Drive around any average town or city and you’ll find that most streets and houses tend to look alike. Granted, there are some places which have their own real character, like El Paso or Portland, and there are the economic extremes such as Beverly Hills and Detroit, but in general it would be pretty hard to tell apart a photo of most similar-sized towns and cities. Is there any real difference between 22nd Street in Tampa and 22nd Street in Des Moines? Springfield Avenue in Georgetown could easily be mistaken for Georgetown Avenue in Springfield.
The houses on these streets don’t do much to inspire, either. If they weren’t numbered, you might thing you’d gone around in a huge circle instead of driving the length of the boulevard. Number 10 looks just like number 10,000. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, built on a fourth of an acre in 1974. There’s a mail box at the end of the drive with the house number rusting on it, a couple elms or cedars in the yard, depending on the region, a Toyota Camry and a Honda Civic in the driveway. Sound familiar? Of course it does.
So how can you give your house that bit more character or soul? How can you make it stand out from the rest when you want to sell? Especially when you don’t even have two dimes to rub together?
Sometimes a lick of paint is all it takes. Let’s say you live in a house with a typical 1970s timber façade, painted all white. If you can’t afford to have the whole exterior of the house remodeled, why not buy a couple different shades of paint to accentuate the exterior – keeping the white, but perhaps adding touches of gray and black. Or you could go for a softer look, more natural look, using greens and browns.
Whatever you do, try to keep an overall theme going. If you want plastic window frames, fit all your windows with them. If your eaves are white, don’t paint your door pink and your garage door blue. Unless you are going for some kind of psychedelic vibe, in which case you might find it slightly more difficult to sell your property.
Small improvements like fitting your garage door with a quiet, modern, automatic door opener can turn a good impression into an amazing impression. See for yourself at Garage Automatics. Even adding plant pots, hanging baskets and yard lights can transform the exterior of your place.
Take a look at the rendering around your property and try to replace whatever looks ugly. You may have tried something years ago which never worked out, and you’ve been stuck with it since. This has probably had a negative impression on everyone who has ever had the misfortune to walk down your drive and knock at your door. Do the right thing and replace it when you can – you’ll see a marked improvement in visitors’ attitudes.
Be aware that the condition of your yard and how you treat it can have a big effect on the impression your property gives to those who pass by. Don’t leave kids toys, tires, old washing machines and broken strollers in your front yard, night after night, month after month. Keep the grass short – don’t leave it for too long without mowing it. Don’t park your car on the lawn – some people consider this to be a sign of low class. You can extend your driveway width wise if there’s not enough room there already.
Take a look at the driveway – are there weeds sprouting up around it? You could dig these up and put down flowerbeds as borders instead. What a huge difference that would make! And then there is the rusty mailbox – the first thing people see when they find your house. If it’s in disrepair, get a nice, new one. Plant some flowers around it or some plants. You could put a bird box near it and invite the mailman and any visitors to feed the birds. You might want to put a little sign next to it to cheer people up, saying something like “Don’t worry, be happy!” or “Nothing in this house is worth dying for!”