Whether you are planning on putting your home of the market, or just want to give it a fresh look, here are some inexpensive ideas to achieve a good look.

1. If you are still maintaining a patch of lawn (watering early in the morning), keep it mowed and looking manicured. Edge the sidewalk, driveway or other curbed areas. Trim the bushes, clear away the dead stuff. It does make a difference in appeal.

2. Washing the exterior uses a lot of water, but renting a pressure washer or just washing those areas that accumulate dust looks nice. Brush the cobwebs away before hosing to save water.

3. Tidy up your front door and porch. Get rid of the accumulated leaves and dust under the door sill or in the corner area. Invest in a new welcome mat. Maybe replace the porch light, or wash the glass and get rid of dead bugs. A new small shrub or planter of fresh flowers always says “welcome” .

4. And speaking of your front door, does it need a coat of paint? Maybe a new color? How about a new handle? If you have a screen door is it in good condition? Would a basket of flowers or some greenery make it look more welcoming?

5. Clean the windows. Inside and out. Open the drapes or blinds all the way in bright light and see where the smudges are, then when the sun isn’t shining directly on the glass, give them a good cleaning. Vinegar and newsprint seems to work as well as a commercial cleaner. If you are in a hard water area, it might be worth the cost to have windows professionally cleaned to get those stains off the outside. And take a good look at your
window coverings from the outside. The back side facing the street can sometimes make a difference in curb appeal.

6. Keep the gutters cleaned out so that when it does rain, the water can flow free and not seep down to the foundation. A build-up of pine needles or leaves can create quite a mess if ignored. A catch basin at the drain point of the gutter can help and is an inexpensive, and attractive, way to prevent potential damage. Consider a rain barrel and reuse that nitrogen rich water on your plants.

7. Landscaping with native plants. There are plenty of choices to liven up your yard without using scarce water resources. Find a reputable local nursery that specializes in native plants and plan an attractive natural landscape.

8. Make your property unique. A fresh coat of paint on the mailbox, new house numbers, perhaps a row of solar lights along a walkway can liven up a ‘cookie cutter’ house. Yard sales can yield some awesome decorative touches for little cost.

This is part of the Park Family Insurance ongoing education series for Roseville Home Insurance and Rocklin Home Insurance, prevention is key!