Curb appeal is the immediate appearance of your home when someone pulls up in front of the house. Even if you don’t have a curb, it’s still called curb appeal. It encompasses that first impression of your home. Curb appeal can be positive or negative. Someone might say, “That house has poor curb appeal.” Or they say, “The house had great curb appeal!” A house can be in perfect shape and be beautiful inside but have awful curb appeal. On the flip side, a mediocre house can be vastly improved by great curb appeal.
The things you do to create great curb appeal vary by the house because the improvements you put in place should compliment the house. For example, you wouldn’t want to plant massive trees in front of a tiny, bungalow style house. If the house is three stories high, some tall trees will accent the house nicely. But, don’t fret! There are some basics that apply to all houses.
First and foremost, you will need to clean up the yard and front of the house. Remove all trash. Trim and haul away any dead branches, leaves, plants, and other scraggily things in your yard. Repair anything that is rusty, chipped, or generally in bad condition. Rake and sweep up anything cluttering up your driveway or sidewalk. Mow your grass and keep it mowed. If your mailbox is damaged, replace it. You can get a new mailbox for very little at Lowes or Home Depot. A beaten up, rusted mailbox says you don’t take care of your house! For many houses, this can be enough! A clean, well maintained front will look appealing to the prospective buyer.
Tiny houses, condos, and townhomes can get by with a couple potted plants. Buy some nice pots. Go on Instagram to get design ideas to see where to place them. Two or three will probably do the trick. If you have a yard, you can still go on Instagram to get some ideas, but you’ll need flowers, shrubs, and maybe some trees to really create a strong visual appeal for your yard. The good news is, you don’t have to buy the most expensive plants out there. Just find the ones that look pretty and that have some interest to them.
Next up, mulch. In many places, you can get free mulch from the city or county dump. You just need a pickup truck to get it. You can also go to sites like https://freemulch.abouttrees.com/#!/home to connect with people who make mulch through their jobs and will deliver it to your house for free. These are people like landscapers who shred trees and would otherwise have to pay to haul them to the city dump. Of course, if you’re just mulching a small area, buy a bag or two from Lowes or Home Depot.
Placing mulch decoratively around plants, trees, and other bare patches will make your front yard look neat and tidy. It is a cheap and easy way to really take your yard to the next level.
A bare front yard doesn’t look good. Mulching and planting some flowers and shrubs can help that a lot and minimize the need to plant grass. But, if you have to get some grass, find seed that is appropriate for your area, drought tolerant, shade tolerant, etc., plants your seeds, and keep them watered. Grass grows very quickly, so it will look pretty within two weeks. Before you know it, your front yard will be the top of the list for your prospective buyers!