Best House on the Block: Secrets to Great Curb Appeal
It takes seconds to form a first impression. Ask yourself this — what kind of first impression is your home making? Is your yard helping or hurting you in getting top dollar this home buying season?
The majority of homeowners (71 percent) agreed that curb appeal is important in choosing their home, according to the new TruGreen Home Features Report conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®. Most of the homeowners surveyed reported purchasing a home with a healthy, green lawn (71 percent) and well-maintained landscaping (72 percent).
Healthy lawns can drive up home values. In TruGreen’s new Lawn Lifestyles National Survey of America conducted from January 3 to January 9, 2013, using the field services of ORC International (Opinion Research Corporation), 79 percent of homeowners reported, “having a healthy, green lawn contributes to the overall value of a home.” In fact, 53 percent of those surveyed said, “the quality of the homeowner’s lawn can tell you a lot about the quality of the home overall.”
“If your home is on the market, you should know that curb appeal, or that initial feeling homeowners get when looking at the outside of a home, is important when choosing the right home to buy,” said Jason Cameron, a licensed contractor and television host.
Cameron and TruGreen have teamed up to provide helpful tips for achieving a beautiful, lush lawn and enhanced curb appeal.
Water, fertilizer and weed control are the three keys to an ideal lawn. According to Ben Hamza, Ph.D., TruGreen expert and director of technical operations, if you mow correctly, feed your lawn and water the right way, then weed management will be much easier.
“Grass competes with weeds for space and nutrients,” Hamza said. “Strengthening the health of turf will help your lawn win the war against weeds, such as dandelions.”
Knowing how to effectively water your lawn is critical to the overall health of your turf. Water your lawn only when it needs it, usually about one inch a week. The first three to four inches of soil below the grass should be dry before you water. Use a trowel or a screwdriver to open the soil and feel it with your finger. Another way to test when your lawn needs water is to step on the grass. If you can easily flatten the grass with your foot, you should water it. If the grass regains its form quickly after you step on it, wait before watering.
Watering in the cool of early morning is best as watering later in the day may leave sitting water and cause problems with root rot or fungal diseases. Never water on a windy day. Also, be aware of local water restrictions, usually posted online.
Grasses should be fertilized when they’re actively growing. So, it’s important to consult a lawn expert to determine what type of grass you have and when growth occurs. Together, homeowners and lawn experts can create a plan to keep grass growing at its best all season long.
Beautiful, lush and natural-looking lawns are an important part of our image of what a home should be. Cameron encourages homeowners to invest in a lawn they love and make sure their home’s first impression is positive.
To get more tips, survey methodology, and to watch Jason Cameron in seasonal webisodes on curb appeal, visit www.TruGreen.com.
Attracting Attention Outside
Take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize your home’s exterior appeal:
- Dress up the front door with a new welcome mat or potted plants.
- Clean up the front and back yards by removing any toys, decorations, debris or broken tree limbs.
- Sharpen the mower blade for a cleaner cut and better looking lawn to help get top dollar when selling your home.
- Closely inspect the hardware around your house. Things like doorbells, house numbers, guttering and mailboxes should be in good repair and have a fresh coat of paint.
- Add or update landscape lighting and consider easy-to-install solar options. In addition to providing safety and security, lighting can add attractive accents to walking paths and plantings.
- Punch up your landscape with color. Remove any dead or withered plants and fill in bare spots with large, blooming annuals.
- Make sure the driveway and sidewalks are free of cracks or crumbling concrete.
- Nothing makes an older house look new again like a fresh coat of paint. Repair any rotting wood, caulk windows, spruce up wood trim and then update the color of your home.