8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home
By: Pat Curry
Published: February 18, 2011
Here are eight ways to help your home put its best face forward.
The way your house looks from the street--attractively landscaped and well-maintained--can add thousands to its value and cut the time it takes to sell. But which projects pump up curb appeal most? Some spit and polish goes a long way, and so does a dose of color.
Tip #1: Wash your house’s face
Before you scrape any paint or plant more azaleas, wash the dirt, mildew, and general grunge off the outside of your house. REALTORS® say washing a house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale prices of some houses.
A bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush
Eliminate access to food, water, and shelter to stop wood-damaging pests from bugging you.
You’ll find the materials—hardware cloth ($8 per 6-inch-square swatch), door weather stripping ($8 per 17-foot roll of 7/8-inch v-strip polypropylene), O rings for faucets (pennies)—you need at most home improvement stores.
And many of the steps to impeding pests’ access—clearing overgrowth from around foundations and disposing of wood scraps and other debris that accumulate in garages and along sides of houses—are things every homeowner should do as part of regular house and yard maintenance.
The effort—a few hours or a weekend a few times a year—and cost of supplies
To successfully appeal your property tax bill, you first need to do a bit of sleuthing into your real estate assessment.
Read your assessment letter
A real estate assessment is conducted periodically by the local government to assign a value to your home for taxation purposes. An assessment isn't the same as a private appraisal, and the assessed value of your home isn't necessarily how much you could sell it for today. Real estate assessment letters are mailed to homeowners annually, or perhaps every two to three years, depending where you live.
The letter will include some information about your property, such as lot size or a legal description, as well