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Improving Your Curb Appeal

By Derren Peters

Think about your experiences as a homebuyer. When you were viewing homes, what sort of qualities stood out to you while approaching each doorstep? The yard? The paint scheme? Step across the street and view your home from several angles. Give as honest an assessment of your home as you can. What are its best visual features? What are its worst? Then have a friend or co-worker give the same assessment. Any overlapping negatives should be the first issues you address.

The first step to improving your curb appeal is also the simplest and cheapest. Simply tidy up inside and outside your home, removing toys, emptying trash cans, and mowing the lawn. Make sure your home can be seen in all its glory by trimming down shrubs and unruly tree branches. If you have the time and resources, consider giving your home a fresh coat of paint. Neutral colors are the safest bet in attracting the eyes of passersby. Start with the trim and move to the porch, fence, and front door.

Landscaping is major part of the curb appeal package. A neat, meticulously cared for yard is a welcoming sight; a messy yard can act as a repellant. Keep the grass well watered, edged, and mowed. Plant some colorful flowers. Trim any weeds clogging the grass, steps, or driveway. Speaking of the driveway, take steps to remedy any cracks or oil stains on the concrete. The driveway is the largest hard area near your home, and its appearance can hold a lot of weight in the eyes of a potential buyer.

A well-maintained exterior is likely to convince potential buyers that the inside is equally well kept, and thus, more desirable. The investment of "sweat equity" to beautify your home can ultimately pay off with a successful home sale.

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