If you’re a homeowner, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to boost your home’s curb appeal. A more attractive exterior can help make your house more appealing to buyers, and it could even boost its perceived value. Plus, adding a few simple upgrades can make your place feel more enjoyable however long you decide to live there.
Looking for inspiration? Here are five curb appeal ideas to consider.
1. Revitalize the Front Door and Mailbox
A fresh coat of paint on a front door can do wonders, and certain colors can be especially appealing. For instance, buyers tend to prefer homes with a black or slate blue door and may be willing to pay an average of $1,537 more for one, according to Zillow. On the other hand, other front door colors, such as a pale pink or cement gray, could have a negative impact on a home’s value.
This can also be the time to update the doorknob and door knocker, and any hardware on the door, including the street number. While you’re at it, what about a matching new mailbox? They even come with LED lights nowadays to do double duty.
2. Curb Appeal Landscaping
When choosing landscaping elements, keep the design of the home in mind, along with the size and slope of the lawn. A large lawn might look wonderful with shrubs that would likely overwhelm a smaller one, while eye-catching flowers might look perfect in front of a cottage-style dwelling but get lost in the shuffle in front of a big home. For curb appeal landscaping, also consider how its design moves guests in an attractive way to the front door, perhaps wending along the walkways.
Entire books can be written on curb appeal landscaping options, so enjoy exploring! While doing so, don’t forget how attractive window boxes full of blooming flowers can look. Consider integrating native flora and fauna, which have already adapted to your local climate and soil conditions and should thrive in your yard.
3. Upgrade Windows and Shutters
For a significant change in the look of a home, consider a brand-new style of windows. Options include eye-catching casement windows that are hinged to open horizontally through the use of a crank. With these windows, one side stays in place while the other side opens like a door.
Awning windows can be another interesting choice. With this style, the window swings open from the bottom while the top part stays fixed in place. Bay windows can also really make a difference in curb appeal. Also consider new shutters, perhaps ones that complement a newly painted front door.
4. Don’t Forget the Lighting
As part of curb appeal landscaping, also think about outdoor lighting that will really set off the new look. A new fixture on the porch can make a difference, aesthetically.
Along the front of the home and walkways, outdoor solar LEDs can be one option because they aren’t hard to install and can be cost efficient. They don’t create bright light, though, so they can be used as a form of supplementary lighting.
Traditional glass lanterns can be attractive, especially when paired with vintage-style bulbs. Ones that mimic the gas lanterns of the Victorian era have been trending.
5. Repair the Roof
If the roof has loose or missing shingles, this can make even the most appealing home look in need of some tender loving care. So, addressing these problems can add to curb appeal. As part of the project, check gutters and downspouts and take care of them as needed.
Costs for Upgrades
After thinking about what projects to take on, the next question to consider may be what these home remodeling projects cost.
New front door
A new door can cost under $100 for a basic hollow core choice up to $7,000 or more for a pricey wrought iron door. If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider painting an existing door and replacing hardware and a doorknob.
As with just about any home improvement project, curb appeal landscaping costs can vary by project. Lawn mowing services run around $55-$70 per hour on average, while laying sod could cost between $1,568 and $2,409, according to the home services website Thumbtack.
On average, new windows cost $850 on average, although this can vary by the home’s style and location. The cost for replacing all windows in a typical three-bedroom home can run between $3,000-$10,000. That said, the investment may be worth it, as new energy-efficient windows can save up to 15% of energy bills.
Small roof repairs can cost between $150-$400, with labor charges of anywhere from $45 to $75 hourly. Nationally, the average roof repair costs $1,066, with a range between $379 and $1,766, according to Angi and HomeAdvisor. Repairing the gutters can come with an average price tag of $383 (falling somewhere between $193 and $620, depending on the height of the house, the gutter length and type, and repairs needed). When a full replacement is needed, figure $1,600-$2,175.
Funding Your Curb Appeal Ideas
As much fun as it is to dream of all the ways to improve the exterior of your home, just as important is how you’ll pay for the upgrades. You may decide to pay for the improvements out of a savings account or put everything on credit cards and pay off the balances in full when they’re due.
Keep in mind that if you choose to use credit cards — but are unable to pay off the balances in full when they’re due — you’ll likely be charged compound interest on the balance. And that could add to the overall amount you owe. To see how compound interest can pile up, take a look at this credit card interest calculator.
If it doesn’t make sense to use credit cards to fund curb appeal ideas, then you may want to explore a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a personal loan.
Taking out a HELOC can make sense under certain circumstances, including these:
• Significant equity exists in the home.
• A large sum of money is needed.
• Potential tax benefits are attractive.
Benefits of a personal loan include the following:
• If the loan is unsecured, then home equity will not be tied up.
• Fees are probably less; in some cases, there aren’t any.
• The application process is usually easier, with the approval process typically quicker than the process for a HELOC.
Improving your home’s curb appeal can help make it more attractive to prospective buyers and potentially increase its perceived value. The upgrades can also make your home more enjoyable to live in, no matter how long you’re there. Certain curb appeal ideas can have more of an impact. These include freshening up the front door and mailbox, adding or improving the landscaping, upgrading windows and shutters, adding outdoor lighting, and making necessary repairs to the roof.
The cost of making exterior improvements varies based on the work you’re doing and whether you’re hiring a professional. There are different ways to fund a curb appeal project, including using savings, using a credit card and paying off the balance when it’s due, or taking out a HELOC or personal loan.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get some curb appeal work done, see what a SoFi personal loan can offer. With a SoFi Home Improvement Loan, you can borrow between $5k to $100K as an unsecured personal loan, meaning you don’t use your home as collateral and no appraisal is required. Our rates are competitive, and the whole process is easy and speedy.
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