Tips on Upgrading Your Curb Appeal


They say a picture's worth a thousand words, and that couldn't be truer when it comes to photos of your home in its real estate listing. Getting your home prepared for the market is no small feat and with new listings popping up at the speed of the internet right into buyers fingertips you want to make sure the first photo they see of your home is as appealing as possible. We've compiled a few projects and tips to help you spruce up your home and get top dollar when you're ready to list!

Small Projects
A photo of the outside of your home (if it's single family) is typically the first thing people see in a listing and the first thing they'll see when they come to view it in person. So, cleaning up the outside of your home is a small step you can take that can go a long way.

  • We recommend power washing your siding and sidewalks, washing your exterior windows, and primping your front porch or entryway.
  • Clean or replace your porch lights, keep clutter out of the entry, and add a potted plant or two to flank the door. Buyers are often immediately turned off if they notice a messy entryway - it's a clue of what is to come!
  • You might even consider painting your front door and updating your house numbers. "New numbers are eye-catching. Go big and bold, at least 5 inches tall... decide where to place them by standing at the street and imagining you're searching for your house" states Danny Watson, home and garden expert at The Home Depot. 

Read more about these exterior tips from NerdWallet via USAToday: Easy Home Touch-Ups

Medium Projects
A recent report by Remodeling Magazine showed the top five best cost-to-value options for home renovations and we were quite surprised at some of the projects that topped the list.

  • "For Seattle, adding manufactured stone veneer will more than pay for itself, getting you a 144.6 percent on your investment. The average cost of this is $8,412" states King5 News. (We only consider this a "medium" project because it won't affect your day-to-day life within the walls of your home.) 
  • Replacing your garage door is another project that costs a bit more than the ones on our small projects list but still is a quick fix. It will give an average return of 141.2 percent.
  • A composite deck addition will bring a 122 percent return on investment and is another project that can be scheduled and won't affect your day to day routine. A composite 16x20 deck can cost upwards of $19,000, though, so this is definitely something that is a bigger consideration. A wood deck addition is a bit cheaper, averaging $13,000 and bringing a 106.7 return; so this option might be a happy compromise if you're concerned with cost. 

Large Projects
Other projects that are also included on the Seattle list of renovations with the best return on investment range everywhere from entry door replacements to master suite additions. 

  • Universal design bathroom in an existing space and swapping fixtures, outlets, and making doors and knobs accessible by wheelchair is a large job that costs an average of over $19,000 but brings a return of 107.2 percent. 
  • A minor kitchen remodels (that includes replacing or painting cabinets, pulls and handles, replacing countertops, and appliances will bring an average 116.3 percent return on investment but also cost an average of $23,000. This is one of the spendier items on the list of renovation projects that will bring a full return.
  • An upscale vinyl window replacement is the highest project that comes in under 100 percent. It costs an average of $17,000 and should have a 97.9 percent return.