By Yuna Miller
The way your home looks to the rest of the world is more important than you might imagine. Your homeowners’ association sets rules to maintain curb appeal. Your home’s exterior is a significant factor in the selling price of your home as well as your neighbors. You don’t have to spend a fortune to upgrade the curb appeal. Here are some affordable ways to highlight your home’s features without putting a strain on your wallet.
When it comes to boosting curb appeal on a budget, there’s a clear front runner. The best time to break out the brushes is before you stage your home. Paint is affordable, and painting is a job that most homeowners can tackle themselves. Whole house paint jobs might be a little time-consuming. But you can achieve stunning results by painting the accents like shutters, doors, and trim.
Buy the highest quality paint you can afford. Exteriors face different hazards, such as wind, hail, and rain. If you want the paint job to hold up to a Texas summer, it will cost you less over time to start with the good stuff.
The front and back yard can make or break your home’s curb appeal. You want your landscaping to be trendy, but you also want to make it low maintenance. Today’s homeowner doesn’t want to spend a lot of time working in the yard. Your lawn, plants, and outdoor features should all be well-manicured and clean. Be sure to water consistently; in Texas this can take effort but it’s well worth it. The basic layout that was there when you bought your house might not be the best looking or easiest to maintain.
One thing that will look good for a long time without much upkeep is native flowers and plants. Mulch wherever possible to reduce weed growth and lower the amount of water you use. Look into solar options for accents such as footpath lighting to reduce the amount of electricity you use. Local landscapers will have all kinds of advice about how to increase looks and lower weekly upkeep requirements. Don’t be afraid to schedule a consultation!
When’s the last time you looked at your house numbers? Are they visible from the street? What about your porch lights or mailbox? You can replace all of these for just a few dollars.
It’s easy to overlook the dirt and grime on your front porch and walkway. You can rent a power-washer from a home improvement store for less than $100. Spray the hardscaped areas and the garage doors. A few hours of washing can make your home look new again. Don’t overdo it, though. The siding and other areas of your home’s exterior are likely to be damaged by power-washing.
Break out the toolbox and get to fixing. Most properties will have a handful of tasks that need attention. Today’s homeowners have a huge advantage when it comes to doing little tasks around the house: Online video tutorials. Projects such as mending fence posts and installing a new doorbell come within reach.
So even if you’ve never done any of your own home maintenance, there’s likely a video telling you exactly how to spruce things up. And while you might want to leave the foundation repairs to the pros, there are plenty of projects waiting for you to take them on. Just don’t forget your gloves and safety goggles!
Yuna Miller is a freelance writer who has lived in eight cities in 16 years. She finds a community that interests her, finds an old house, fixes it, flips it, and gets out her map again.