One of the main objectives of any homeowners association is to keep property values up. Part of accomplishing that goal is by maintaining the exterior appearance of the neighborhood. These are the ways to enhance curb appeal in your HOA.
How to Enhance Curb Appeal in Your Community
An HOA board must put in a lot of work to maintain property values in a community, and curbside appearance plays a major role in that process. The exterior image of any HOA community can either impress or repel potential homeowners.
As a member of your HOA board, keeping the community externally beautiful can come as a challenge, especially if you don’t know how to do it. Consider the following methods to enhance curb appeal in your community:
1. Keep Up With Landscaping
There is something about landscaping that makes a neighborhood more attractive. A splash of fresh greenery can quickly reinvigorate an otherwise dull view. Apart from adding a certain charm to the community, plants can significantly up the quality of life of HOA residents. It also sends the message to potential homeowners that your HOA is environmentally conscious.
Make sure to maintain the landscaping in your community regularly. Trimming trees regularly can not only refine their shape, but it also reduces the risk of falling branches. The same goes for cropping overgrown grass, bushes, and other foliage. It is also a good idea to start a community garden, which is both appealing and encourages involvement from residents.
2. Establish Architectural Guidelines
Giving homeowners some freedom to change the exterior of their homes is okay. But, you must know where to draw the line. When houses don’t look consistent in a neighborhood, it can instantly give the wrong impression. One bright pink house in a row of muted blues can throw off a potential homeowner. Thus, it is important for your HOA community to establish architectural guidelines.
A vast majority of homeowners associations already have such guidelines in place from the start, usually found in the CC&Rs. However, if you don’t have those guidelines yet, you must immediately amend your governing documents to include them.
These guidelines typically include provisions on what house colors, materials, and adjacent fixtures are allowed. It is an equally wise idea to form an architectural control committee to evaluate architectural changes.
This committee takes on the responsibility of reviewing architectural change requests from homeowners, then approving or denying the requests based on the guidelines. Other than that, the committee can also perform periodic inspections to make sure no guidelines are being violated.
Make sure not to create any provisions that conflict with federal, state, or local laws, though. For instance, you can’t prohibit homeowners from installing satellite dishes on their roofs as that would conflict with the OTARD Rule.
3. Ensure Proper Maintenance
Another way to enhance curb appeal in your community is to make sure everything is properly maintained. A busted water pipe, for instance, can quickly snowball and give rise to flooding issues. Even the smallest of problems can get out of hand and damage curb appeal.
To ensure proper maintenance, schedule regular inspections to identify any problem areas and address them before they worsen. Consider repainting exterior surfaces, especially if they are starting to look old. Your parking lots may also need restriping. Pay attention to common areas and community amenities, too.
In addition to lowering curb appeal, poor maintenance of these areas can result in legal liability for the association. To ensure you don’t leave anything out, create a maintenance checklist that you can follow.
4. Pressure Wash
As time goes by, the buildings in your community will start to accumulate dirt, grime, mold, and other filth. If you turn a blind eye and allow it to continue, these substances will cause damages. While you can try to clean these surfaces with regular soap and water, nothing beats the cleaning power of pressure washing.
Pressure washing has many benefits. Apart from cleaning surfaces quickly and effectively, pressure washing can maintain the health and safety of your residents. Mold and mildew are hazardous to your health, while algae and other slippery filth can cause residents to slip and hurt themselves. It is even beneficial to pressure wash surfaces before painting them to make the paint last longer.
While you may be tempted to rent a pressure washer and take care of the job yourself, it is safer and more efficient to hire a professional pressure washing service. Different materials and pollutants require different pressure levels and detergents. Taking the task on yourself can result in irreversible damages and cause you to pay more for repairs. Therefore, the job is best left in the hands of an experienced professional.
5. Place Street Lights
If you have ever walked down a dark street, then you know how scary a neighborhood can be without the presence of street lights. Invest in warm lighting to make your residents feel safe.
In fact, a University of Chicago Crime Lab study found that “increased levels of lighting” decreased index crimes by 36%. Index crimes are defined as a subset of serious felony crimes, which include murder, aggravated assault, and robbery, among others. With the installation of street lights in your community, night joggers and dog walkers will surely feel grateful.
In addition to helping deter crime, street lights can highlight the most attractive qualities of the neighborhood. This, in turn, can serve as great advertising for potential homeowners. If it is not within your HOA’s duties to install and maintain street lights, talk to your city or local government.
In Your Community’s Best Interest
Improving the curb appeal of your community has many advantages. Apart from beautifying the neighborhood, it can raise property values, draw in potential homeowners, and keep current residents happy. Work with your HOA board and fellow community members to enhance curb appeal in your neighborhood today.
Visit Washh for more information on surefire ways to enhance curb appeal in your HOA community.