As I write this, the forecast for Saturday is a sunny seventy-five degrees, perfect outdoor improvement weather. Coincidentally (or not?), this week's This or That blog will focus on curb appeal. So, grab a pen and a piece of paper to start creating that "Honey-Do" list for your projects this weekend.

When I was 17, I had the very first interview of my life. My father took me out to buy a new suit, then took me to get it tailored. I remember asking him, "Isn't this a little much for an interview." My father is from the old school. He values practicality and substance rather than aesthetics. For him to put a major emphasis on my apparel to an interview that would last maybe an hour, boggled my mind. He explained to me the importance of first impressions. With homes, the same can be said. Whether you are looking to put your home on the market, or you are settled into your home, most owners want their home to give the best first impression to buyers or visitors. 

Curb appeal is your home's first impression to visitors. With curb appeal, even the little details can negatively affect your home's curb appeal. If you are trying to sell your home, curb appeal can negatively impact your home's value. There are some common mistakes we see daily.

The most common mistake we see around town are homeowners that fail to keep up with their yard work. Maintenance is the most important part of curb appeal. Regular maintenance will also help homeowners keep up with the little details, such as the small crack in the sidewalk, or the weeds in the flower bed. Maintaining your home's exterior does not only apply to yard work but also aspects like changing light bulbs or power washing the sides of your home. Maintaining gutters and keeping roofs free from debris also falls into the maintenance aspect. Keeping the maintenance up on your home's exterior is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also practical in the sense that it helps protect homes from damage.

Next, we see a lot of cluttered front lawns. Growing up, our parents always knew what house we were at based on whose lawn had all the bikes. Yards with toys and gardening supplies need to be tidied up. Yet, the clutter does not stop at the yard. We see clutter on porches as well. Some people like to decorate for the season or holiday. It is important to keep these decorations neat and clean. Also, sweeping dirt and raking up leaves on porches should be completed regularly. Keeping these areas organized also helps your home's curb appeal.

Many homeowners also under-utilize correct lighting. Curb appeal does not stop once the sun goes down. There are many options for lighting to highlight your home's appearance. Adding path lights around your sidewalk or in flower beds can add a new, fresh ambiance to your home. Likewise, too much lighting can negatively affect your home's curb appeal. Lighting is similar to seasoning food. A little seasoning can enhance your meal, while too much seasoning can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Plus, let's not forget those Christmas lights. When not in season, it is best to take those down as well.

Lastly, homeowners should keep up with trends. Most homeowners are up to date on interior trends and repaint with the latest pallets, or buy new decorations for the inside. Do not forget about the exterior as well. It is important to keep up to date with outdoor decorating trends so that your home is able to make a lasting impression. Updating your home's address numbers are a quick, economical way to enhance your home's curb appeal. Different decorations can be bought to keep up with the latest decorating ideas. Painting your front door is another easy weekend project that can help you show off your unique style.

Many people spend a lot of time and money on the interior of their home. Yes, we want our guests and possibly future home buyers to decorate the inside of their home. But, if the curb appeal is not up-to-date and inviting, will anyone want to see all of the resources you have allocated to your home's interior? Curb appeal is sometimes the forgotten home decorating aspect. Hopefully, in this week's This or That post, we have given some insight on ways to avoid a home with less curb appeal.