Curb appeal can make or break a home sale, but that's not the only thing it impacts. The way the front of your house looks can affect your relationship with your neighbors along with making an impression on prospective buyers. That's why curb appeal is a worthwhile investment for both the present and the long run—the wrong choices can cost you in home value and neighborly camaraderie.
To learn more about the perception of curb appeal, Thumbtack partnered with Nextdoor and surveyed more than 1,000 homeowners across the country to find out how much they value curb appeal, how it affects their neighborhoods and neighborly relationships, and what projects have the greatest impact.
Keep reading to learn which curb appeal choices will get you in good graces with neighbors and buyers—and which faux pas you should avoid.
According to Thumbtack, homeowners valued landscaping as the best way to invest in curb appeal, since it supplies the biggest bang for the buck. In fact, 82 percent of homeowners rated landscaping as a major improvement to curb appeal. The next highest rated front-of-house improvements were freshly painted exteriors (78 percent), well-kept lawns (73 percent), and beautiful windows (68 percent).
But it's not all about looks. Good curb appeal—and a demonstrated effort in improving it—can make people feel more excited about and connected to their neighborhood.
“Strong curb appeal demonstrates a deep investment in a neighborhood," Heidi Andersen, head of revenue at Nextdoor, says in the report. "It elevates the sense of community pride and fosters a welcoming atmosphere for residents and visitors alike. For many neighbors, the neighborhood is a gathering place, a central hub, and most importantly, a place they come to for genuine connections, support, and shared experiences among its residents."
Curb appeal improvement projects can also be a community activity. According to the survey findings, 81 percent of homeowners say they collaborate with neighbors on shared projects or initiatives that could enhance the overall attractiveness of the neighborhood and 44 percent have offered to help their neighbor with a front yard project such as lawn-mowing, snow-blowing, or leaf-raking.
Following all that neighborly kindness is the reality that neighbors can also become pretty displeased if other homes in the neighborhood aren't maintained to their liking. In fact, nearly all of the respondents (94 percent) said they they think it’s important to have neighbors who maintain their homes’ curb appeal and just under half (46 percent) say they have at least one neighbor with an “eyesore” property. To go even further, 71 percent of respondents said they would think negatively of a homeowner with an "eyesore" property—19 percent even admitted they’d be more likely to gossip about that neighbor.
So, it'll do you good to know which curb appeal choices can end up pissing off your neighbors. First up on the list, 81 percent of respondents said the biggest curb appeal faux pas is trash in the yard, followed by overgrown landscaping (81 percent), The next worst offenders are an overgrown lawn (77 percent), parking old cars, RVs, vans, or boats out front (64 percent), poorly maintained fences and exterior (58 percent) and a home’s exterior needing a wash or paint job (57 percent).
While your home is your own—and you can't please everybody no matter how hard you try—it's helpful to know how people respond to different curb appeal choices so that you can make the best decision for your home and neighborhood.