Homeowners who want their homes to make a strong first impression must make curb appeal a top priority. Homes with strong curb appeal provide a welcoming feeling to visitors right off the bat, and as a result, sell faster. Mark Linton, owner/designer at Linton's Enchanted Gardens in Elkhart, says that curb appeal can easily be improved through many simple additions to the home’s exterior.
As a first step, Linton recommends that the homeowner step back and view the property from the street to assess what the home's exterior is communicating to passersby. If what you see is overgrown trees and shrubs that are hiding an otherwise attractive home, then the first thing to do is prune and trim the foundation plantings. If all you see is green, consider adding color by planting flowering trees, shrubs and perennial flowers. Here are a few other touches Linton suggests to improve your home’s curb appeal:
- Bring splashes of color to the entryway with a colorful silk wreath, a floral swag and a coordinating front door mat. Take it to the next level by adding a decorative flag and mailbox wrap.
- Consider painting your front door and shutters a bright, vibrant color to stand out from the other homes on the block and welcome your guests.
- Maintain your existing landscape. Pull weeds, power edge along sidewalks and drives, and remove fallen leaves and branches. Apply fertilizer and weed killer to your lawn. “A little bit of maintenance to your lawn and landscape will go a long way,” Linton says.
- Add outdoor lighting to highlight your home’s best features. This will also make your home more inviting and safer at night.
- Install potted annual flowers in groupings to add additional splashes of color that coordinate with your home’s exterior.
- Topdress existing landscape beds with fresh bark or stone ground cover.
- Remove and replace old, cracked sidewalks with paving bricks to make entryways more impressive and inviting.
- Consider adding shade trees and ornamental trees if your landscape doesn't have many trees to begin with.
If your home’s landscaping is over 20 years old, it is probably time to remove and replace it entirely, Linton says. This will dramatically update the look of your home. If the scope of the work is beyond what you are able to do yourself, hire a professional. Local real estate experts say that professional landscaping typically increases the value of the home by over 10 percent — an excellent investment when selling your home.
Linton’s Enchanted Gardens
315 County Road 17
Elkhart, IN 46516
Linton's Enchanted Gardens was voted by The Elkhart Truth readers as the area’s favorite home and garden center and the area’s favorite landscape contractor in the Best of Elkhart County awards. Landscape estimates are offered free of charge, and the firm offers a Do It Yourself Program as well.