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Best home colors for maximizing curb appeal

First impressions are everything and your house makes a first impression with curb appeal. For buyers and guests alike, the exterior color you choose can make your home seem inviting or like it's giving everyone a cold shoulder.

According to research, the top most popular exterior house color is white. It's a great color because it can add light to a shady yard, make the house look bigger, and allow you to choose trim and roof colors that suit your personal taste without being too over the top. When you choose a colored trim against a white house, any architectural details can stand out and add an expensive look or eye catching interest to the house. According to Jeremy Lichtenstein, the traditional white painted house can send the signal to anyone pulling up that this is "shelter" and a "safe haven" - positive vibes for guests or potential buyers alike.

Neutral colors are the second most popular type of exterior colors. These include light tan, beige, cream, taupe, or gray. When you choose a neutral color, a bright white trim can really pop and look like a string of pearls to dress up your house. With a neutral color and white trim, consider adding a splash of color by painting the door something bold or darker. Whatever you choose, remember that a fire engine red or blaze orange door is almost always a turn-off to buyers. Instead, use a neutral house as a perfect backdrop for colorful flowers in the landscaping, pots, or flower boxes and bright red and orange will fit in well.

The least liked exterior house colors were the dark or bold colors. A study by Zillow found that houses painted terra cotta or slate gray typically sold for about $1100 under the expected value. Also keep in mind that dark colors will fade if in intense sun. The caveat to this is if the home is historic or in a traditional neighborhood where a light colored house would seem out of place. In those cases, stick to medium shades of gray or brown, blues, or dark tan colors to fit in with the locale. Homes built from brick or stone often have trim in dark red, deep green, or Williamsburg blue. If you choose a mid-tone blue, which is popular in many areas, a light tan trim can have a more natural looking effect, especially for Prairie and Craftsmen style homes.

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