In many parts of the country, autumn and its colorful display of foliage are eagerly awaited after a long, hot summer. But once those leaves have fallen, it can leave your house looking, well, a bit naked, with nothing to hide those little figure flaws that nearly every home has. That’s why fall is a great time to dress up your home’s exterior, especially if you’re trying to sell your home. Here are seven steps to increasing your fall curb appeal:
1. Take a good hard look
You wouldn’t leave the house without taking at least a glance in the mirror, would you? Then take a few minutes to assess your home’s appearance. Stand across the street and take a snapshot of the exterior, then study the photo to see which imperfections stand out. Park your car and enter the house from the same direction potential buyers (or guests) might, and look for little defects along that route.
2. Lose the leaves
Most homeowners with even a few trees know the annual raking ritual is inevitable. But if you really want your house to look its best, take the extra step of getting rid of those bagged-up leaves as soon as possible. Haul them to your area recycling center for composting, or at least stow them discreetly out of sight until community pick-up day.
3. Glam up the gutters
Nothing tells potential homebuyers that you’ve let basic maintenance slide like clogged gutters. Not only does it look unkempt, it can actually harm your home’s foundation when rainwater overflows them. If the paint is faded or peeling, give them a fresh coat.
4. Fix up the front door
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then your front door is like a big nose in the center of your house’s face. Paint it a fresh accent shade, but stick to traditional colors, perhaps selecting from one of the historical color collections offered by most major paint makers these days. Add some smart brass house numbers or a new doorknob.
5. Light it right
Anyone who has tried on bathing suits under the glare of fluorescent bulbs understands the importance of good lighting. Install low voltage lights along walkways. Add a pretty street lamp or new porch fixture. Remember to strategically use interior lighting to make the house look warm and inviting from the outside.
6. Add some annuals
Perhaps your house doesn’t need a full facelift, but a little “refreshing” would help. Plant some popular – and inexpensive – annuals such as pansies, impatiens and chrysanthemums.
7. …And a few finishing touches
It’s time to add a few final accessories, but steer clear of potentially tacky Halloween décor. Pumpkins, tiny spruce trees and dried leaf wreaths are popular classics.