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Family Matters

The Art & Science of Your Home’s Curb Appeal

May 1st, 2016

By Jerad Cox

Your home’s curb appeal is the first impression that can fill a potential home buyer with optimism or doubt. Many times I have met my clients at a home showing and before I can say hello, one of them blurts out in an excited tone ‘I think this is the one!’, or at the opposite end, ‘We’re not going in there!’.

So how can you help make your home’s exterior as appealing as possible? The most obvious thing you can do is keep the front yard, driveway and sidewalk areas clean and well kept. But it’s also more than that. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the art and science of making your home worth checking out.

The Science

When it comes to the science of curb appeal, three keys I like to reinforce are symmetry, simplicity, and lighting.

Symmetry is just a fancy way of saying balance – I always compare the symmetry of curb appeal to a good frame for artwork. Ever see a good piece of artwork ruined by a frame that is too big, too small, too skinny, too fat? Just like that frame for the artwork, the key is balancing both the width and height of landscaping and/or structures in your front yard to frame the home in a way that is attractive.

I find that simplifying your front yard’s landscaping design will help accentuate the home's appeal, rather than distract from it. This is especially true in older areas, where the trees and shrubs are often so numerous and overgrown that you can’t even see the home! A clean and simple yard will be more appealing to the eye than a busy or cluttered yard.

Lighting is also important – a person can’t like they can’t see! A well-lit property will help people feel safe and secure if they are approaching when it is dark outside, and it also gives a great opportunity to direct the light, and also the home buyer’s eye, to the attractive areas of the home that you want them to see.

The Art

When it comes to the art of curb appeal, I like to focus on colour and contrast.  

Make sure that the exterior of your home stays true to a consistent colour palette – having a home with five exterior colours is too much! Also make sure that the colour that is on the exterior of the building, your window trim, or your fence has a freshly painted look. Faded colours make a home look much older than it is. Want a quick spruce up without having to paint? Simply get a pressure washer and take off any unnecessary dirt to expose more colour.

Having said that, it does seem that almost every home is white, beige, or grey, doesn’t it?

This is where contrast comes in! A small amount of contrast helps distinguish your home from every other home on your block. Something as simple as painting your door a funky colour or adding potted plants with sparks of red, blue, or purple will separate your home from every other one on the block and draw the eye to your property.

Curb appeal is an important first step in enticing a home buyer to purchase your home. If you’re renovating your property or preparing it for sale, it’s a great time to evaluate your home’s first impression and to see what you can do to increase your home’s curb appeal!

Jerad Cox is the proud husband and father to 4 kids, ranging in age from toddler to adult. He has been an Edmonton area Realtor since 1997, and is also a proud recipient of a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Alberta. You can find him online ( ), on twitter (@primeyegre) or in a local Starbucks working away or meeting with great clients.

Tags: advice, edmonton, yeg

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