Curb appeal

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Think of curb appeal as your home's first impression. In fact, the curb appeal of any home can help (or hurt) the property values of the entire neighborhood.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 63 percent of homebuyers will drive by or schedule an appointment after viewing a home they like online. While you might not be in the market to sell, the “saleability” of your home should always be on your mind.Improving your home's curb appeal can be done in the following three steps.

An Honest Assessment

Walk to the street and look back at your house. What do you see? Take an honest look at your home. Take a notepad and pen with you.

Write down projects that need to be completed. It is helpful to distinguish projects you want to start, versus repairs that need to be made to existing structures or areas.

A Good Scrub Down

Dedicate a weekend to cleaning out the gutters. It is also important to examine the siding of your home. Is it in good shape?

Pressure-washing house siding can strip away any green growth or mildew hanging out in the cracks — making it look bright and new.

Spray for any weeds creeping up the driveway or walkways, and sweep the front porch. Keeping your property clean is an essential aspect of home improvement.

A Gentle Sprucing

Your entryway is always a focal point. Make it stand out by painting your front door a bright, fresh color. Visit your local home improvement store or nursery and pick up potted plants and hanging baskets for the front porch.

If you have a large front yard, or own a home in a new development, consider planting a tree. Another easy upgrade to your landscaping is installing outdoor lighting.

Opt for budget-friendly solar lighting fixtures. They rely on the sun for power, which means no digging up the lawn to bury electrical lines. This also makes installation a breeze. Line walkways, highlight shrubbery and anything else that makes your home stand out from the crowd.

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