(BPT) - It’s no secret that the U.S. housing market is booming right now. According to realtor.com, “Strong demand and insufficient supply pushed home prices up at a record-breaking 16.6% pace. The combination of historically low mortgage rates, businesses reopening and the lifting of pandemic restrictions fueled a buying frenzy with multiple bids,” creating a seller's market, while making the path to home ownership difficult for some buyers.
Whether you’re purchasing a fixer-upper as an attainable option to home ownership or selling your home and want to create a positive first impression, licensed landscape contractor, author, TV personality and STIHL spokesperson Sara Bendrick suggests five ways to boost your home’s curb appeal.
1) Create a welcoming front walk
The entrance of your home should be your first point of focus. A great way to work with what you already have is to add color to your concrete walkway and steps. Concrete can wear over time and become somewhat of an eyesore and dull in nature. Staining is an easy and perfect way to soften up the look of concrete in any landscape and many colors of stain are available to complement your outdoor spaces. Always remember to pressure wash your concrete before staining it to remove dirt. This is important as you need a clean surface so that the stain can absorb easily and evenly. A clean surface will also help the stain soak entirely through.
2) Trim hedges and shrubs for definition
Bushes, hedges and shrubs possess a natural beauty that can boost the curb appeal of your home, while providing an attractive complement to lawns, trees, gardens and hardscapes. Well-trimmed plants also prevent your outdoor spaces from looking overgrown and open up walkways and sightlines. Consider pruning low-hanging branches that obscure the view of your home from the road and reduce the aesthetic impact of your landscaping features.
3) Don’t forget to mulch
After trimming your hedges and shrubs for definition and planting flowers, add two to four inches of mulch to your beds. Mulch keeps weeds down and helps dissipate heat from the sun to protect the soil from drying out, and it also provides a refined look to your landscape. As an alternative to mulch, you can purchase wood chips made of bark.
4) Make a statement in your yard with flowers and blooms
Pick flowers with colors that complement the house colors, which will bring softness to the front yard. Be sure to choose plants that are climate appropriate and thrive in your area; local nurseries are great resources for this. Consider using an auger instead of a shovel to help get through the planting process quickly. Also, be sure to spread your new plants out so that they have enough room to grow and thrive.
5) Add a finishing touch
To draw the eye toward the entryway of your home, hang a wreath on the front door, place a potted plant near the steps and add a water feature such as a self-circulating fountain. Water features such as ponds and fountains can add an architectural element to soften your landscape design and may also attract natural wildlife to your yard.
Whether you’re a seller trying to create an unforgettable memory for a prospective buyer, or a new homeowner trying to make your home more inviting, these landscaping improvements are easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal.