4 Curb Appeal Projects a Southern Real Estate Agent Says You Should Stop Doing

published Jun 5, 2022
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Curb appeal faux pas can happen all across the country, but some projects seem especially destined for failure in the lower half of the country. I talked to a real estate agent based in the Southeast to find out what mistakes he’s seeing homeowners make when it comes to boosting their curb appeal, and why he’s begging you not to follow in their footsteps. 

Stepping Outside Your USDA Zone

Every region in the United States has been broken up into hardiness zones by the United States Department of Agriculture. (You can see where your home falls by checking here.) While you may feel tempted to try your luck with plants that aren’t necessarily perfect for where you live, Jason McCree Gentry, a real estate agent and broker associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty says you’re much better off sticking with plants that are correct for your climate and region. 

“Installing plants that you find beautiful, but might quickly die or look puny might end up just being a wasted effort when trying to spruce up curb appeal,” he says.

Using Invasive Plants in Your Landscaping

Who among us hasn’t fallen in love with a plant and added it to the garden only to discover later that it’s impossible to reign in (cough, bamboo, cough)? This is why McCree Gentry says you should avoid using invasive varieties of plants when updating your yard

“While nice looking and fast growing, these ground covers can quickly take over your yard and flower beds and not be the outcome you were looking for,” he says. “Trust the experts!” 

Some big no-no’s? Monkey grass, Oriental bittersweet, and Mimosa trees. 

Covering Natural Brick with Paint

Okay, I’m guilty of loving this trend too, but McCree Gentry says it’s time to stop whitewashing brick. “A common trend for homes in our area right now is taking our classic red brick (which is ample because of our red clay soil) and painting it white to give a fresh, new look that people are gravitating towards,” he says. “While I will agree this can be a good look, sometimes I think it is both being overdone and will be a regretted trend someday. For one thing, it is causing neighborhoods to have homogeneity; both old homes that have been that way for 100 years or longer and new homes fresh out of the ground are all being painted white.” 

His biggest gripe? People are turning a low-maintenance exterior into one that will have to be repainted from time to time. 

Committing “Crape Murder”

Crapemyrtles are plentiful down south. Unfortunately, these beautiful, flowering trees commonly fall victim to overzealous homeowners who get too heavy-handed with the garden shears — earning some homeowners a potential spot on Lawn and Order: Southern Homes and Gardens edition. 

“It has become common practice to severely over-prune these trees and leave just stubs, typically either because the tree was planted too close to other objects or they saw their neighbors do it,” McCree Gentry says. “Over pruning any of the plants in your yard can be a curb appeal project to avoid as it isn’t good for the health of the plant and it can also be a huge eyesore.”