This post is by guest author Rachael Baihn, lawnstarter.com.
A house in North Carolina is a hot commodity these days. Home prices are up more than 7% this year, and experts predict those final sales will keep rising. Even though it’s a seller’s market, don’t expect buyers with the perfect offer to just show up with money in hand. Boosting your curb appeal is one way to bring in the right kinds of offers. Here are five budget-friendly ways to boost your home’s curb appeal and get a high-dollar offer.
1. Whip the yard into shape
Take a hard look at your yard — and be honest with yourself. Does it need work? How much? If you were looking to buy your own home, would the yard make or break the deal? At the very least, you want to mow and edge and weed the yard. Remember, the mowing height depends on what kind of grass you have. If there are visible problems — this is the time to kill those billbugs, beetle grubs or chinch bugs, or water that dry patch. Reseed the shady part of the lawn that looks stressed out, and be sure to apply weed treatment and fertilizer at least four times per year.
Don’t have time to plant a flower bed? Add some color to the front walkway with potted plants. You can get creative and paint your house numbers on them, making it easier for prospective buyers to find your home.
2. New front door
Your front door makes the first impression. If it’s old or cracked or out of date, you can update it for just a few hundred bucks. If that’s too much for your budget, or if you can’t find anything you like in your price range, there is one weird trick that might help. One study found that painting your front door black can add $6,000 more to the final offer.
3. Hardware updates
Hardware goes in an out of fashion faster than doors do. If you think your front door is fine, but that brass doorknob makes it look like something out of the movie “Home Alone,” it’s a quick and easy fix. You can replace it for less than $100 and can bring your home’s exterior style into the current times. Brushed nickel and oil-rubbed brass are trendy right now. Don’t forget about exterior lighting. A few new fixtures will brighten up your house and make it look modern.
4. New garage door
If your garage door faces the street, it takes up a significant percentage of the front of your house. In other words, it makes a big impact. A new garage door can highlight your home’s features and save energy. It’s also a good return on investment, meaning homeowners who replace their garage doors see most of the cost recouped in an increased sale price. Hey, anything that gives your home an edge, right?
5. Get It Sparkling Clean
Fifty dollars will rent you a power-washer for a few hours. This hypnotic method of blasting the dirt off of your front porch, your driveway and your home will bring back a sparkle it hasn’t had since it was built. A power-washer is a quick and easy way to get rid of years of dirt, dust, and grime. Don’t go overboard, though, as some of your exterior paint and bricks may wash away if hit hard with the water. Fix any small, nagging issues too, say with a gutter, or touching up your window shutters. The old saying might be “cleanliness is next to godliness,” but really cleanliness is more like “SOLD.”
Each of these five ideas to boost your curb appeal will mean more money coming into your pocket than going out. That’s why it’s important to research the projects with a high return on investment. Forget big renovations for thousands of dollars! If painting the front door black and power-washing your driveway is all it takes, why pay for more?
Rachael Baihn is an avid gardener, both indoors and in her backyard sanctuary. She can often be found exploring nature off the beaten track or enjoying the company of local neighborhood dogs.