3 Reasons to Prioritize Curb Appeal, Even if You're Not Selling

Do you need to worry about curb appeal if you're not selling?

We often hear about home improvement projects in the context of improving your home value in order to get the biggest offer when it comes time to sell. But sellers aren't the only ones with something to gain from making home maintenance and improvement a top priority.

3 Reasons to Prioritize Curb Appeal, Even if You're Not Selling

Curb appeal, how attractive a home looks from street-level to someone passing by, is just as important to a homeowner who is planning on staying put as one who is trying to sell.

The benefits of a well-maintained and attractive exterior include:

1. Reduced Liability Risk

Nothing is more terrifying to a homeowner than the thought of a claim filed against their homeowner's insurance. Sure, you've got the coverage in place in case someone gets injured on your property. But why file a claim and deal with the subsequent rate increase if you don't need to?

Do your Amazon delivery person a favor and eliminate tripping hazards around the exterior of your home.

2. Saving Energy and Cut Costs

Smart landscaping can help you save energy and money on utilities. Trees and shrubs placed on the east, northeast, and west sides of your property can provide natural shade and help cool your home.

Xeriscaping, using drought-resistant or low-water landscaping, can also help reduce water usage.

3. Deterring Criminal Activity

A well-maintained exterior not only looks aesthetically pleasing but can also deter criminal activity.

Researchers found a correlation between well-maintained yards and reduced crime. Uncut lawns, desiccated lawns, and litter were associated with increased crime. A well-maintained yard sends out a "cue to care" -- a message to would-be criminals that residents are actively involved in their surroundings and more likely to be capable guardians of the neighborhood.

Exterior lighting is a big deterrent against unwanted trespassing or a potential break-in. Make sure trees or shrubs don't cover windows and doors and are kept 3-ft high (or shorter).

Consider landscaping that deters close proximity to your home, such as gravel under windows that will make a crunching sound when walked on, or landscaping using cactus -- or other dense and thorny plants -- to discourage crime.

Give your forever home the TLC it deserves. Make sure curb appeal and exterior home maintenance are a top priority and your home will "give back" by being safer, more eco-friendly, and cost-efficient in the long run.