Value Added Kitchen Upgrades

Value Added Kitchen Upgrades

The kitchen is usually described as being the heart of a home. Similar to our own hearts, this room is central to the family’s existence; it nurtures us with both food and love. The kitchen is where family and friends gather to cook and eat together. It’s where homework is done and where arguments are settled. 

For many of us, because we spend such a large amount of time in this room, this is where we look to provide an upgrade. Perhaps we want the love that we feel for this space to be reflected in it’s décor.

Whatever the reason, homeowners often look to complete a kitchen upgrade. But what if this is not your forever home? What refresh or renovation can you undertake that won’t deter a sale further down the road? Moreover, what upgrades are desirable for when you are looking to sell? 

Where exactly should you spend your money? Sometimes the balance that is required is considering what improvements you want in your kitchen, that the next home owner might too. Who should you ask in order to make this decision easier?

Ask the Experts

According to RIS Media (the real estate industry’s online source for the latest news and trends) 80% of homeowners say that the kitchen ranks in the top 3 rooms that purchasers want to see updated. In other words, completing those upgrades could very well help to sell your home down the road. 

However, caution needs to be taken as the kitchen is also viewed as one of the most likely areas of the home to make or break a sale. Renovations not done or not done well, or renovations that are too trendy or that are not neutral enough, may deter potential buyers.

In terms of which kitchen upgrades will get the highest ROI (return on investment) there is a distinct trend. RIS Media reports that 56% of homeowners say a cosmetic remodel will have the highest return. A cosmetic remodel consists of anything that is non-invasive such as new backsplash, counter tops, paint, or refaced cabinets. 

An example of an easy kitchen upgrade is new hardware, which is inexpensive and surprisingly effective. Dated handles and pulls can be changed out in an afternoon, giving your kitchen a contemporary touch.

Investing a small amount of time and money now, can give your kitchen a fresh look and help to sell it down the road. According to the experts, these minor kitchen upgrades can recoup 80% at the time of sale, whereas major projects have a tendency to recoup only about 60%. Bottom line, the cheaper, faster renovations often have the larger impact when you are listing your home.

Ask the Average Person

According to a recent poll, the top 3 features that people envy about other people’s homes all reside in the kitchen, showing once again that renovating the kitchen has great ROI potential. Residing at number 1 is a walk-in pantry, which unfortunately can be a costly endeavour. Knowing that potential purchasers are envious of extra storage space can work in your favour though. 

Rather than creating a pantry, invest in floor-to-ceiling shelving to amp up the kitchen storage space. Place decorative baskets on the shelves in order to maximize the organizing capabilities of this ready-made pantry. Do you have free wall space? Install floating shelves. They look great and have the added bonus of taking up wasted space.

The second most popular kitchen upgrade: stone countertops. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive choice as well. When it comes to kitchen countertops, natural stone such as granite, and man-made stone such as quartz, are considered to be equal in terms of desirability among both homeowners and potential purchasers alike. 

The added bonus is that this type of renovation can update any kitchen instantly, even one that has other more-dated features. Potential purchasers look at these countertops as easy to clean and maintain as well, adding to the desirability of the refresh.

The third most popular kitchen upgrade is a kitchen island. Evidently, both homeowners and potential purchasers alike, covet extra counter and cupboard space. If installing an island isn’t in the budget, you can create your own. Ready-made kitchen cabinets or tables can be transformed into islands, simply by the addition of wheels. 

By installing towel racks and additional shelving, your new kitchen island is ready for service. This simple, creative solution can turn a small kitchen into a more functional space, and as an added perk, it can always move with you to your next home.

Ask the House Hunter

What don’t potential purchasers want in a kitchen upgrade? According to real estate experts, one thing that house hunters aren’t looking for is a breakfast nook. While this might provide a cozy eating area, the space is now more valuable when it is used for extra counter top and cupboard space.

Although stainless steel appliances still appeal to the masses, high-end, state-of-the-art appliances are not desired in a kitchen upgrade, by those looking to buy a home. Purchasing that new “smart” fridge that connects you to your home network, can cost you more than twice as much as a regular stainless steel refrigerator. 

Allocate this money elsewhere in the renovation, as potential purchasers are more likely to want to splurge on their own high-end kitchen upgrades that will fit their lifestyles.

The kitchen is very often a multi-functional, well-used room. Showing it love by completing a kitchen upgrade is money well spent. Knowing where to spend that money, especially if this is not your forever-home, requires a bit of research. With the facts in hand, you (and the next homeowner) can enjoy an up-to-date space, while still reflecting your style and love for your home. 

Spending your kitchen upgrade dollars wisely, can pay off both in the enjoyment of your refreshed kitchen, and in the impact at time of sale.