How important is ‘kerb appeal’ to first-time buyers?

What features give prospective buyers a strong first impression? How important is ‘kerb appeal’ to first-time buyers? Let’s find out.

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Modern brick houses, built to traditional designs on a housing development in Northern England.

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With house prices rising, it’s getting harder for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. And if they’re shelling out a large deposit, they’ll be looking for a house that ticks all of their boxes. With that in mind, it’s likely that first impressions count. So, just how important is ‘kerb appeal’ to first-time buyers? Let’s find out.


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What can negatively impact kerb appeal for first-time buyers?

Established lender Evolution Money conducted research and revealed the features that most negatively affect kerb appeal for homebuyers. The study revealed that the most off-putting features were:

  • Cracks in the outside walls – 64% 
  • Damaged windows – 61% 
  • A roof with missing or uneven tiling – 57% 
  • A damaged front door – 54% 
  • Leaky gutters – 49% 
  • Missing pointing in brickwork – 43% 
  • A shabby front door – 42% 
  • Old-fashioned or single glazed windows – 35% 
  • Dirty windows – 28% 
  • An unmown lawn – 26% 
  • Dirty or discoloured walls – 24% 
  • Weeds in the front garden – 23% 
  • Wonky or wobbly flagstones – 21% 
  • Visible bins – 21% 
  • A messy gravelled driveway or path – 19% 
  • Rusty front gates – 19% 
  • A dirty flagstone path or driveway – 14% 
  • Dirty cars in the driveway – 10% 
  • A lack of outdoor lighting – 9% 

The data revealed that most homebuyers, including first-time buyers, would be put off by cracks in the outside walls, damaged doors and windows and leaky gutters.


How can you maximise your kerb appeal?

Evolution Money also explored the features that offer the most kerb appeal to a home. The survey showed that the most appealing features were:

  • A well-maintained roof with no missing tiles – 37% 
  • Double glazed windows – 37% 
  • Well maintained plants and trees – 25% 
  • Freshly painted or pointed walls – 24% 
  • A freshly painted front door with a decorative knocker – 19% 
  • A freshly mown front lawn with no weeds – 19% 
  • A security camera – 18% 
  • Lighting around the front door – 14% 
  • Freshly jet washed or sandblasted exterior walls – 13% 
  • A bin storage unit – 13% 
  • A jet-washed driveway or path – 12% 
  • A freshly raked gravel driveway – 12% 
  • A clean car in the driveway – 10% 

Some of these features could even persuade potential buyers into offering more than the asking price for a property. In fact, two-thirds (68%) of house-hunters responded that they could be persuaded to offer more money for a home with kerb appeal, with 30% prepared to offer an extra £5,000 or more.

What is the cheapest way to improve kerb appeal?

Typically, new homes already have the key features that give prospective buyers a strong first impression, as long as they’re well maintained. But owners of older properties looking to sell may have to do some extra work.

Making home improvements can improve the kerb appeal and boost your home’s value. But making significant changes can also be very expensive. So, it’s important to be smart in the way you go about it.

You don’t have to go over the top. Simply refreshing exterior paintwork, cleaning windows, clearing gutters, tidying up your driveway and trimming your lawn can improve the kerb appeal of your home.

It might also be wise to consult experts to avoid making unnecessary expensive changes. These experts can offer advice on whether more extensive renovations or improvements are required.

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