The key to updating your home is not to let it fall behind in the first place.


Every homeowner knows that maintaining a house is hard work, and a few have the time, money or willpower to keep their home looking perfect at all times. When it’s the peak of the home selling season, it may seem like half the houses on your block are in pristine, market-ready condition, or they’re under construction and will look fresh and new in no time. How can you keep your house looking new and not the worst house on the block? It may seem like an impossible task, but it’s one all homes face eventually.


Take stock of your aging home. Even if it seems like every single house in your neighborhood has a fresh exterior or is newly built, the typical house has at least a few decades under its belt. Simply realize that chipping paint and dated entrances are key factors for renovations and increase your home value.


Attend neighborhood open houses. For your house to increase in value along with other houses being built or renovated in the neighborhood, it needs to be on par with the updates. An easy way to know what you need to do to keep up with your neighbors is to attend open houses when a nearby property goes on the market. Listing agents expect curious neighbors to pop in, and it’s a great opportunity to see what the interiors look like and compare them to your home


Get a green thumb. Don’t let your house get a reputation as the worst on the block by neglecting its curb appeal. Keep the siding clean and consider repainting, and maintain the grass and landscape to keep the house looking fresh from the road. Landscaping your yard also gives you the opportunity to select flora that works best for the climate, your property and the amount of time you have to maintain it.


Make minor updates. Keeping up with other houses in the neighborhood doesn’t mean every project has to be a big one. Small updates to keep you home looking well-cared-for, like fresh paint in each room or new doors on cabinets, can make a massive difference. You can even go as far as refinishing hardwood surfaces to achieve a new look at a far more affordable price than replacing materials throughout the house every time you want to update.