What the Experts Have to Say About Curb Appeal

What the Experts Have to Say About Curb Appeal
We recently presented our own article about curb appeal, and it got us thinking: what do other people have to say about it? And we did some searching around the web to find realtors, landscapers, contractors and others who deal with curb appeal regularly. We ask for their short answer to what can be a somewhat tough question: “What’s the most important element of curb appeal?” We know that your driveway, walkway and front steps are key to the good looks of your property. And stamped concrete is the best material for them by far. But that’s also just one element, and it goes along with your architecture and landscaping. So let’s see what some experts have to say on the topic!

What is the most important element of curb appeal?

Than Merrill, CEO, fortunebuilders.com

than merrittWhen it comes to curb appeal, one could argue that there is no specific element that is most important. Rather, curb appeal is the sum of its parts: landscaping, lighting, paving, paint, hardware and decor, to name a few. A property’s curb appeal can be paralleled to the intent behind visual design and branding, which is to evoke certain sentiments or emotions. Property owners should think about how they can use curb appeal elements to achieve the overall tone they’d like to set for their property.” Remember, curb appeal basically provides passersby and visitors with a preview of what to expect from the property’s interior. Many homeowners also enjoy adapting their curb appeal design to the different seasons.

Christine Smith, Collingwood Real Estate, Collingwood ON

christine smith, royal lepage agentIt’s hard to narrow it down to one key element that’s important in curb appeal, but there are three often-neglected areas you should be sure not to overlook! First, the garage! You should definitely not neglect to make it look outstanding. How can you do this? If your budget is small, a coat of paint in a complementary colour to the rest of the home will do wonders. If you have a larger budget, replacing the doors with something nicer will help and carriage house garage doors are gorgeous. The driveway is important too. Most people go with an easy-to-care for asphalt driveway and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you are selling your Collingwood home, you should take the time to make sure the asphalt is clean and even get it re-paved or sealed so it looks smooth and black and gives buyers an inviting feel. You can step it up, though, with gravel, concrete or stamped concrete or interlocking brick. You can also dress it up by planting landscaping along the sides of it. Finally, lighting is a key. Use lighting that will focus on the best areas of the home and yard. This includes aiming warm (not bright white) lights at your home’s best features. If you have beautiful trees on your lot, highlight them, which gives the tree a beautiful presence. Light up the walkway not just for safety and security but to lead visitors right to your front door. Also consider different types of fixtures to add charm!

Kyle Hiscock, Rochester NY Realtor

kyle hiscock, rochester real estate agentCurb appeal is extremely important, especially if you’re thinking about listing your home for sale in the future.  Even if you aren’t, you don’t want the exterior appearance of your home to look bad, do you?
The most important element of curb appeal is ensuring your home has a bright and clean appearance.  This can be achieved in several ways and some of the most popular include planting bright flowers, freshly paint on your front door, or by trimming your bushes and shrubs.
The first impression a potential buyer gets of a home is the exterior as they arrive at your home.  Having an exterior that is overgrown, dirty, or dull is a surefire way to turn off buyers before they even step foot into your home.

Raf Howery, Kukun

raf howery, ceo of kukunCurb appeal depends on a number of factors:

Landscaping Your landscaping should be cohesive and thematic but not overly manicured. The harmony between the color theme of your garden and the color of your front door color can be bold or timid – and make a great statement. We prefer a strong contrast, indicating warmth and life being lived well in the home.
Front door shape, size and color
Double doors make a great statement, and the inclusion of glass makes it both grand and elegant.
Windows and window trim
Wooden or wood clad windows are much warmer than plastic or aluminum windows. Make sure the trim enhances the harmony between the front door and the garden.
Front steps
One or two steps makes the home feel welcoming, in contrast to homes with three steps or more or no steps all at. It indicates approachability and hospitality, adding to the warmth of your house.
Porches
If you have a porch, it can offer a great touch of warmth and curb appeal. We suggest you hang lush plants and add that classic rocking chair to enhance the welcome and cozy feel.
Exterior color of house
This is one of the trickiest traits to get just right. Again, you should aim to honor the harmony of the garden, door and window trim colors.
Picket fences
Believe it or not, picket fences are the ultimate trait for maximizing curb appeal.
Roof lines and gables
These are architectural elements and are dimension-sensitive – too flat and you risk flattening the curb appeal. Too high of a roof line also negatively affects curb appeal. It is all about being proportional to the size of the house. We suggest that you consult your architect.

Rhoya Selden, Seattle Staged to Sell

rhoya selden of seattle staged to sell contributes her ideas about curb appealNeatness is the most important element of curb appeal!

Curb appeal is an easy way to add value to your home and is a crucial component when you decide to sell. First impressions are everything, and the front entrance is what people will look at first when visiting your home. Tastes vary from person to person, and different landscaping and exterior colors will make your home stand out in the right way. There is no singular right choice when deciding on styles. While there are so many different possibilities out there to add to your property’s curb appeal, they all have one thing in common: neatness. Making sure your exterior is well maintained is essential. Even a very simple but well-manicured front lawn and a neatly painted neutral home will do wonders. While having a lavish garden is definitely appealing, it only looks good when taken care of properly. For the best curb appeal, be realistic about what you can afford to maintain and make the decisions right for you. Just make sure your front’s design stays neat however extravagant or simple; when this is done, your home will have instant curb appeal to welcome you and your guests.”

Ben Farley, Genesis Realty, Portland OR

ben farley genesis realtyFor me, it would be next to impossible to label only one item as the most “important” element of curb appeal, so I’ll approach it this way. I believe the most valuable element of curb appeal is the exterior maintenance of the home itself. A clean exterior with a fresh coat of paint, free of any damage or deferred maintenance, immediately shows a prospective buyer pride of ownership and gives them the right first impression – this home has been well cared for. However, for marketing the home, the most effective element, I feel, is a stunning landscape. A thick, well-manicured lawn, with crisp edging, fresh bark, new plants all framed by clean, well-maintained hard surfaces creates an immediate welcoming feel. The right landscaping highlights and complements the home and can cover a multitude of sins…obviously, like any one element, it still has its limits.

Joe Houghton, RE/MAX Results agent, founder and team leader of The Minnesota Property Group

remax agent joe houghton The most inexpensive way to boost your curb appeal is to upgrade the front entrance to your home. If you happen to be selling your home, this is critical. Remember that neat and tidy is welcoming. Keep the front walkway clear of obstacles and in good repair.  The lawn should be manicured and green. Any shrubbery in front of the home should be trimmed, not overgrown and scraggly. Strategically placed solar lighting adds a warm touch as will flowering annuals for pops of color.  Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door and stand back and observe the huge impact. Next, refurbish all the hardware and lighting fixtures. If they are beyond redemption, replacing them is another small investment and an easy do-it-yourself project. Don’t overlook your house numbers. If the budget allows, consider a portico or pergola over the entrance. Finish off the look with a pot of flowers or seasonal greenery by the front door and a new welcome mat! You’ll be amazed at the positive results these few improvements will make while going easy on your budget.

Conclusion

There’s a lot involved in making your home look great – whether you want to sell it or enjoy it. Curb appeal takes a good eye and some work to make sure your home looks fantastic. You can complement the suggestions of our experts in real estate with a great stamped concrete walkway and driveway and all the decorative concrete elements you need. Making your home more beautiful adds to its value, but more importantly, it adds to your sense of peace and comfort!