Curb appeal. It’s a popular phrase. Home sellers and buyers are familiar with it for when it comes real estate. HGTV and other home-show network fans are familiar with it from a variety of fun shows from HGTV’s show, Curb Appeal, to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper to the Property Brothers and more. But did you know it’s just as vital to maintain good curb appeal while you’re living in your home, with no intention of moving for a long time, if ever?
I’m a big fan of “aging in place.” That means, everything is set up practically so that you can grow old in your home. Meaning you might actually never move. Still and all, it’s definitely important to spend time regularly in maintaining your front and back yard in case of an unexpected move due to health, work, caregiving issues. It’s also important to keep your home looking neat, tidy and pleasant in case any of your neighbors decide to sell their home. “What does my yard have to do with my neighbor’s yard?” If your neighbor goes to sell his home and one or more of the surrounding homes looks less than desirable, it can actually impact his home. And THAT can turn around and impact YOUR home’s value.
Good Curb Appeal Pays Dividends
The neighborhoods in Roseville (and beyond) that have appealing yards – front and back – often have higher values than those with one or several homes whose lawns have died, whose flowers are bedraggled, whose yards have rusty ugly furniture propped up. Yes, even our beloved Roseville does have homes and neighborhoods like that. And you might be surprised where some of them are.
Happily, most homes are well maintained. However, the drought (which we are all hoping is going to be an unpleasant memory) has left a somewhat unpleasant path. Many people who normally were good at maintaining their yards quit watering to save on water. This in spite of so many experts warning them NOT to do that. As a result, there are dead or dying lawns in many lovely neighborhoods all throughout the greater Sacramento Valley.
Not too late!
It’s not too late. But it will be a bit of a challenge. Now is a good time to start thinking and planning about tidying up or revitalizing our lawns and restoring curb appeal front and back. Or, if our yards already look good, perhaps taking stock to see if there is anything that needs fixing in our lawns and yards. And while we’re at it, keep water-wise plants in the back of our minds for adding to our landscape. Whether we add one new water-wise plant or several, it’s more than we had before. And while we’re at it, it’s also a good time to decide if we WANT to go back to the traditional green lawn. Perhaps now is a great time to break free from the constant chore list and headaches a beautiful green lawn can lead to. Instead, a water-wise yard with drought-friendly plants, beautiful wild grasses, and perhaps a lovely rock stream might be just the thing!
Bushy Curb Appeal?
Of course, that’s not the only kind of curb UN-appeal. There’s also the opposite problem. Plants gone wild and bushy. I personally like the “natural” look, within reason. But when your plants are going all over the place including into your neighbor’s yard – possibly even causing encroachment issues, you have another problem in the making. Time to get out the hedge trimmers – or use my fave garden tool, the telephone (to call a good gardener).
Don’t overspend on curb appeal!
One caveat though! Don’t over do, or over spend, on the front or back yard unless you are doing it purely for your own enjoyment. YES, updating your curb appeal can lead to a quicker and more profitable sale if you do put it on the market. Unless you spend a fortune to create a gorgeous new front yard JUST to sell your house for more money. Then you are likely to be disappointed. I worked on a house for sale where the owners did just that. If they had taken the money they put into the front yard and applied it to adding a partial bathroom, they might have sold it faster.
Curb Appeal Joys
Whether you go back to the green lawn, or switch to water-wise, tone down the jungle or take it out entirely, it’s a good (and COOLer) time to put in some hours to update our front and back yards and take them back to lovely curb appeal. It will boost our morale, protect our home investment, and put a smile on your neighbors’ face when they sell their house quickly. Which will, in turn, put a big smile on your face when you realize YOUR home investment equity perked up along with your neighbors thanks to the great looking curb appeal at both your homes, along with all your other neighbors. 🙂