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Five Quick and Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

Whether you're thinking about selling your home or you just want to make it appear more welcoming from the outside, curb appeal is important. In addition to adding potential value to a home, what people see from outside forms their first -- and often lasting -- impression of your property. You probably noticed your home's curb appeal when you purchased it, but if you haven't thought about it in a while, it's worth getting in your car and driving by with a critical eye. If you decide that you'd like to make improvements, here are some suggestions that don't require a lot of time or money. 

Front of a house from the curb.

Dress up the mailbox. How long has it been since you gave your mailbox a little TLC? In addition to being functional, a home's mailbox can add a decorative touch that complements the rest of the exterior. Consider giving your mailbox a new coat of paint or a new set of numbers - or both. You can also plant flowers around your mailbox to help it stand out. Or maybe it's time for a new mailbox altogether. 

Put up a good front. Your front door is one part of the house that everyone will notice. Take a good look at your front door from the street and as you come up the walkway. Does it need cleaning? Could it use a fresh stain or paint? How about a new door knocker, doorbell, or lock set? The addition of a seasonal wreath or door hanging can add warmth and charm, too. 

Plant some roots. You don't have to relandscape every inch of your front yard to make a difference. Sometimes, just a few blooming flowers or colorful plants can make a big difference. Herbs can add fragrance as well as visual appeal, with the benefit of being used for cooking. Add plants in flower beds, containers, window boxes, or hanging baskets that are visible from the front of the house to ramp up curb appeal.

Have a seat. If the front of the house features a porch, patio, or even a shady spot, add some outdoor furniture. In addition to extending your living space during good weather, outdoor furniture can be very welcoming. You don't have to purchase an entire set - even a porch swing or a couple of rocking or Adirondack chairs can be a nice complement to your home's exterior. 

Sharp shutters. Exterior shutters can add a finishing touch to a home. If your windows don't have shutters, consider adding some. If you already have shutters, inspect them to make sure there's no rot or missing slats, and see if they could use a fresh coat of paint. Changing the color of shutters is a relatively quick way to give a house a facelift without painting the entire structure. 

If you're still looking for ideas, drive around your neighborhood and notice which homes you admire from the street. Take a closer look, and pinpoint what it is about their exteriors that you find attractive. You'll probably land on some common denominators that you can use as inspiration for your own home. 

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