Curb appeal is important. It is a unique opportunity to make a lasting, positive first impression to guests while also instilling a sense of pride in the owner.

When it comes to real estate, however, curb appeal is absolutely essential. An exterior that is outdated, poorly maintained, or just plain unattractive will quickly repel buyers, placing the sale of your home in jeopardy, or, at the very least, inspire buyers to offer considerably less than the asking price.

This is not a simple observation—it has been quantified by data. A joint study by the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington reports that homes with high curb appeal sell for an average of 7% more than similar houses with an uninviting exterior, with the number rising as high as 14% in slower markets with greater housing inventory.

There are a multitude of flashy ways you can spice up your property’s exterior—renovating your roof, replacing your windows, having a new driveway paved, or renovating your façade or front entrance. Unfortunately, these changes often come with hefty price tags, can be difficult to co-ordinate, or may just be flat out superfluous and unnecessary.

Whether you are trying to sell your home, or just want to improve the overall look, there are many simple and affordable ways to elevate the curb appeal of your home—trimming overgrown hedges and trees, installing flower boxes, upgrading house numbers, or painting or staining your front door, to name a few.

What most blogs won’t tell you, though, is that there are just as many ways to lessen the curb appeal of your property. These common mistakes can make your home appear cheap, kitschy, or unkempt, diminishing the allure of your home and unintentionally lowering the value of your property.

Here are a few of the ways that you may be inadvertently undermining your home’s curb appeal:

Overgrown or unkempt lawns and gardens

Overgrown or unkempt lawns are an eyesore. In fact, a 2019 survey by Snapper Brand Mowers published in the New York Post found that unmowed lawns (55%), the presence of dead flowers and plants (53%), an abundance of weeds (53%), and overgrown flower beds (47%) were in the top five curb appeal don’t for respondents.

Keeping a well-manicured lawn and garden is a sure-fire way to boost your home’s curb appeal. If your lawn suffers from brown spots, restore it using a coat of grass paint—which is indeed a real thing!

Dirty windows

As home guru Bob Vila rightly observes, windows are the eyes of the home, and when they are caked in dirty and grime, they can make your whole house appear tired and sad. Washing your windows is an excellent way to elevate the curb appeal of your home and can be done remarkably easily using a mixture of water and vinegar. Just ask the master himself!

Garden gnomes (and other forms of outdated or kitschy décor)

In the same survey, garish house colours, garden gnomes, and fairy statues also ranked high on the list. While it is perfectly fine to love your gnomes and fairies as your children, it might be advantageous to let them take a little vacation while you are trying to sell your home. But don’t worry—they’ll forgive you for it!

Ratty garage doors

A damaged or dingy garage door can seriously undermine the curb appeal of your home—largely as a result of the sheer volume of space it takes up on your home’s façade. Garage doors can account for more than 30 percent of the façade, which accounts for one-third of your home’s total curb appeal.

While replacing your garage door can be a costly endeavour, sometimes a fresh coat of paint is enough to do it. Check out this great article from HGTV to discover three cheap and easy ways you can upgrade your garage door in a single weekend!


Not sure which renovation projects to prioritize? Our REALTORS® offer a complimentary market analysis that includes a pre-listing consultation to increase your home’s value.

Reach out to the McGarr Realty team today! Call our office at 905-687-9229 in St. Catharines, or 905-468-9229 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Or send us a message on our contact page, HERE.

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