If you are planning a kitchen remodel in order to boost the sales price of your house, you are on the right track. Kitchen and bathroom remodels bring the highest return on the cost if done correctly. And herein lies the problem. What should you do and how should the remodel look? I have some advise stemming from years of experience in the real estate field.
1: Make the remodel appropriate for the house. If you have a high end luxury home, a kitchen remodel with a cheap laminate kitchen will sink you sale quicker than an iceberg the Titanic. Buyers expecting a custom kitchen with high end finishes and anything less will end in disaster. You can be somewhat frugal in the cabinet brand as long as it has the same quality and appeal. You might go bargain shopping for model year sale of discontinued versions of the high end appliances and you don’t have to pick the very most expensive granite for the countertops. But you have to pick a quality and style that is appropriate for the type of house.
2: Pick the right style. In Kitchens there are trends that come and go. No one likes the plain cheap white laminate kitchen cabinets of the 70’s. Almost no one prefers the raised panel oak cabinets of the 80’s. While a few people still pick them, they have gone out of fashion a while ago. If you prefer traditional style there are a few choices of designs. some like the classic shaker style which is a good choice for older bungalow style homes as well as for new construction, others like the Mediterranean look that was so prevalent in new construction in the south during the 90’s. Those type of homes will have more ornate door panels often with painted doors and a glaze treatment to mimic wear and tear of old kitchen cabinets.
3: How much to invest. This is a crucial question that every homeowner will ask. Will I get my money back? The goal is to invest enough to generate a sale and to maximize the sales price. Buyers are happy to pay a hefty premium for a great kitchen. They will even pay more than you might spend on the renovation if you shop wisely. In the average house it does not make much difference which brand of cabinets you choose. Imported hand crafted custom cabinets from Italy will not yield you a dime over nice high quality cabinets manufactured in China and custom installed by a skilled tradesman. Sad as it is, it only counts what is there, not where it comes from. Buyer look for good quality like solid plywood construction boxes versus cheap pressboard. Solid wood doors in attractive finishes and wood selections like cherry wood or Maple. Buyers like dovetail finishes on the drawer and soft close hinges and drawer rails. So go comparison shopping with different vendors. The nicer the showroom the larger the upcharge. The best deal comes from smaller shops that do their own installation and have a limited selection of product lines. Ask around which vendors local homebuilders use or check with your real estate agent who have home flippers as clients. They typically have figured out where to find good value. Don’t buy the name brand. Don’t buy because of the vendors impressive showroom. Buy quality at a good price and you are in a good shape
4: Which countertops to choose. I have three words: Granite, Granite, Granite. Yes, There is Corean or some other version of it. But in some sense that is just another word for plastic. Solid surface counters were the hit in the 90s and a great improvement over the laminate. Granite has long become the ultimate favorite. Your average house does not need to get an exotic 200$ per sq ft granite that hand cut from a remote mountain in the Himalaya. Standard builders grade qualities as Baltic brown, Ubatuba or Venetian Gold range in the 20 to 30 $ per sq ft and can be cost effective choices that will be a hit with your buyers. And no, your idea of putting glossy tile on your counters will not work well for your sale. It will let your buyers scatter quickly. Also if you cabinets are old and worn the expense of putting granite counters up will just irritate the hell out of many people. Now they feel they have to pay a premium price for granite that will be ripped out when they have to redo the kitchen anyhow. Make sure the cabinets are in tip top shape before putting up granite. There are quartz countertops the are very popular but the mostly are more expensive than basic granite choices. In many cased these additional cost will not translate in more profit in a sale. So be cautious.
5: Which appliances to pick. Stainless steel appliances are the single most wanted feature in average real estate sales in the United States. Yes they might show fingerprints and require frequent cleaning, yes they are a bit more expensive, and yes they might have a black double door refrigerator on sale at your home improvement store, the buyers still want Stainless Steel. It is best if they are new. Some vendors offer packages at discount pricing offering double door Refrigerator, Diswasher, Microwave hood and glas top stove for around $ 2000 to 2500. For a bit more money you can upgrade to a French door refrigerator with a freezer drawer underneath. See that your fridge has water and ice dispenser in the door. If we have a larger kitchen to redesign we add a under the counter beverage cooler. That adds some sparkle in buyers eyes. Remember these are things that can not be added later without extensive efforts and cost. If your house is the only one offering such added feature and they like it, you just jumped in front of all your competition.
6: How to coordinate colors When picking kitchen colors you have to think about how it photographs. We like to choose items the give some sort of contrast that will read great on photo and video. Your first goal is to get buyers in the door. The photos have to be stunning. So when we pick dark walnut cabinets we go for a lighter “Venetian Gold” or “Fantasy” granite. This is a lighter beige color with sprinkles of grey and brown but an overall golden light hue. Popular are also white painted cabinets which are well accented with dark “Ubatuba” or “True Black” countertops. If you have questions about the best choices consult with your designer.
7: Don’t forget the backsplash. It will cost you a few hundred dollars to install a glass mosaic backsplash but it sure will impress a lot of buyers. We pick something that has some of the corresponding colors of the cabinets and look well with both the cabinets and the countertops. In California’s high end design the glass mosaic has already passed its prime. But in mainstream markets the frenzy with the glass mosaic has just started. So unless you are selling a posh abode in Beverly Hills, go for the glass. It creates a wow factor well worth the money. Shop around and look for bargains. You only need 30 to 4o sq ft for average kitchen size. So you can splurge a bit and you may find the perfect one on sale.
8: Labor can be costly. Consider the labor cost of your remodel. With old floor plans you can create tremendous value when opening walls and creating larger spaces. Consult with a contractor on those cost. If you want to change the kitchen floor plan you have to be careful. While an improved layout can be greatly beneficial it can get very costly if you moving plumbing lines or electrical wiring. So the cost and benefits have to be weight here. It is advised to consult the professionals about such changes. You can quickly overspend on your project if you are not careful.
If you keep these aspects in mind you are bound to make some additional money when renovating for sale. Your house will sell quicker and appraise at the top of the market. It truly creates value. Your pocketbook will be thankful you did it.