Garden - Gardening
Sep 10, 2020
Published by Derek Timmons

What is Curb Appeal and Why Does it Matter?

There are many factors to consider when selling a home and maximizing property value. The first and foremost is having a good Curb Appeal.

While having an aesthetically pleasing exterior may be seen as common sense when selling a home, there are more benefits of having a good curb appeal than you think. Not only is curb appeal important for selling and buying a home, but it is also something all homeowners should consider as it can also help save money and deter criminals.

Read further to learn more about what curb appeal is and why it matters.

What is Curb Appeal?

We all know that curb appeal is essential for real estate transactions, but most of us are unaware of its true meaning. 

Curb appeal is the visual attractiveness and first impression a person has when seeing a home from the street. In other words, a measurement of how appealing your home looks from the street curb. This includes the exterior of the home, landscaping, outdoor fixtures, driveways, and sidewalks. 

Curb appeal is also considered how a house looks compared to the surrounding homes on the street. If your home doesn’t have a curb appeal that stands out and blends in with the rest of your neighborhood could cause a lack of curb appeal. A lack of home curb appeal can prevent you from getting the asking price you are wanting.  

Why is Curb Appeal Important?

There are two significant reasons why curb appeal is important: increased property value and deterioration of burglars.  

Increased Property Value 

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or to increase your asset appraisal, Curb Appeal plays a huge role in increasing the value of your home and you get the most out of owning a home.

When selling or appraising a home, you want to get the highest price possible. This can only be achieved by attaining the highest perceived value possible. You want to communicate that the home has a high value, this starts from the outside first impression.

Despite what you were taught as a child, we do judge a book by its cover. Curb appeal is the first impression a person has on a home. Additionally, that impression usually sets the tone for when they enter the home. 

When your home has a nice and well-kept exterior, people gain the impression that the home as a whole has been well-kept. In other words, a good curb appeal communicates that the home not only has a nice exterior but that it’s likely that the structural integrity of the home has been maintained as well. 

On the contrary, if someone sees your home from the outside and it looks poorly maintained and run-down, buyers will likely offer lower than the asking price. Even if the interior is beautiful and perfect, that poorly maintained exterior can leave buyers thinking that there are other hidden problems with the maintenance of the home or that they will have to invest money in fixing the exterior.

On that note, there are easy cost-effective fixes you can do to create a good curb appeal listed further down in this article.

Deter Burglars

Oddly enough, you can use curb appeal to your advantage to prevent break-ins and keep intruders out of your home.

 The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) calls this strategy “Natural Surveillance”; “a field of knowledge developed to demonstrate that the architecture of some buildings deter crime while that of there encourages it.”

Using Natural Surveillance techniques in your curb appeal can help prevent break-ins and deter criminal activity. Natural Surveillance can be created by simply taking care of and maintaining your property, exterior illumination, and strategic landscaping.

Maintaining your property to create a Natural Surveillance includes maintaining a good fence with no broken posts, trimmed shrubs to allow visibility from inside and outside the home, and having a clear pathway to the entrance of the home by cutting overhanging trees and debris.

Exterior illumination is achieved by replacing any missing or burnt light bulbs, install motion detecting fixtures if you haven’t already. 

Strategic landscaping is using tactical plants that are both beautiful but protective at the same time.

 Allstate Insurance calls this “Protecting with Thorns” – using thorny plants around the outside of windows or break-in points to deter burglars.

There are a variety of thorny bushes that you can choose from to achieve the aesthetics you want in your landscaping, while also protecting your home. These types of beautiful but protective bushes include rose bushes, holly, Spanish bayonet, prickly pear, or bird’s nest spruce. 

Lastly, having a maintained and appealing exterior makes a psychological impression that someone cares. Crime is less likely to occur when they feel seen or that they can be easily caught. When your home exterior shows that someone put the effort into it, it shows that someone cares about the home and that the home is a difficult target.   

Curb Appeal Ideas

While some exterior home maintenance can be costly, there are a few budget-friendly things you can do to increase your curb appeal and get the most out of your home. 

A few simple cost-effective things you can do include:

  • Maintenance of already existing landscaping: mow and edge the lawn, pull weed flower beds, sweep the sidewalks, walkways, and driveways
  • Preserve outdoor fixtures: replace light bulbs, clean any lighting or fixtures from cobwebs and dust build-up
  • Clean-up the house exterior: pressure wash the siding, clean the outside of the windows,  and repaint chips on the trim of the house, front door, or fence posts

Lastly, curb appeal should be important to all homeowners, not just those who are looking to sell their homes. Not everyone cares about how the aesthetics of their home looks to by standards and neighbors, however, maintaining a good curb appeal can help save money. Upkeeping your home exterior can prevent less work down the road, avert less costly repairs in the future, and detract criminals from breaking in or vandalizing. 

Next time you leave your home, maybe look back and take a look to see if there are any small improvements you can make to increase your curb appeal. 

Written By
Airdrie - House

Derek Timmons

Derek is a top performing REALTOR® in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada. Aside from knowing the market, he uses his knowledge and experience in construction to help clients understand exactly what they're in for when buying and selling real estate.