First impressions last. It is a statement that holds true in business, love, and even real estate. Not surprisingly, ninety percent of real estate agents cite first impression of the front entry as important when selling a home. Whether it is landscaping, decorative trim or the condition of the windows, the outside appearance of a house really does matter. Here are 5 ways great curb appeal can raise your home value:

1. A New Coat of Paint Can Make a House Look New

A fresh coat of paint can spruce up a home’s exterior and make it look like new. It also gives the house the appearance of being clean. In a 2008 JELD-WEN REACT survey, as many as 82 percent of buyers that responded had declined to look inside a house based on its exterior appearance. From the moment that a buyer parks by the curb, (s)he starts to decide whether to walk in the door, so a fresh coat of paint is an easy way to boost curb appeal fast.

2. Exterior Accents to the Home Draw the Eye

Outside features such as shutters, railings and fencing can provide visual interest and style to a home. Often overlooked, interior curtains can draw the eye toward windows even from the outside, and shutters can create a visual illusion of larger windows. An outdoor bench under a tree welcomes the passerby while decorative lighting can trim a winding walkway to the front door. These exterior accents beautify the home and draw the eye of a potential buyer.

3. Fabulous Curb Appeal Suggests the Homeowner Cares

Interested buyers assume a neglected exterior means a similarly neglected interior. Even if there are no visible problems inside the home, a homebuyer may worry that poor curb appeal means basic house maintenance and repair has been ignored too. HGTV offers a few easy tips to judge your home’s own curb appeal including taking a photo of the house and looking at it in black and white or just walking across the street to get a view of what potential homebuyers see. Both techniques may highlight issues that need to be fixed to boost your home’s curb appeal.

4. Landscaping Impacts a Home’s Value and Time on the Market

What could be better than a home improvement that will increase the value of the house and reduce its selling time on the market? According to landscape economist, John Harris, good landscaping does just that. Harris notes, Good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house and cut its time on the market 10%-15%. Boost the landscaping from good to great, and a home’s value improves even more.

5. Trees Boost Curb Appeal and Save Energy

Trees, especially mature ones, can be the highlight of a home’s exterior and curb appeal. Who would have guessed that they can also lower your energy bill? The Arbor Day Foundation offers a National Tree Benefit Calculator which will work out the impact of shading, stormwater runoff and even air quality for trees in your neighborhood. So, a well placed tree not only adds landscaping beauty to a property but can be an energy saver as well.

If exceptional curb appeal is high on your list of must-haves, northern New Jersey has a plethora of idyllic communities and beautifully maintained homes. Let me show you around! Contact Victoria Carter at victoria@victoriacarter.com, or call (973) 220-3050.

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