5 Exterior Home Improvements that Add Curb Appeal

home exterior remodelCurb appeal is the Holy Grail of real estate these days. If your home doesn’t make a positive first impression, chances are prospective buyers won’t even bother to walk through the front door. Fortunately, there are some relatively low-cost exterior home improvements you can do that have a huge impact on curb appeal.

Even if you’re not looking to sell anytime soon, these simple exterior home renovations can make you fall in love with your home all over again. Here are the top five home exterior remodels we suggest to increase your curb appeal:

1. Paint or replace the siding. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way toward brightening your home’s exterior. Exterior house painting offers a tremendous bang for your buck, revitalizing your property’s appearance for a minimal investment. Another option is to replace your home’s siding with low-maintenance vinyl siding, a highly attractive option for buyers who don’t want to deal with painting and upkeep. According to Remodeling magazine, new vinyl siding can add more than 80% of its cost to the value of your home.

2. Spruce up your entryway. A welcoming front door is the best way to lure anyone — guests or buyers — into your home. For a fresh, new look, replace the front door (which can add 75% or more of its cost to your home value) and/or any hardware, including house numbers, light fixtures and the entry door lockset. Better Homes and Gardens suggests also pleasing the eye by creating symmetry around your front door, flanking it with matching light fixtures, urns, potted plants or other accents.

3. Clean or replace gutters and downspouts. At minimum, give your gutters a good cleaning. However, if you have an old gutter system that suffers from peeling paint, rust spots, water damage or general shabbiness, consider replacing it with a vinyl gutter system, which requires no painting.

4. Replace windows. New windows are much more than a cosmetic exterior home improvement. Replacing old windows with energy efficient models can create a huge selling point for prospective buyers — not to mention save you money for as long as you choose to live there.

5. Add outdoor lighting. Decorative outdoor lights are a classy and sought-after way to enhance your home’s exterior. Landscape lighting can accent trees or light up a walking path. You can hard wire in low-voltage lights or go with some widely available solar lights, which are less involved but also less reliable.