May is here, spring is in full swing, and summer is not far off. You know what that means? Time for a home maintenance checkup. In addition to your indoor spring cleaning regimen, you should also give your home's exterior some TLC after a long winter. This not only helps to minimize maintenance issues and costs before they become a problem, but it also improves your curb appeal, which is vital to your increasing home's value. Why Curb Appeal Matters First impressions are everything. Whether you're planning a move soon or in the next few years, maintaining your home's curb appeal will help to increase its value when it comes time to sell. According to Consumer Reports, outdoor enhancements such as adding a patio, fixing the siding, or improving your landscaping can increase your home's value from 3 to 5 percent. In addition, most outdoor improvement projects offer a good bang for their buck. With simple projects like reseeding the lawn or implementing a standard lawn care program providing such high cost recoveries at resale (417 percent and 303 percent, respectively), keeping up with your curb appeal seems like a no-brainer. But it's not all the about the money, either. Improving your outdoor living space brings a renewed sense of enjoyment about your home, and enjoying the space you live in now is just as important as any value you'll gain down the road. Outdoor Home Improvement Checklist Not sure what outdoor project to tackle first? Use the below checklist as a starting point, and if you want to take on a bigger project, check out the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features to see which ones provide the biggest return on investment.
Spruce up your landscaping — remove weeds, plant flowers,
prune trees and shrubs
Seed or sod your lawn
Inspect and repair roof
Clean porch or deck — power wash, apply a sealant, and re-stain if necessary
Inspect foundation and repair cracks
Wash windows and screens
Wash siding and check for mold or water damage
Is Now a Good Time to Sell? If you're serious about improving your curb appeal for an upcoming move, there's no time like the present. Current housing demand is strong, and May continues to be the best time to sell in most parts of the country, according to a recent report by Zillow. In addition, lack of housing inventory means buyers are eager to find a home and may be willing to pay more than asking price. Bottom line? Now is a great time to sell!