First impressions do matter, especially in real estate: It’s called curb appeal. Buyers might be less likely to check out the rest of a house if the outside is rundown or unattractive, or the porch decor is lacking. Even if the interiors are stunning, a house that lacks curb appeal will feel unwelcoming to guests and potential buyers alike.

You know curb appeal when you see it, and you definitely notice when it’s lacking. Yet sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a particular house on the block so much more welcoming than the next.

You don’t need a big budget to create outstanding curb appeal. What you do need is color and contrast, balance, and good old-fashioned TLC.

Beyond what guests and neighbors have to say about the plants for the front of the house you’ve chosen, if you’re looking to sell your house, a few quick, inexpensive changes to your home’s exterior could help make the process easier for you, from being able to sell faster to adding more value to the asking price.

Whether you’re getting ready to sell, or you’re just looking to add a little extra pizazz to your home’s exterior, boosting your curb appeal can be quicker and easier than you might expect, you just have to pick the right projects. Many of these quick-fix projects can be done in an afternoon, and without professional help. But be careful—anything that requires electrical work, fencing, or major landscaping are best left to the experts.

Take a look at top curb appeal ideas. You’ll be ready to put your best house forward with these expert tricks.

Paint Your Front Door

First on your to-do list should be the front door—use it (with the right front door colors) to greet any potential buyers. Let your front door speak to your home’s style with a new coat of paint. A beautiful front door color can completely refresh your home. You can go with a tried-and-true classic like black or charcoal or pick a bold hue like bright red or yellow.

Replace Your Mailbox

It’s all about the details, so if your mailbox looks like it’s going to topple over or is rusty, it might be time to bring a new one in.

Update Hardware

Don’t underestimate the impact of little details like swapping out weathered old street numbers for something fresh and modern. It can be transformative and only takes about $15 and 15 minutes. The same can be said for door hardware (doorknobs and door knockers).

Add Potted Plants

Plants can breathe some life into a space and make it seem lived-in and well cared for. Varying heights of annuals or perennials grouped together at either side of the walkway can make a huge statement for your curb appeal.

Illuminate the Front Path

Don’t rely on a single post lamp or garage-mounted floodlight. A clear path to your front door adds warmth and provides security. Rather than flanking the path runway-style, tuck solar-powered spotlights into garden beds and aim them along the walkway.

Update Porch Fixtures

This can instantly improve the look of your home, both day and night. Exterior lights are worth a little extra investment, since they get quite a bit of abuse from the elements. Inexpensive fixtures and hardware may show wear more quickly and need to be replaced much sooner. Choose brass or copper fixtures, which are typically more resistant to corrosion than aluminum ones.

Uplight Parts of the Yard or House

Think a specimen tree, the front porch, or a neat row of shrubs. Angle a spotlight or “bullet” light toward the canopy of a tree to add depth to your lighting scheme. Or, try Moonlighting! This is the opposite of uplighting: place fixtures in trees so they shine down on the pathway and lawn for a soft, natural glow.

Balance the Garden Beds

The prettiest gardens are full of layers. Ideally, find a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants of different heights and textures. Put the tallest in back and the lowest in front. Consider plants with a vibrant impact, long-lasting blooms, or interesting foliage.

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