8 Worst Curb Appeal Choices

Curb appeal is touted by real estate agents as the first impression your house makes to prospective buyers. It is also the first impression made on neighbors and guests. Poor curb appeal choices leave people wondering what the inside looks like. Is routine maintenance kept up? Do prospective buyers just drive on?

Worst Curb Appeal

Poor curb appeal can be caused by one thing but more likely it is a combination of some or all of the following. It doesn’t need to be horrible to give the impression of uncaring homeowners.

Garbage Cans

Overflowing garbage cans and recycle bins sitting at the curb are not welcoming. Even worse if they are empty and rolling around on the street or lawn. Or someone just drags plastic bags to the curb where rats, raccoons, and crows tear them open.

Old mattresses, furniture, and junk left at the curb a few days before collection day is ugly and inconsiderate. And the collection guys probably won’t take it anyway.

Unkempt Lawns

Overgrown out-of-control lawns give the impression that the homeowner doesn’t care. Scraggly unmown lawns are often filled with weeds that distribute seeds to neighboring yards. Much to their disgust.

Lawns that are truly ignored can turn into small urban jungles concealing all kinds of rodents, insects, and snakes. In dry climates, lawns turn brown and die without care. Not a good first impression.

Clutter and Trash

Trash doesn’t have to be garbage. It can be an old lawnmower, the kid’s swing set, hoses, piles of wood, an old rusty barbecue, etc. Anything that clutters up the yard and looks abandoned. Things that lie around for days, weeks, or even months without being moved, used, or put away.

Clutter invites pests and kills grass–making the yard look worse. Quite often lawns are mowed around the clutter–leaving long scraggly grass and weeds growing through and around them.

Fences, Sidewalks, and Driveways

Fences with cracked, peeling, and faded paint, uneven or missing sidewalk blocks, and dirty oil-stained driveways all leave a poor impression. Lack of maintenance leads to worse problems like rotting fences and cracked, chipped, or spalling concrete. Buyers consider repair costs when making an offer. Major repairs lower selling prices–significantly.

Hedges, Plants, and Trees

Untrimmed hedges and/or dead or dying flower beds and trees are ugly. Dead trees or branches are also dangerous. They can blow down and damage houses, vehicles, and fences among other things in the yard. Overgrown hedges and flower beds make the yard seem small and crowded.

Old Cars, Boats, and RVs

Old cars that never seem to get fixed or moved–while leaking fluids onto the driveway–do not impress neighbors or buyers. RVs and boats that spend most of their time cluttering up the driveway detract from the look and feel of well-kept houses and yards.

Exterior Of the Home

Homes in dusty or polluted areas attract a lot of dirt. They need regular washing to keep from looking dingy. Houses with peeling or faded paint signal a lack of maintenance that might extend to the interior. Dirt and peeling paint attract mold and insects that further detract from and damage a home’s exterior finish.

Front Door and Garage Door

The front entrance is usually the focal point of the house. Everyone looks at the door as they walk towards the house. Poor paint jobs, missing or non-functioning handles, cracked glass, and clutter around the entrance do not improve curb appeal.

A double garage door covers approximately 112 square feet of the front of the house. A large area that can be a large turn-off if it is broken, dented, poorly painted, or has broken windows.