You don’t have to be a fan of fixer-upper home improvement shows to know the importance of curb appeal when it comes to selling and buying a home. What you see — the exterior of the house, the yard and sidewalk — function as a preview of coming attractions for what’s inside. And even if you aren’t selling your home, the view from the curb is still a first impression worth caring about.

There’s good news to be had here: Unlike many home improvement projects, boosting your curb appeal can be done via a number of smaller, mostly inexpensive fixes.

STARTING THE PROCESS

Since most people are on autopilot by the time they’re pulling into the driveway, it’s possible to not even notice things someone new to your home would instantly take note of. Viewing your home with fresh eyes is essential to making your to-do list of improvements. Try driving slowly past your house and seeing what jumps out at you. Repeat the exercise while out on a walk with a friend whose opinion you trust, and make your list.

EVERYTHING CAN USE A BATH ONCE IN AWHILE

For real, even your house! Weather, climate changes, storms and general wear and tear over time take a toll on things like your home’s siding, sidewalks and decks. Renting a pressure washer is pretty inexpensive (home supply stores and often even grocery chains stock them) and the results are immediate.

YOU’VE GOT MAIL

Handwritten notes and even paper bills are quickly becoming things of the past, but mailboxes are here to stay. Given that they often hold your house number, the mailbox could be the very first thing of yours a potential buyer or new friend looks at en route to your living room. It doesn’t need to be a fancy, bespoke, replica of your home to pass muster. The mailbox should look modern enough, clean and well-kept. Your house numbers (whether on your mailbox or on your home itself) should be be shiny and updated; yes, even house numbers can go out of style. The attention to detail will give an impression that care is put into curb appeal and beyond.

LOOK ALIVE

For some, maintaining flowers sounds like a daunting task, but a true green thumb isn’t necessary for a few pops of color around your yard. Choose a few planters to frame the front door, or plant a small bed around the mailbox to bring your landscape to life. If you are feeling ambitious, some window boxes with colorful blooms make a home look extra welcoming.

Given that they often hold your house number, the mailbox could be the very first thing of yours a potential buyer or new friend looks at en route to your living room.

PAINT FOR POLISH

Re-painting the entire exterior of a house is out of the question financially for most who are looking for just a little boost, but there’s still a way to paint your way to great results by re-painting your front door, shutters and trim. It will only cost a couple gallons’ worth of paint at most, and will give the home a polished look.

LIGHTEN UP

Curb appeal isn’t just for daytime. Take a good look at your front door light fixtures. When was the last time they were updated? Consider buying some new, or if that isn’t in the budget, it’s possible to give them a facelift by installing new light bulbs and giving them a thorough cleaning. But lighting isn’t just about the door — the walkway should be well-lit and welcoming too. If you have any big trees, consider buying fixtures to light from the roots, upward. They’re inexpensive and surprisingly easy to install, and the dramatic lighting will give off a glow neighbors and home buyers alike will love.

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