adding a walkway from the sidewalk to your front door or porch. Instead of expensive pavers, you can use old railroad ties, wood pallets, and more cost-effective rock options. Polish your trees and shrubs further by outlining them with flowers, mulch and either stone or brick.

The key to landscaping is symmetry, organization and clean lines. The more tidy your yard looks, the better curb appeal your home will have. If you're unsure about what plants to buy and where to put them, keep things simple for yourself by keeping things simple for your lawn. Research low maintenance plants and flowers. Less is better to avoid a cluttered look, and if you get stuck, refer back to your color palette mentioned in tip #2. At the end of the day, uniformity and symmetry is your friend when it comes to landscaping.

If you follow these simple easy tips, elevated curb appeal for your home is a sure-in!

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Kristen Wehner Jacobsen

Kristen Wehner Jacobsen is an Associate Broker with NP Dodge Real Estate in Omaha, Nebraska. Born and raised in Omaha, she graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BA in Crim....

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