Green grass, a colorful front door and a clean facade all add to the curb appeal of this home. (Photo: Todd Henon Properties)
Many of us enjoy being outside during the fall, partaking of the moderate temperatures and lack of humidity after a long southern summer. And although spring is often considered a more popular season to do beautification projects to your home’s yard and exterior, fall is also an excellent time to add curb appeal that lasts all winter long.
After the leaves come down, winter and early spring can be the most aesthetically unpleasing times of year, but there are steps homeowners can take to combat the lack of natural beauty. They require a little bit of time, money and effort to execute, but they’re worth it if you like to have one of the prettiest homes in the neighborhood or if your home is on the market for sale.
Adding grass, flowers, more
Ryegrass will green up a yard in only 14 days and stay green all winter long. Adding a bag or two (depending on yard size) to your landscape will immediately set you up for a beautiful yard. All you have to do is spread your seed (overseed existing lawn) and give it a bit of water. Two weeks later, you will have a beautiful green yard … and some “immediate gratification” rarely associated with landscaping projects. After a drought-filled summer, your home’s natural grass is probably already brown and in need of some TLC, and ryegrass is a great solution.
Winter flowers are also an easy option. After a spring and summer of maintaining flowers and vegetables, most people probably want to take a season or two off-but winter flowers provide all the aesthetic benefits of spring and summer blooms at a time of year when color is needed most. Pansies and violas are two vibrant, weather-resilient options, along with a number of wintertime decorative grasses and greenery like variegated sweet flag, northern sea oats or pampas grass. All these work well in flowerbeds, outdoor pots and window boxes. And as you’re planting new flowers, remember to remove or prune the dead flowers from your beds. Not only are they unattractive, but doing it now will give you one less thing to do in the spring.
Communities where everyone maintains curb appeal have increased individual property values.
Also, don’t forget about your mulch in the winter. After a summer of being faded by the sun and blown around by the mower, some areas will inevitably need to be touched up.
Addressing cosmetic imperfections
You had enough on your plate to address during the summer-mowing, weed eating, watering, trimming and staking-but now that your yardwork has died down, winter is a good time to address some of the aesthetic issues on your house. During the summer, bushy trees, flowering shrubs and a lush lawn helped camouflage some of your home’s cosmetic flaws, but winter tends to reveal the parts of the “honey-do” list that went undone. We frequently remind our clients selling their homes that, in the wintertime, it’s easier to see your home’s flaws, and fixing them definitely adds to your curb appeal. So it’s time to repair that cracked window, broken shutter and split bannister railing.
Another cosmetic imperfection that happens to all of us is grime and dirt buildup. Spring is a better time to pressure wash your home, porch and/or driveway, but if you have skipped that process for a couple of years, or if you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, you should consider pressure washing now.
For spring and summer, you probably pulled out flowerpots, pillows for your porch swing, garden flags, etc. But put all this up for the winter-not only will the cold weather, rain, snow, etc., take a toll on these items, but it doesn’t look good to have nonseasonal or weathered items out during the cold winter months.
“Box up, clean up and put up” is a common mantra my real estate team shares with our sellers, but this is a great rule for all homeowners in general.
Likewise, clean up your fire pit, remind the kids to put their bikes and toys in the garage, carry the out-of-season flowerpots to the back porch, cover the sandbox and make all the other things you won’t use again until spring as “invisible” or aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Enhancing your neighborhood, protecting your investment
Why let your home get drab in winter? Even if you’re not putting your home on the real estate market anytime soon, curb appeal is a wonderful thing to add for your family, your home and your neighborhood. It can make you fall in love with your house all over again. Plus, communities where everyone maintains curb appeal are more desirable to future buyers, which helps you and all your neighbors maintain and increase your property value. Everyone wins. Happy winterizing!
Todd Henon Properties is a top Chattanooga-based real estate team serving Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama since 2000. Specializing in homes, land, farms and estates, Todd’s seasoned neighborhood and acreage specialists are known for their expertise in the sale and purchase of traditional and unique properties. Todd’s credentials as a general contractor and visionary land consultant give his clients a daily edge. A lifelong Chattanoogan and avid outdoorsman, no one knows the market better or loves the region more than Todd and his innovative team of respected agents. Headquartered at Keller Williams Realty-Greater Downtown Chattanooga (each office is independently owned and operated), the Todd Henon Properties’ team invites you to search for your next home or investment move at ToddHenon.com.
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