14 Smart Curb Appeal Ideas for Your Most Welcoming Home Yet
First impressions do matter, especially in real estate: It's called curb appeal. Buyers might be less likely to check out the rest of a house if the outside is rundown or unattractive, or the porch decor is lacking. Even if the interiors are stunning, a house that lacks curb appeal will feel unwelcoming to guests and potential buyers alike.
You know curb appeal when you see it, and you definitely notice when it's lacking. Yet sometimes it's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a particular house on the block so much more welcoming than the next. "You don't need a big budget to create outstanding curb appeal," says Deb Cohen, who runs the popular Instagram account @thefrontdoorproject.
What you do need: color and contrast, balance, and good old-fashioned TLC. "Contrast dictates what our eye sees first, like a pot of yellow flowers against red brick," explains Paula Monthofer, a real estate agent in Flagstaff, Arizona. Balance—a thoughtfully composed garden bed, symmetrical window boxes—affects our first impressions more subtly. "Balance and symmetry convey stability," Monthofer says.
Beyond what guests and neighbors have to say about the plants for the front of the house you've chosen, if you're looking to sell your house, a few quick, inexpensive changes to your home's exterior could help make the process easier for you, from being able to sell faster to adding more value to the asking price.
"Whether you're getting ready to sell, or you're just looking to add a little extra pizazz to your home's exterior, boosting your curb appeal can be quicker and easier than you might expect, you just have to pick the right projects," says Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. "Many of these quick-fix projects can be done in an afternoon, and without professional help. But be careful—anything that requires electrical work, fencing, or major landscaping are best left to the experts."
Take a look at top curb appeal ideas, including tips from pros and research from real estate site Zillow. You'll be ready to put your best house forward with these expert tricks.