Curb appeal gets a lot of airtime in the world of home selling, and there’s a good reason. In fact, 94 percent of agents surveyed in HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights report say that great curb appeal adds real dollars to a home seller’s bottom line.
However, curb appeal goes beyond the actual exterior of your home. It also includes maintenance—your yard, any trees or bushes, flowers, and “hardscaping” elements like walkways or benches. These outdoor improvements can prove especially important during the winter months.
Before you start shelling out the big bucks to hire a landscaping firm to remake your front yard, look at these four easy—and relatively inexpensive—winter gardening tips to instantly improve your curb appeal during the winter.
1. Keep it crisp.
Be proactive about removing any dead leaves, fallen branches, and dirt from your snow-covered yard. This will give a clean, crisp feel to the front of the home.
Your yard serves as the foundation for any other landscaping you have, so you want it to be clean and neutral, in a sense. Avoid debris or overgrown spots that distract from the overall picture you create with the rest of your outdoor elements.
2. Add color.
Although you don’t want bright pink azaleas across the entire front of your home, well-placed bursts of brightness can liven up an otherwise less-than-impressive yard. Adding a focal point can make your landscaping look pulled together and deliberate—which is exactly what you want!
A focal point could be plants that blossom, shrubs with berries, or even a large garden bed with a bird feeder, stepping stones, and a bench.
Just make sure the colors you choose don’t clash with your home’s paint color!
3. Create an inviting glow.
Adding exterior lighting can make a home look cozy and inviting. Small solar lights come in countless different designs, from striking and architectural to soft and unobtrusive.
What’s more, most are fairly inexpensive and only need to be stuck in the ground on a sunny day to be functional by nighttime. Installing these along your walkways will give the approach to your home a cozy, welcoming feel, instantly upgrading your curb appeal.
Make sure to replace or fix any existing lights, and keep all bulbs clear of ice and snow!
4. Trim back any unruly trees or shrubberies.
As the experts at HGTV say, your home has to be visible from the curb to have curb appeal—so make sure you keep any shrubs or trees trimmed and under control.
Now, it’s easy to get carried away when you’ve got a big pair of hedge trimmers in your hands, so follow these tips from Lowe’s on how to prune your bushes:
- Use an extended reach hedge trimmer for tall bushes and shrubs.
- Start by removing the thickest branches first.
- If you’re attempting to cut to a straight line, use the side of your house as a guide, or use stakes with a string tied between then if you want to really attain perfection.
Improving your curb appeal during the winter doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Just set aside a weekend, follow these tips, and get to work!
Originally posted in February 2019. Updated in February 2021