If you're like most people, your home is the biggest investment you'll ever make. You may not think of it that way, of course, but if you take care of it, you could come out way ahead when you finally sell.
In addition to general care and maintenance, consider your curb appeal to bring up your home's resale value. How it looks from the street is critical when it comes to impressing buyers, and some projects have been known to bring a huge return on investment.
Still, you don't have to sink tens of thousands of dollars into your landscaping to get good results. There are several DIY projects and smaller jobs that will help your house look great and get you top dollar when you eventually put it on the market.
Open New Doors
According to Remodeling magazine, the home improvement project with the best return on investment at resale is a new garage door. Not far behind is a new front door, so consider replacing these for a quick facelift. If you can't afford brand-new ones, clean up the doors you have and make any necessary repairs. A new coat of paint will go a long way towards making your doors look fresh and sharp, too.
Get Siding on Your Side
When's the last time you took a good look at your home's siding? If you're missing shingles, or if you have peeling, faded paint or cracks in your stucco, it's time for a facelift. Worn, aging siding makes your whole house look tired, and the overall impression is that your house isn't in good condition -- not a great look for potential buyers. Very old siding should be replaced entirely, but some homes can get away with a paint job.
Pro Tip: Go greige -- a combination of gray and beige -- for the best resale value.
Love Your Lawn
Neat landscaping can do a lot for how your house looks to others. Weedy, unkempt lawns make it look like your house is abandoned, so make an effort to break out that mower once a week. It's also a good idea to fertilize in the spring and keep your grass watered during dry spells to keep it looking its best.
Get Friendly With Flowers
Nothing turns a house into a home faster than a flower garden. Adding a little color to your landscaping will give your curb appeal a real boost. Consider adding a flower garden in front of your foundation plantings or along a fence. You can also plant a flowering tree to create a new focal point in your front yard. Don't have a green thumb? Purchase some hanging baskets for instant gratification on your front porch.
Patch Your Pavement
If your driveway, sidewalk or front steps have seen better days, repair them. Asphalt has an especially short life span but will look great once its patched and sealed. You can also consider replacing a concrete walkway with brick or stone pavers for a more upscale look.
To get started on a curb appeal project, take a look at your house and decide where it could most benefit from a facelift. If your budget is an issue, start with simple lawn and garden projects you can tackle on your own. A little TLC can go a long way into turning your house from just so-so to the nicest one on the block.
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