Five Tips to Enhance Winter Curb Appeal
Feel like winter will never end? Sick of the snow and the cold? Don’t despair; embrace what this season has to offer and try these tips to enhance the winter curb appeal of any home.
People shop for a home for many different reasons: job relocations, divorce, downsizing, or an expanding family, to name just a few. These reasons are not dictated to by a season, and while spring and summer often bring out the “tire-kickers” to open houses, anyone looking for a home during the winter months is serious about buying.
A benefit to winter real estate is that there are fewer homes on the market, which can mean less competition and a better chance of getting an good offer.
The importance of curb appeal cannot be emphasized enough. A buyer’s first impression of a home takes place as he or she drives up the street. The first impression is a lasting impression. In fact, a buyer’s overall impression of the home is made as he or she takes their first look.
For this reason, it is imperative that close attention be paid to the outside of the home and the property. This does not alter with the seasons. Winter curb appeal is all about embracing what the cold weather has to offer.
1. The first tip is to make sure that all snow and ice have been removed from the driveway and sidewalk. Not only will you ensure that a potential buyer does not slip and fall, but it gives a first overall impression of home maintenance. As an aesthetic touch though, don’t leave the shovel near the front door; make sure that it goes back into the garage so that it doesn’t become a sloppy front porch decoration.
2. The second tip is an extension of the idea of combining safety and aesthetics. Because these winter days are short, chances are great that a showing will take place in the dark. Hence, exterior lighting is an integral feature of winter curb appeal; it has the potential to make a house look cozy and inviting, as well as create a warm glow.
Make sure that all pathways are lit up and replace any burnt out bulbs. Place a string of mini-white lights in a lantern and display on the front porch for a charming welcome to any potential buyer. In addition, winter is a great time to light up the front door with an outdoor chandelier.
3. Winter’s bare trees offer a clear view of a home’s curb appeal. Therefore, the third tip is to not ignore external home maintenance.
- If there is no snow, make sure that all leaves and debris are raked up. Clean the gutters, and ensure that the windows shine. With no foliage to obscure the shape, winter is a great time to trim any dead or overhanging tree limbs. Take the opportunity to prune any overgrown shrubs as well.
- Don’t forget to put away any garbage and recycling containers. Similar to displaying the snow shovel, refuse containers add a sloppy, negative perspective to a home’s curb appeal.
- Because there isn’t any foliage to distract the view, any peeling paint on windows or doors should be attended to.
- Perhaps it’s time to replace the numbers on the home. This is a great opportunity to update a home’s main identifier.
- Finally, the shabbiness can extend to the often-forgotten mailbox as well; either give it a much-needed refresh, or install a new one.
4. The fourth tip is to add pops of colour to enhance the winter curb appeal of a home. Winter may be dark and grey but that doesn’t mean that the front entrance needs to be. The perfect vessel for colour is the front door. “The front door is a statement piece that accentuates the personality of a property” .
Go bright for a splash of colour, or go more subdued for an elegant, modern look. Furthermore, placing a winter wreath on the front door acts as a centerpiece to the front entrance itself.
Still have porch furniture out? Add brightly coloured cushions. Need more colour? Hang freshly painted bird feeders. These will add interest, as well as life, to any winter curb appeal. Colour can also be added to front gardens with either a bird feeder garland consisting of cranberries, nuts and small fruit, or simple colourful garden ornaments.
5. This brings us to the fifth tip: include winter landscaping. After all, this is nature’s own way to add pops of colour! There are many ways to liven up the front garden, walkways and window boxes. Cold weather plants can include winter flowers such as narcissi, snow drops, and hellebores.
Camellia is a winter flowering shrub, which when planted near the front entrance, can add a beautiful, welcoming pop of fresh colour. Shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous, have varieties that flower, or display colourful berries and stems during the cold, winter months.
Texture too, can be added to any winter garden by topping beds with pine cones. Not only does it add a textural dimension, but the acidity levels benefit plants during the long winter months.
Don’t forget to upgrade the front porch planters as well. Hardy perennials and evergreen branches, as well as the afore-mentioned mini-white lights, can liven up any drab, grey day.
Creating a positive first impression, is not dependent on the season. “Your front yard sets buyers’ opinions about your home instantly. Whether it is your yard, landscaping, or the exterior of your house – curb appeal is essential” . Even in the cold months of January through March, a buyer’s first glance upon arrival, should make them want to go in and see more.
With these tips, winter curb appeal won’t leave you out in the cold.