How to Assess a Home’s Curb Appeal

For the first time home buyer, when looking at properties, your first impression is very important. Before you step foot into the home your eyes and ears are already taking in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood and the possible home–to-be. The condition and characteristics leading to that first step into the home is called “curb appeal.”

Here are the top 5 things to keep an eye out for to help determine if the home you are viewing has great curb appeal:

#5- Love your neighbors?
Look to the left and to the right of the home.  Are the neighboring properties an eyesore or do they look well maintained?  If the homes are unkempt and run down this will bring the curb appeal (and property value) down a few notches.

driveway-walkway-grass-lawn-entrance-doorway#4 – Watch your step!
As you approach the front door look down and take in the view.  What is the landscaping like?  Are the grounds lush and green? How about the driveway?  Is the stone or brick bordering in tact?  Are there any cracks or stains?  Outdoor lighting?  These two areas highly impact your curb appeal.

#3 – For once, it’s okay to have your mind in the gutter.
Go ahead, take a look up and check out the gutters. How are they holding up? Eyesores that may signal neglect would be things like holes, rust and cracks. These concerns may be minor, but again will take away from the curb appeal.

#2 – On to the porch.
As you approach the front door there may be a few steps and even a porch area. Take a look at the steps to ensure there are no signs of rotten wood, misalignment or large cracks. How about the porch? What to look for here in relation to great curb appeal would be the condition of railings and pillars. Since they are the main focal point right before you get to the front door you want to make sure the area is fresh, clean and in line with the overall tone of the home.

blue-front-exterior-door-porch#1 – The door to your dreams!
You have made it to the front door and boy what a door it should be. The front door can give the overall look of your home an instant facelift. Of course it should be clean and free of any major defects.  Beyond that, pay attention to the type of door, the color and the accents used. A great door can be painted a bright color, or have a beautiful intricate knocker, be made of cherry wood, or have glass accents. Any of the mentioned attributes can give a home major curb appeal!

This article was written by B. Mitchell, editor for where she talks about everything pertaining to your first home including buying your first home, tax credits and Realtors.