Why curb appeal is so important

Beautifying a home can also be budget-friendly.

Beautifying homes, revitalizing lawns, installing new siding: there's a lot of work you can do to a home when the weather's in your favor. As important as curb appeal is, though, it's important to always remember the cost/benefit ratio. You don't want to sacrifice quality to get a good deal, but you also shouldn't pay too much for material, especially if it will require a lot of upkeep.

To make it clear how necessary curb appeal elements are, let's look at the reasons to go with a high quality approach to improvement.

Buyers value it

To the average person, a home's curb appeal might simply mean the first impression of the exterior, and this is an area that can obviously benefit from looking good. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 83 percent of NAR real estate agents believe curb appeal is "very important" to appeal to buyers.

Though opinions may differ as to what the best option for curb appeal is for a specific home, it clearly can have a distinct return on investment when done well.

Appeal and value match

The same source also listed the NAR agents' opinions on the projects that appeal to buyers alongside those that will increase the house's worth. Unsurprisingly, the top five of each category contained many of the same types of projects, including lawn care, new decking material and new patios. This correlation doesn't prove causation, of course, but the fact that many of the entries on both lists were tied to similar parts of the home show the importance they have.

It's not always the high cost that counts

Another argument for frugality is the role that any improvement really plays for the buyer and seller. Ultimately, it's the effect that counts, which means that an inexpensive option could be an added bonus.

That's partly what a recent Appraisal Institute press release said. The organization's president, Jim Amorin, praised the role of modesty in these decisions.

"Curb appeal is important to both appraisers and potential buyers, and homeowners don't have to spend a lot of money to get it," Amorin explained. "In fact, it's important that upgrades don't exceed neighborhood norms."

The statement went on to focus on the more everyday ways to enhance a home's appearance, such as sealing outdoor wood structures or simply keeping the exposed areas clean.

Some improvements can keep paying off

Certain additions will only save money the first time, representing a good deal but not a long-lasting source of savings. Others can be a regular way to lower costs and also add distinct touch to the home at the same time.

HouseLogic, for example, mentioned the energy savings that come from planting trees and shrubs, as well as the recurring benefits of reseeding a new lawn, despite maintenance. Along these same lines, materials with a low need for upkeep and high durability can maintain that same sense of strength and quality.