Improve Your DC Home’s Curb Appeal

Make a good first impression by improving your home’s curb appeal.

The first look buyers get of your home is a snapshot that will impact everything from how they feel about its condition, neighborhood and overall appeal. Make it a positive one!

Curb appeal | DC real Estate

How To Create Urban Curb Appeal

In a city known for its historic charm and architectural significance, buyers are often drawn to homes that exude character and curb appeal. Yet, achieving great curb appeal in Washington DC’s inner-city neighborhoods can be challenging. Rowhouses must differentiate themselves while maintaining the block’s overall character and style. Many homes have no front yard to speak of, trees are trimmed on the District’s timetable, not the home owner’s. Electrical poles and street signage can obstruct views.

But some small investments can make a big difference in how your home is perceived and ultimately how quickly it sells.

Start by tidying up 

Overgrown greenery, peeling paint, dirty light fixtures and walkways make a home look uncared for. Freshen it up with these steps:

  • Sweep it clean: Take a broom to walkways, steps, porch, rails and eaves
  • Clean windows, shutters, canopies and sills
  • Wash rails, doors and hardware
  • Remove clutter from your porch and front yard
  • Trim grass, bushes, hedges
  • Trim vegetation along walkways
  • Trim trees to a pleasing shape and size proportionate to the structure, don’t block the home’s façade and windows
  • Rake leaves, remove dead plants, weed garden beds and refresh mulch
  • Clean and repair storm and security doors as needed, touch up paint as needed
  • Repair fences and gates if needed
  • Repair porch, deck, stoop boards or concrete if needed
  • Have gutters and downspouts checked, clean and make repairs and improvements as needed
  • Check paint: Is it peeling, chipping or faded? Consider repainting, and be sure to follow DC Lead Paint guidelines for remediation

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Bullet Points

  • Clean and repair first
  • Create cohesive color and design plans
  • Get inspiration from experts

Caren L

While other ​agents said, “​T​his is what you need to do;” The Isaacs Team said, “​W​e can do this for you!” Our process was smooth and quick, and they designed a strategy and negotiated a sale well above our asking price; and a purchase price below asking – both in the same market.

Add Color And Style


Paint has a biggest impact on the appearance of a home’s façade. Choosing exterior paint and trim colors can be tricky, so refer to this guide from The Spruce. Remember to compliment your exterior colors with interior colors and, if your front door is painted, choose a color that “pops.”

Garden Plan

Create a garden plan and implement it. For inspiration on garden styles, see this article by Annie Elliott. It’s likely you can make a few changes to your existing design and achieve great results! Use your exterior/interior color palettes to choose complimentary colors for your garden.

House Numbers

Next, turn a critical eye to your house numbers and porch light. Are they dated and worn? Replace them with new versions that compliment your home’s architecture. Here are some great house number and light suggestions from My Domaine.

Don't Forget The Back

Create a memorable urban oasis buyers will long to spend time in. Decks, patios, rear and side yards are extremely important to Washington DC home buyers. Create an outdoor room they’ll never want to leave.


Rear yards in DC have to cram a lot of practical and recreational use into tight spaces. Here’s some inspo to beautify and increase efficiency at the same time:

  • Merrifield has these tips for turning a rear garden into an outdoor room
  • Transform a narrow rear yard into Shangri-la with these suggestions from Gardenista
  • Embrace raised beds and built-in seating
  • Create a grilling paradise with tips from Washingtonian


There are many ways to make your balcony into an inviting space:

Ready to make a new investment in yourself?

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