(don't) Curb Your Enthusiasm
Here's how much Houston homeowners will spend to boost curb appeal this year
Sure, one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but that doesn't apply to a vast number of million-dollar homes in this city. It's probably safe to say that many locals (or tourists) have been guilty of window shopping Houston's most gorgeous houses while cruising around town.
Experts from home services website Thumbtack have confirmed Houston's incredible curb appeal in a recent study that surveyed homeowners around the country. Thumbtack partnered with Nextdoor to ask more than 1,000 homeowners to set tangible values to curb appeal: both how much they care, and what kind of exterior home improvements have the most influence. It also ranked cities on how much they spend.
The study found that Houstonians will spend up to $4,728 on many "small curb appeal investments" – such as replacing the front door, installing outdoor lighting, pressure washing the driveway, or painting their fence.
But if a homeowner really wants their property to stand out, major projects like installing solar panels or maintaining a perfectly manicured front yard are surefire ways to catch people's attention and admiration. So much so, that 82 percent of survey-takers said investing in landscaping is a substantial improvement, and 73 percent believe a well-kept lawn dramatically improves curb appeal.
"At its core, curb appeal is a homeowner’s first presentation of themself to the neighborhood," the report said. "An individual home’s curb appeal impacts the whole neighborhood — and, as a result, can build relationships or even create tensions on the block."
Costs, of course, are driven up with the scale of the projects. Cost estimates for garage door or gutter replacements can ring up at $1,310, with Houston homeowners budgeting up to $11,450 for their "medium-sized" home improvement projects.
The study designates some projects as "large curb appeal investments": things like painting the entire exterior of a house, replacing property fencing, or installing a sprinkler system. Estimates for multiple large-scale projects can cost up to $21,000 in Houston.
Nextdoor's Head of Revenue, Heidi Andersen, said in the report that a home's curb appeal can show the owner's "deep investment" in their neighborhood, and can improve their fellow neighbors' pride within the local community.
"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," said Andersen. "Every day, neighbors everywhere are transforming houses into homes, and streets into welcoming avenues for their communities."
While Houston didn't make it into the ranking of the top 10 cities with the best curb appeal, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 5, while Austin ranked No. 2 behind frontrunner Atlanta, Georgia.
The top 10 cities with the best curb appeal are:
- No. 1 – Atlanta
- No. 2 – Austin, Texas
- No. 3 – Charlotte, North Carolina
- No. 4 – Washington, D.C.
- No. 5 – Dallas-Fort Worth
- No. 6 – Baltimore, Maryland
- No. 7 – Seattle, Washington
- No. 8 – Orlando, Florida
- No. 9 – Tampa, Florida
- No. 10 – Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina