Home & Garden Gardening

More Than Just Curb Appeal

There are many things you can do to spruce up the appearance to the outside of your home. Landscaping is probably the most obvious and DIY friendly. Just about anybody can dig a hole and plant some flowers or shrubs. But there are other components to curb appeal than landscaping. These finer touches can really differentiate your house from the others on the block, especially if you're trying to sell your house in this competitive housing market.

The best changes are those which accomplish multiple goals. Improving the look of the house is important, but what if it also made your home more energy efficient? What if it added to the value of your home? The key is to find great dual purpose improvements. Here is a partial list of such changes you could make that hit on both key elements.

1. Planting trees or shrubs to create a natural wind screen which can help make your home more comfortable in the winter. This can also be accomplished with decorative fencing or a trellis.

2. Adding an outdoor living space which adds value to your home, as well as, providing more living area.

3. Attaching sun shades to the outside of the window can provide privacy and help cool your home in the summer.

4. Building a pergola or installing an awning over your deck also adds value to your home by creating an oasis from the summer heat in your backyard.

These are just a few ideas that add more than just curb appeal to your home.

In this economy, people are looking to stretch their dollar more than ever before. This is what makes these ideas so great, because they make your home look better, but also help pay for themselves in reduced energy bills or with higher property values when you do decide to sell.

Buyers are also looking for homes they don't have to invest a lot of time or money into when they move in. They simply want a turn-key home where they can drop their bags and start growing roots. Gone are the days where the majority of the buyers are looking for that perfect fixer-upper. Not to say there still aren't some out there, but most seem to want a low maintenance move in.

Making the move in easy for the buyer is only half the battle. You also want to put your home on the top of their list by making your home as attractive as you can to as many of their needs as you can. So, the house has to look good. It has to feel good. It has to run good. Energy efficiency is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the buyer's home requirements.

Most everyone will do the obvious, like get Energy Star appliances, add insulation, etc. These don't necessarily differentiate houses, as most have made these changes. The subtle and ingenious changes are the ones, homeowners are really looking for. These are the ones that will stick with the prospective buyer. Obviously, you'll want to check with your realtor to see what kind of properties are moving in your area, as there are regional differences, but the concept is the same regardless of what is selling, and where.

You need to gain their interest and these ideas will definitely help you achieve that goal. Nobody wants to buy a cookie-cutter house. They want it to have its own style or personality; they want it to be something they can call their own.

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