6 Ways to Boost a Home’s Curb Appeal

By Leslie Fischer 

From the gutters to the garage, from the windows to the walkways, first impressions matter. Since curb appeal often determines whether your home sits or sells, you want your home to shine from the outside in. Here are the best six ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. 

1. Give Your Lawn Some Love

Nothing makes a better first impression than a healthy green lawn. Aerating, watering, and proper mowing regularly make a huge difference in your lawn’s attraction and health.  Be sure to fertilize, but only apply fertilizer during spring and fall and be sure to choose the right type for your grass. With the right attention and a little time, even long-neglected patches can become green and vibrant. While you’re at it, trim the shrubs and spruce up the flower beds with colorful native blooms. A yard full of weeds and pests triggers the thought,  “Uh-oh, lots of work here” in a buyer’s mind, and you don’t want that. For more info on proper lawn care practices in the Hampton Roads area, read this excellent guide by Wikilawn.

2. Pull Out the Paintbrushes


Sometimes the exterior just needs some touch-ups. If the exterior paint is faded or cracked, the entire house will look worn. If nothing else, touch up the trim, shutters, and doors. Be sure to check the paint on fences, outbuildings, and the mailbox. Pay special attention to the entryways. Don’t forget the address numbers on the house and on the curb. They need to be easy to read from the street. Pro tip: Plant some flowers in containers, and paint your house number on the containers.

3. Ditch Dated Extras

Most properties have at least one or two outdoor “features” that have become eyesores. Whether it’s a backyard fountain that no longer flows or patio furniture that’s past its prime, the time to get rid of it is now. Broken, outdated, or space-hogging extras can ruin your curb appeal. And since most of these liabilities aren’t useful anyway, you won’t miss them when they’re gone.

4. Wash Those Windows

Crystal-clean windows give your home’s exterior the boost it needs to go from good to great. Washing the inside of windows is as easy as cleaning your bathroom mirror. Unless your windows tilt in for cleaning, though, washing the outside can get tricky. Extension poles allow you to clean high windows from the ground. For many homeowners, that’s a much safer option than a ladder.


Note: Curtains and blinds are visible from the outside and have an impact on curb appeal. Don’t forget to dust or wash your window dressings!

5. Let There Be Lighting

For many homes, outdoor lighting is little more than a porch light and maybe a floodlight set to detect motion. While both these lights perform an important function, they don’t do much to increase your property’s curb appeal. But, a lighting scheme that illuminates pathways and provides aesthetic accents offers both form and function.

6. Pathways to Glory

Speaking of illuminated pathways, upgrading the walkways in front of your property makes a big difference. Lighted paths are appealing an add a measure of safety. You can make path lighting nearly maintenance-free by choosing solar-powered lights. But lighting is just the first of your options. Paths can be edged, mulched, and lined with flowers and plants. You can fill them with gravel, stone, or brick pavers. The beginnings and endings of walkways look great with an arbor accent. There are possibilities to suit any taste!


When upgrading to boost curb appeal, remember to err on the side of caution. Quirky projects can be fun, but their niche nature will be a turn-off to some folks. If you plan to sell soon or have HOA rules to worry about, a highly personalized update can become a liability!


Leslie Fischer describes herself as a “slow-motion vagabond.” She finds a place she wants to live, buys a fixer-upper, flips it, and gets out the atlas again. She writes about real estate and DIY issues.

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