You’ve done everything you’re supposed to in order to make your home appealing to buyers. You’ve updated the attic insulation, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and even trimmed back those trees hanging over the roof. But how can you bolster your curb appeal when you don’t have a front yard?
Even without a lush green lawn and a cute tulip garden, your home’s façade can make a great first impression. From new house numbers to new doors, here’s how you can spice up your curb appeal when the curb comprises most of your front yard.
1. Clean the Windows
In the midst of selling a home and potentially moving into a new one, it’s easy to forget the little things, like washing your windows. But when you don’t have a front yard, your windows are on full display for buyers. Crystal clear windows bathe your front room with light unfiltered by ugly water spots.
If your outside windows have hard water spots from rain or an errant sprinkler, skip the Windex. Simply mix white vinegar with hot water in a spray bottle, douse the window, and let it sit for a minute or two. Wipe off with a towel, and reapply as needed.
2. Update Your House Numbers
House numbers are an important aspect of your home’s curb appeal – a painted number on the curb isn’t enough. Your house number is the first thing most buyers are squinting and looking for when they come over for a showing, so make sure yours jump out.
Numbers range in price from anywhere between $2-$80. Lighted house numbers are another great option, especially if you’re showing your home after dark – there are wired and solar powered numbers available for under $60.
3. Don’t Ignore Your Doors
Most people don’t use their front door on a daily basis so you may neglect yours, but that’s how buyers will likely enter your home. New exterior doors can range anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars and are worth it if your front door is especially beat up. If you have a good door, a new coat of paint is always welcome – a splash of color will pop in listing photos.
And if a door or new paint job is too much, an upgraded doorknob can go a long way. “The doorknob itself is the first thing people interact with,” said Denver real estate agent Brendan Bartic, who sold 107 homes this year alone. “You’ll see a lot of homes that have rusted doorknobs or it’s hard for the key to work – those are things you want to make sure are corrected.”
While you’re sprucing up your doors, don’t forget the garage door. Even if yours is in great shape, garage doors, especially those facing the street, pick up a lot of road grime. Cleaning up garage doors is easy – all you need is warm soapy water, a rag, and a hose. Don’t use strong detergents or a power washer, though, because these can damage paint on the door. Painting your garage door is another way to bring life to your home’s façade – here’s a good guide to get you started.
4. Install a Mail Slot
If your home sits right on the street, a secure mailbox or mail slot is an appealing alternative to a simple box. Installing a mail slot is fairly straightforward as long as you can work a jigsaw and most lockable, wall-mounted mailboxes are less than $50. Just make sure your box fits USPS guidelines before doing any heavy installation.
5. Brighten Up Exterior Lighting
Even if you don’t have a front yard, you probably still have a sidewalk. In the winter, when prospective buyers may be coming over in the dark and on the lookout for ice, a lit sidewalk is sure to be noticed and appreciated.
Much the same is true for your front porch lights, which can be solar powered and help illuminate and show off your home at night. If you don’t want to replace your porch lights, make sure your existing lights are clean and free from bugs and spider webs.
6. Seal the Concrete
For those without a lawn to re-sod, sealing a driveway or sidewalk can have a similar effect. The process won’t take you more than a day or cost you more than a few hundred dollars at the most. Here are useful guides for sealing a concrete driveway and sealing an asphalt driveway.
7. Tidy Any Gardens You Do Have
Whether it’s a flower box or just a bush, make sure whatever greenery you have in front of your home is neat and manicured. Even a small strip garden on either side of your steps can stand out with a few shrubs and bright flowers. Look for low maintenance perennials so buyers know they’re not inheriting a project with your garden.
8. Install Fancy New Handrails
If your front yard is mostly comprised of stairs, the best way to spruce it up is with a new handrail, especially if your current handrail is rusty or wobbly.
Installing a new handrail is a relatively simple and inexpensive project as long as you have a hammer drill and masonry bit. You can buy handrail kits or if you’re more into DIY, you can install your own.
Curb Appeal for Small Front Yards: Solved
Curb appeal stretches well past the front yard, regardless of how large it is. Even if your home’s façade is neat and tidy, a few touchups can help distinguish it among other homes. Give your listing photographer something great to work with so their pictures get prospective buyers in your home.