If you’re like most homeowners, when you read, “enhance curb appeal,” you immediately think “expensive.” But not so fast. There are many ways to create instant curb appeal without breaking the bank. Here are our Top Faves!

1. Paint the Shutters, Trim or Front Door – Most exterior paint will run you about $30 a gallon. For your front door, pick a bold color that will give your front entrance some much needed pop. Choose complementary colors for trim and shutters to complete your home’s fresh look. Make sure you take the time to prepare all surfaces properly so you do the job right the first time.

2. Add a Tree – Not surprising, planting a tree is one of the most common way to add curb appeal to your house. Before you race to your nearest nursery, consider the mature size of the tree and how that will affect your house. If space permits, plant two trees to create a frame for your house and entrance.

3. Clean Up Your Front Yard – Sometimes all it takes to enhance curb appeal is to take stock of your yard. For example, look closely at the bushes in front of your home. Are they overgrown and block the windows? If so, it is time for a serious trimming. Shrubs should never overwhelm or nearly hide your windows. Instead they should frame them.

4. Install Flower Boxes – Is your house is looking a tad drab? Flower boxes are fairly inexpensive and a great way to achieve double-take curb appeal. But remember, planting flowers in those new boxes is just the first step. Make sure you also maintain them. An alternate idea: deploy container gardens in pots and locate them on your porch or front steps. And, while you are in the gardening mode, put fresh mulch along your shrubs because it will protect your soil and stop weeds from growing.

5. Replace Hardware and Upgrade Your Mailbox – Something as simple as changing out your front door knob and lock can make a big difference. While you are at it, if your mailbox is weathered, rusting or dented, consider replacing it with a new mailbox that better matches your home’s architecture.

6. Replace Exterior Lighting – Consider both the style of your home and the function of the lights when selecting new fixtures. They should serve a dual purpose of adequately lighting your entryway and enhancing the appearance of your home. To save yourself some time and aggravation, look for fixtures that have the same mounting system as your current lights.

7. New House Numbers – House numbers are often the first thing new visitors notice and they set the tone of what to inside the home. Spare, slim numbers can hint at a modern interior. Fanciful numbers might express a sense of quirkiness, playfulness or humor. New numbers not only spruce up your home’s curb appeal, they help provide a crucial first impression for visitors, emergency vehicles or Lyft/Uber drivers to be able to identify the right address. Simple house numbers start around $2 each or you can look for customized plaques that run $50 – 100. Check out Etsy to see examples of modern address numbers.