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Curb Appeal: Cost-Effective Improvements when Selling Your House
Improving Your Concrete Surfaces
If you’re looking to sell your home, you probably want to do anything you can to differentiate it from other houses on the market, but don’t want to spend a ton of money to do it.
It’s important to note that the first thing anyone sees when coming to view your home (or even to join you for dinner) is the outside. That’s why real estate agents place a lot of importance on curb appeal. This starts with a planter or two and fresh landscaping, but it also includes your concrete surfaces, such as walkways, driveways, patios, and decks.
Updating these concrete surfaces goes a long way toward brightening the overall look of your home, increasing its curb appeal, and adding value for a relatively small investment.
Walkways and Driveways
These are among the first things people see when driving up to your house, so make sure they look great by repairing any damages.
Over time, cracking and chipping are natural occurrences, no matter what kind of climate you live in. Rain, sun, ice, and snow all damage concrete surfaces, but so do cars and feet repeatedly driving and walking over the same areas, day after day, year after year.
Repairing cracks and chips immediately makes the outside of your home more appealing. It also makes it safer, as uneven, cracked surfaces make tripping easy. You may also see weeds and other vegetation growing between cracks in your drive or walkways. Pull those. These simple, free fixes go far in improving your home’s curb appeal.
Once these areas are repaired, consider adding decorative touches, such as a border of bricks or pavers along the sidewalk or driveway. If you don’t have a walkway from the driveway to the house, consider adding one. The cost is minimal compared to the potential effect.
Improving your patio area helps prospective buyers envisage themselves enjoying it with friends and family. Start with the patio itself, making sure it’s clean and looking good.
If you have a special finish, such as stamped and stained concrete, consider a thorough cleaning and resealing to brighten and renew the finish. Then, take the time to outfit it so that it looks inviting and ready to use. Add simple patio furniture, place a planter or two, and hang some lights and wall décor. This type of impersonal yet attractive arrangement makes it easy for the people viewing your home see themselves living there.
If you have a pool, you know the kind of wear and tear its pool decking gets. Puddles of water and scorching summer sun slowly wear away at a pool deck’s surface.
Consider resurfacing or even replacing worn-out pool decking with a wide variety of concrete surfaces. Faux flagstone looks amazing and comes in a variety of colors and styles. Bricks, pavers, stained or stamped concrete, and Cool Deck coating all help create backyard oases that are so beautiful, you may decide not to sell your home after all.
Weeds, overgrown trees, and scraggly bushes do not make a good first impression (if your HOA allows it to get that bad). You don’t have to pay a lot of money to landscapers to get your yard in tip-top shape, either. Time, a pair of hedge clippers, some work gloves, and heavy duty garbage bags are all you need to get rid of weeds and trim bushes and shrubbery. With a bit of work, your hard has the well-manicured appearance that a professional landscape crew gives it.
Or, you can forget all that and hire the pros. When it’s 110 degrees outside, it’s probably worth it.
Bringing it All Together
Once you repair or replace all of the cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged concrete surfaces, add those little extra touches that make a house feel like a home, even on the outside. Flowers and other plants add bursts of color as well as value to your home. If you don’t have time to grow a garden, consider positioning planters in strategic areas around the yard, such as near doorways, along walkways, and in the corners of your backyard.
Decorative lighting is another inexpensive way to improve your home’s outdoor appearance. A strand of twinkly lights around the patio creates nice ambient lighting, and strategically placed solar lights stick right into the ground and require no upkeep from you. Place them along walkways to guide visitors, or near plants to highlight them after the sun goes down.
You can also hang simple, inexpensive wall décor near doors, and decorative sconces over outdoor lights.
Each improvement you make sends prospective buyers a subtle message: This would be a wonderful house to live in.