I really can’t stress enough how important curb appeal is when you’re flipping houses. For one thing, a lot of your prospective buyers will know that it’s a rehabbed property. If it doesn’t look great when they drive up, they’re going to wonder how much effort you put into improving it and what kinds of issues they’re going to run into after they buy it.
For another, if you improve the curb appeal of the property, it helps property values throughout the neighborhood, which will seriously endear you to the neighbors. Don’t ever underestimate how helpful neighbors can be in selling a property. No one likes having a vacant house in their neighborhood, so if the neighbors see that you’re making visible improvements to sell the property, they’re going to be more likely to tell others about it and help you make the sale.
So how can you boost your curb appeal without breaking your rehab budget? Check out my secret recipe for curb appeal success:
1. Do Some Landscaping
If the grass looks good, you don’t absolutely have to resod it, but look at your lawn with a critical eye. If it just looks “okay,” talk to your contractor about getting some landscaping done that won’t kill your budget. Sometimes a little seeding and pruning can go a long way. I do like to add some welcoming plants around the mailbox and framing the front porch, though, since they add a little pop of color and make the place feel more alive.
2. Paint Your Front Door and Exterior Accents
Whether or not you need to paint the whole exterior of the house, you should definitely give the front door and your exterior accents a new coat of paint. I like to go with something updated that complements the color of the house, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose something exotic. For example, if your house is gray or blue, you can just paint all of your window frames white or black, and you can give the door a coat of red that’ll really draw the eye.
3. Add Cool Exterior Lighting
Are you in love with your porch light? If not, you can do a lot with just a little bit of money and time when you replace it with a new one. Do a little bit of shopping, and you can find a new light fixture that fits with the design of the house but doesn’t just blend in.
4. Camouflage Utility Boxes and Air Conditioners
If you have utility boxes and/or meters attached to the house, you can paint them the same color as the house (making sure that the boxes can still be opened and that all meters are readable). And you can plant some shrubbery around the air-conditioning unit and any freestanding utility boxes. The whole property will have a more stylish look and no one’s attention will be drawn to those eyesores.
5. Add Window Boxes
Nothing livens up the look of a house or makes it look more beautiful than window boxes bursting with flowers and plants. Add some window boxes to your front windows, and you’ll notice a major improvement immediately.
I don’t do all of these steps for all of our houses, since every flip house is different and has unique strengths and weaknesses. However, this basic recipe is a great place to start to spruce up the curb appeal on any property. Have fun with your finishing touches, and see how much faster your investment properties sell.