It’s old news that people buy houses because of their location, but another important aspect of selling a house that’s often forgotten is the role the exterior plays. In most cases, curb appeal helps home buyers decide if your house is worth a second look or, better yet, a walk-through.
“A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on its curb appeal—the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing,” says Wading River, N.Y.–based Landmark Realty of Long Island. “You can help make sure they come inside your home by spending some time freshening up its exterior appearance.”
Curb appeal, of course, usually refers to the aesthetics of the house’s architectural style and its related accessories such as trim, windows, and shutters. It also includes landscaping treatments, flowers, and greenery. But there are other areas where builders can add another measure of style and interest to the exteriors of their homes.
Good illumination is one of them. “Lighting is always a plus,” says Landmark, which recommends a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture on a front porch. Selecting a cool light or a series of fixtures from the same family that is appropriate for the house creates design continuity. Plus, if done right, lighting can help create a nice atmosphere at night.
Another overlooked area is the driveway. Builders shouldn’t settle for asphalt or concrete, at least not for the entire space. Install cobblestone or brick paving to add interest and break up the monotony of gray or black areas. If money is tight, concentrating on the area closest to the street will help reduce costs. If possible, use permeable paving systems to promote water drainage, which increases the home’s sustainability. Stone walls are a nice touch and help give a house an authentic feel. And a good patio or deck is always a favorite among buyers.
In the end, curb appeal is not just about aesthetics; it’s also about adding value to a home, says Bankrate.com. “First impressions are everything,” the financial information publisher says, adding that “a good first appearance can add as much as 10 percent to the value of the home.”
Sea Side: Aqua brings a water motif to its exterior line of lighting fixtures. Available for a variety of applications, each piece features handworked wrought iron “bubbles” that wrap around off-white pleated shades. Products are available in wall-, post-, and ceiling-mount styles. Troy-CSL Lighting. 626-336-4511. www.troy-lighting.com.