As featured in The Columbian, May 13, 2018

Whether you’re selling or staying, first impressions matter. What does your home say to a potential buyer when they pull into the driveway? More importantly, what does your home say to YOU when you pull into the driveway? Our goal today: simple projects to help your home say WELCOME to all who approach.

Clean and organize: Sounds simple, but sometimes we become so accustomed to something that we see every day, we forget that it might be an eyesore. Get rid of any clutter and debris in the front yard, driveway and porch. This includes kid’s items, gardening tools, yard debris. Take the time to pressure wash the driveway, sidewalk, and house. Necessities like a hose, garbage and recycling bins, should be neatly put away or hidden out of site. A neatly organized exterior gives a potential buyer the impression of a seller who cares about detail and takes care of their home. It’s also a nicer look to pull up to after a long day at work.

Lawn and garden: Keeping the lawn mowed is essential to good curb appeal. And edging will give it a professional, finished look. HGTV Pro Tip: if you need to “green” your lawn in a hurry for an open house or showings, you can spray your lawn with a green lawn spray paint especially formulated for grass, is nontoxic and is environmentally safe. Groomed garden beds are essential; better to have an empty mulch or rock bed than a weedy, untended flower bed. Keep it low-maintenance with weed blocker under a layer of mulch. An inexpensive flat of summer annuals (purchased in bloom) will give the garden a festive look, even if they remain in their containers sitting in the garden bed.

Maybe you’re a renter, maybe you’re in a condo without a front yard, or maybe you just aren’t into gardening… fear not! Plants in pots, planters and hanging baskets can add just as much to your home’s exterior as a full garden in bloom. The possibilities are endless.

The essential elements: Be creative with your house number displays. I have seen everything from whimsical (old license plates!) to modern (sleek numbers on stained wood). And don’t forget your mailbox, another opportunity to add some character to your exterior. Sparkling clean windows are an excellent way to add instant and free curb appeal.

Pops of color: Places you can add a fun pop of color with paint: the front door, shutters, garage doors, mailbox & mailbox stand, porch floor. What’s the opposite of a “pop” of color? A sleek upgrade in curb appeal is to paint the AC compressor, electrical box and other meters attached to the house the same color as the siding.

This is a really VISUAL topic and I have photos of examples for all of these ideas on my Pinterest board and Facebook page. I hope you’ll check them out by visiting Pinterest.com/Redheaded_RE/curb-appeal or Facebook.com/LoveHomeWithShana and check out the Curb Appeal photo album.