The Importance of Curb Appeal



There is no consensus exactly how much landscaping enhancement and outdoor features will impact the sales price of your home. However, there are some strong findings that suggest that investing in your home’s curb appeal will produce rewards at the time of the sale.



According to a survey done by the National Association of Realtors, Realtors ranked standard lawn care service as the number one project that appeals to buyers, estimating that lawn care would recover 267 percent of the cost.



A more scientific study of curb appeal’s impact on home value was published in December of 2012 and can be found here. The study focused on homes in Texas, and developed a model to quantify the impact of landscaping on a home’s sale-value. According to the study, improving curb appeal can increase a home’s value by up to 17%.



Another study was conducted in 2018, when researchers conducted a seven-state survey of attendees at consumer home and garden shows to determine consumer perspective on how plant size, type, and design sophistication in a landscape affect the perceived value of a home. The change in value (from no landscape to well-landscaped) ranged from 5.5 percent (Louisiana) to 11.4 percent (South Carolina).


While the magnitude of the impact landscaping and curb appeal have on home value may differ from state to state, the findings in these studies are telling: the appearance of your home from the outside matters.



Curb Appeal in Santa Cruz



A quick google search will produce numerous articles on how to improve your home’s curb appeal at any budget. However, there are few articles on creative ways to increase curb appeal in Santa Cruz County. So without further ado, here are 5 tips to help your Santa Cruz home stand out without spending a fortune:



Landscaping



In Santa Cruz County, when modifying landscaping one should always keep two words in mind: drought tolerant. The good news is that you can have a beautiful, colorful garden that needs little to no water and some areas of the county offer rebate programs when you take measures to conserve water. If you want to strive to make a Monterey Bay Friendly Landscape, you’ll benefit from additional discounts found here.



With fractal patterns and bursts of color, succulents can make a home stand out, while offering low maintenance landscaping to potential buyers: a win-win.



You can find a list of other drought tolerant plants, and local stores that sell them, using this resource.



Planning to hire a landscaper? Did you know that there is a “green gardener” certification program in the Monterey Bay area, including Santa Cruz County? You can hire a green gardener, who has received 20 hours of practical instruction in ecological landscape practices that conserve water, reduce waste, and prevent urban stormwater pollution.



Sprucing up Your Home’s Entrance



When it comes to improving your home’s curb appeal, a few small changes can go a long way.



House Numbers

Consider spending a little to get new House-Numbers. Large, round numbers have become very popular around Santa Cruz lately, and you can find some creative designs here. When choosing a design, think about the style of your home and look for a font and style that complements it.


A Bright Color on the Door

Your front door the entryway to your home and a focal point for onlookers. Consider giving it a fresh coat of paint, using clean, bright colors to help your home stand out. For inspiration, check out these “Dos and Don’ts” when choosing a front door color.  


A Mailbox Makeover

Oftentimes the first thing people encounter when they see your home, a mailbox makeover can help your home look modern and if you like DIY projects, you’ll likely have a lot of fun in the process.



A New Pair of Eyes


If you live in your property, you likely see it everyday and have become accustomed to the cobwebs or chipped paint that a fresh pair of eyes will spot immediately. When working with your Realtor®, ask what he or she would do to increase the curb appeal. Two heads, and two pairs of eyes, are better than one!



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