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Boost your Curb Appeal!

If you're thinking about selling your home, make sure you pay attention to the impact of good "curb appeal." A well-kept house and yard will not only help you sell right now, but will also help improve the appearance of your whole neighborhood - bringing the potential for higher property values for everyone!One big tip for improving your curb appeal is to stay in sync with your neighborhood. This covers a few different elements of exterior aesthetics that will improve the overall look of your home and the surrounding buildings. Now, don't worry - this does NOT mean that you have to have a cookie-cutter home with no personality. But it DOES mean that clashing exterior colors, lots of junk in the yard, and crazy lawn ornaments are out (except during holidays, of course!)We love HouseLogic.com's suggestion to put the money that you would have used to experiment with some wild decor into regular maintenance and eco-friendly upgrades for your home. Not only will this improve your curb appeal, but it will also sweeten the deal for potential buyers once they get through the front door! A well-maintained, energy-efficient home is so much more appealing to today's buyers.Another REALLY important tip is to control your trash! Obviously, a huge pile of junk in your front yard is an eyesore... but it's also a health hazard and can entice wildlife to take up permanent residence in your neighborhood. If you are going on a major cleaning spree or doing any sort of construction, HouseLogic.com recommends renting a dumpster - it will only cost you a few hundred dollars and you'll be amazed at how great your home will look once all the trash is cleared away! Also, if you have trash and recycling bins in front of your home, consider a low-budget privacy screen that will allow you to tuck them off to the side so they are still easily accessible but hidden from view.The third tip for improving your curb appeal is to focus on landscaping. If your budget allows, hire a great landscape architect to help you create a beautiful, natural space around your home. This will show potential buyers that your house is not only well-maintained, but also that it can serve as an oasis - a place of peacefulness in the midst of our hectic lives. Try to avoid unsightly chain-link fences, antennas, and obnoxious lawn ornaments, and focus instead on creating a space that feels welcoming and comfortable. Just beware - an overgrown lawn looks worse than a minimally-landscaped lawn, so if you know that yard maintenance isn't your thing... make sure you are prepared to hire someone to do it for you, or that you explore some options that might be easier to maintain.Last, but not least, clean your exteriors! An annual powerwash or a good paint job can keep your house looking fresh, no matter how old it is. Don't let stains or faded paint mar the look of a great house; even if the home itself is structurally sound, a ramshackle appearance will make buyers question how well the structure and interior has been maintained as well.To see more tips and examples of good vs. bad curb appeal, check out this slideshow at HouseLogic.com.

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