They say first impressions last.
And for real estate properties, that first impression is the curb appeal.
No matter how gorgeous your home looks inside, if it looks neglected outside, the value of your home in buyers’ minds will drop.
In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors®, improvements on a home’s curb appeal can give you more than a 75% return on investment. This is the highest ROI the organization has seen.
Properties like Charlottesville equestrian estates usually have big plots of land to take advantage of. When your home looks good and well taken care of, buyers will want to learn more. In addition, potential buyers of horse farms are usually just as concerned about their horses as they are about themselves. They will be looking at the condition of the barns, fencing and pasture in addition to the house.
So in this article, I’m going to share incredible tips to boost the curb appeal of your horse farm.
1. Get a paint job – or at least get your exterior cleaned.
Does the exterior of your horse farm have mildew overgrowth and stains? If it does, then it’s time for a clean-up. Power wash the exterior and roof (some companies can do this for you for around $600).
But if the paint is starting to come off or getting old through time with bubbles and chips, have it repainted.
Don’t stop there.
Check the gutters. Clogged and worn gutters will cause problems, so clean the gutters and remove years of built-up dirt and debris. If the gutters are looking saggy, consider replacing them.
Clean your windows. You may think a clean window won’t do much difference but once you see the difference between a dirty window that blocks out light compared to a clean one that lets in plenty of light, you’ll know you made the right choice.
Clean the barn. The barn is the showpiece of your farm, so make sure it looks clean and well-maintained. Check if there are any decayed or broken lumber, and hammer in or replace loose nails. Power wash the exterior and interior to remove dust, dirt, and cobwebs, then apply a fresh coat of paint.
2. Re-evaluate your landscape.
If the landscape of your home reminds you of those old abandoned homes in horror movies, it’s time to freshen it up.
There are two main things that make up the landscape: the grass and the shrubs.
Make sure the grass looks green and healthy. No overgrown or dried up weeds. If there are bald patches, it’s time to reseed. Adding mulch will promote healthier soil and make the grass look lush and green.
Trim overgrown and window-obscuring shrubs. You want buyers to see the house in its best state.
If you feel like this is too much of a job for you, you can always hire a professional landscaper. For advice on how to maintain the health of your pasture, you can contact your local county agricultural extension agent.
Let’s face it. A house looks dull without shrubs surrounding it. It is amazing what some basic, low-maintenance shrubs can do to soften the look of a house and make it appear more appealing to the eyes. If you do not have the time or sufficient knowledge to do the landscaping of your yard right, you may hire someone to install foundation shrubs, making sure they are positioned away from your house for future home maintenance and painting purposes.
When it comes to a wall-to-wall garden, the truth is most homebuyers find it overwhelming. But while that is so, even the most dramatic garden can be brought back down to earth.
Always remember that buyers want to save on mowing costs as much as possible. There is nothing wrong with reducing your mown area by converting it into a field that is cut only once or twice a year to dissuade brambles. You may also want to mow a path through it.
Lastly, while mature trees are often admired, make sure that you clear branches away from the roofline of your home. Remove branches that obscure windows, too, as they tend to block light and cause a sense of dampness. You may prune and cable your trees, but keep them still.
3. Maintain the fence line.
The fence that surrounds your property is one of the most important features of your horse farm. Fences are crucial in protecting the horses as well as keeping away other animals and unwanted visitors. A good fence is needed not just for visual value, but also because it reduces the risk of injury among horses.
Because the fence line is visible especially if you have a large property, you need to evaluate the current condition of your fence.
Is it intact? Are there sagging lines? Are there loose posts? Are there boards needing replacement or repair? Is the paint chipped?
Maintaining your fence line will make a huge difference in your property’s curb appeal. It will also keep your horses safe.
If your home is an old home, most probably it is too close to the road. In that case, it is advisable to install an appropriate fence line to give buyers with children or pets peace of mind. But since fences can be tricky at times, it is still best to get guidance. Do it right, but don’t overdo it.
Consider your house and shutters, and them complement their paint colors with the fence.
When it comes to the color of your fences, glaring white is usually not the way to go as it can only make your older paint look dingy. If you want, you may try beige or off-white. Spend whatever you have to spend to do it right, because your fence line can either make or break your home sale. You also need to check your town ordinances for heights and regulations before you get started.
4. Repair the driveway.
When it comes to selling a horse farm, checking the driveway is driveway is probably the last thing on your mind. Don’t forget the driveway. It is one of the first things people see on your property and it makes an impact in your horse farm’s curb appeal.
Check the quality of your driveway. If you have a gravel driveway, make sure it is scraped free of potholes and has plenty of gravel. If you have an asphalt driveway, make sure the potholes and cracks are filled.
5. Draw eyes to your front door.
Make your property stand out with a lovely front door.
An eye-catching front door can make your entire property seem much more inviting. It’s like it’s drawing people in. Consider having it painted with lively color, maybe red, yellow, or even orange.
6. Make sure the front porch is welcoming.
A dull, uninviting front porch says a lot about the entire home. It’s pretty easy to snazz it up, too. Make sure there’s no broken slab of wood, add a nice pot of fresh flowers, and add a comfy chair while you’re at it.
One of the most impactful ways to boost the curb appeal of your horse property is by adding some fresh greenery and flowers. If you do not have the time or money to spend on putting in a garden, you can add some planters or window boxes. Plants can greatly help in accentuating and framing the key visual points of your home, like windows and entryways. If you don’t have a room for a standing planter, you can also hook up a hanging one. In making your porch look welcoming, just one pretty plant arrangement is enough to add to your home’s exterior appearance.
7. Upgrade exterior light fixtures.
A beautiful home and a well-managed farm are must-have’s for many horse property buyers. So are well-lighted exteriors. When you plan to sell your farm, it is important to make any necessary lighting updates that may help seal the deal.
A well-lighted exterior will not only make your property more appealing, but buyers will be glad they don’t have to worry about these lighting updates themselves.
Even though buyers will be viewing your property during the day, they will surely notice if you have outdated light fixtures. Good lighting is important in horse farms because they come in handy when you have to find your horses after dark.
There is nothing welcoming about a dark entryway. If you see that you already have a sconce or hanging pendant by your front door, better replace it with something that looks a bit more fresh and fun. You also need to clean off cobwebs and debris around your outdoor light fixtures, which will instantly make the space appear more bright and clean. Some home sellers prefer adding light sources by hanging some porch string lights or using solar powered lanterns to light up their walkway.
8. Don’t forget the overall appeal.
When you plant to sell your property, you need to make sure it is actually ready for selling. You need to create a scenery where horses are grazing peacefully and on well-groomed, lush fields. Buyers are more enticed when they see that your property is well-maintained.
It would be also great to remember the importance of symmetrical patterns in your home’s exterior. These patterns create focal points that are pleasing to look at. They can also instantly make your home look more put together. You can achieve this look by putting matching wall lanterns or plants on either side of your front door, or if you do not have room at your entry way, you can just do the same thing around your garage door.
Swapping out your dated mailbox with something more stylish also helps. It’s a super easy project for you to take on if you want to improve the curb appeal of your horse property without spending much. This project can make an understated but noticeable difference in your home’s curb appeal. Depending on the type of mailbox that you need, plan on spending about $50-$200 to replace it.
One of the mistakes some sellers make is thinking that the buyers won’t care what it looks like because it’s a farm. Truth is, for many horse farm buyers, it is buying a childhood dream. That’s why before listing your property, you need to prep it.
Spend some time in making repairs and cleaning. These small changes can go a long way in impressing the buyers.
Put away your personal items. Make sure there are no hose, no farm equipment, no shovels lying around on your front yard and anywhere else in the farm.
Want to know how else you can boost your property’s value?
Check out www.JumpIntoGreenerPastures.com for more ideas on how to spruce up your equestrian farm.
I’m Pam Dent, and I’m here to assist you with all your real estate needs! Call me at 434-960-0161 so I can help you become a successful seller of horse farms in Charlottesville.
In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view How to Boost the Curb Appeal of Your Charlottesville Horse Property on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhVYmdjHUXc&t=0s&list=PL3hDkaZjN1QC0hju531Okxhol_NgQNIrj&index=2