Buying your first home can be both exciting and stressful. For many first-time home buyers, however, all that stress tends to pay off when they finally get the keys and know they no longer need to deal with landlords or leases. They get to finally feel in control of their home and the way it looks, plus make a great investment into their future.
One trend we’ve noticed lately is that a lot of our first-time home buyer clients are buying homes in well-established, near-the-city core subdivisions. With many outlying suburbs in bigger cities pricing younger buyers out, these properties tend to be great investments. New homeowners can get a house they can afford, though affordability can come with some challenges.
One such challenge is that these older homes have often been owned by one family for generations (and therefore have not been updated in decades), or have been looked over by buyers for years because of outdated exteriors. Many first time home buyers stop at the front door because they assume that the cost of updating the exterior will be prohibitive after just purchasing the home. And it can be hard to tell if that 1970’s ranch will look good even if you did update the exterior.
But we’ve seen a lot of these buyers plunge into purchasing these homes despite the less-than-beautiful outsides. Fortunately, updating the exterior of a home is often as simple as updating the exterior trim color. We’ve seen remarkable transformations from exterior trim painting that helped breathe life into the exterior of an older home and all for a reasonable investment.
Exterior Trim Color Tips for First Time Home Buyers
So before you dismiss that ugly brown home you’re sure will never be pretty, here are some of our best tips for first time home buyers to update exterior trim colors:
First Time Home Buyer Tip #1: White it Out
Our first tip for first time home buyers is to paint old, dark trim a bright crisp white. In fact, some clients choose to simply paint the trim and get remarkable results while they save up to paint the full home exterior at a later date.
The 70s, 80s and 90s tended to darken exterior trim, which was very with the times, but often did nothing to highlight some of the better features of the home. A clean white can totally transform the exterior of an older home, especially if the main color is dark.
A white trim color also helps to highlight beautiful details that are otherwise missed with darker colors or with a monotone paint scheme. White can breathe new life into the exterior of a home and bring it into the current decade.
First Time Home Buyer Tip #2: Go Greige
If you’re not quite ready to go with the stark contrast of white trim, our tip for first time home buyers is to try greige. Greige is today’s all-purpose color that coordinates with nearly every shade. The right greige can make a dark 70s brown suddenly look sophisticated. It can also beautify old, dingy red brick or stained and yellowed stucco.
You could also mix white and greige on your trim. For example, trim out windows in white, but paint corbels greige. Or trim out porch spindles in white, and rails and floors in greige. There are lots of ways you can use two trim colors to update the exterior of your home. The right exterior painting expert can help you decide exactly how you should do it.
First Time Home Buyer Tip #3: Get Moody or Muted
If the exterior of your new home is already dark or a boring neutral, another tip for first time home buyers is to go even darker on the exterior trim. The builder-grade beige that plagued 80s and 90s subdivisions can actually look quite fresh when paired with a glossy black or dark charcoal trim. A grey home can go from tired to stately with dark grey trim. You could even consider a dark, dusty green on a tan home.
The alternative to a darker color is that you could mute everything out by painting it all the same color. A cream home with outdated dark wood trim can look light and fresh when the trim is painted the same color as the existing color of the home.
Sometimes both of these options require a little more imagination from the start. It’s hard to “see” how darker trim can help elevate the look of your home, or how a monochromatic color scheme will look interesting and not boring. Talk to a professional painting company who can share their experience on how to use either of these options to make your home look great.
First Time Home Buyer Tip #4: Give it a Pop
Our final tip for first time home buyers is to use a pop of color. The right pop of color can make the entire exterior color of your new home suddenly make sense.
For example, a bright turquoise door on a dark brown home looks well paired and intentional. Glossy black paint on porch rails and shutters on a white home looks classic. Or a cheery yellow door and cream trim on a blue home looks welcoming and cozy.
A pop of color might take a little more bravery than using a super-safe greige, but it can also be just the thing your new place needs to feel like home. And since the outside of your house is the first thing you see every time you pull in the driveway, it’s worth the risk and effort to make it just how you want it.
Finally, as a first time homebuyer, you might be thinking about tackling this type of project yourself. We strongly encourage you to bring in a reputable professional painting company for this investment. Not only will you be in great hands and sure the project is finished to perfection, the right company can help you spot problems early.
Older homes tend to have areas that might have been ignored or overlooked for years. A reputable painting company won’t open the first can of paint until any exterior wood repairs or problem areas are identified and restored. This step can not only help you catch problems early in your home ownership journey, it can also help you stay ahead of future problems. And, as veteran homeowners know, little problems cost a lot less than big problems.
Get Expert Help Painting Exterior Trim
Our professional paint experts are ready to paint the exterior trim on your older home. We’ve worked with many first time home buyers to make their new houses feel more like home. Contact us today for a free exterior trim painting quote.