I have been a professional Windsor real estate agent for over 25 years, so that means I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of kitchens in my career lifetime. This is the room that buyers spend the most amount of time in when looking at prospective homes. In fact, it’s the room that most buyers are excited to see and depending on the condition, the kitchen can make or break the sale of a home.
Homeowners today spend more money on remodeling their kitchen more than any other room in the house. And the good news? If it is done correctly, the costs can be recouped when it is time to sell. If you are a homeowner that is looking to update a kitchen and you know that at some point you will want to sell your home, you want to make smart financial decisions to maximize the return of your investment. Here are the best things you can do so you can enjoy your new kitchen, and buyers will take note when you decide to sell:
1. Have a good plan:
When you have a well thought out plan, you tend to be less prone to surprises and more likely to stay close to budget. This isn’t something you casually write on a napkin, but rather, it takes time, perhaps several months to come up with a concrete idea of what you want and your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional designer as this could be the best money you ever spent. And the best advice from homeowners who have remodeled a kitchen? Plan for the unexpected. There is rarely a remodel that goes without some unexpected surprises, so leave room in your budget!
2. Keep same floor plan:
To save money, keep the existing floor plan when designing your new kitchen. If able, keep the appliances, walls and water fixtures on the same wall.
There is no need to get carried away with top-of-the-line appliances, especially if they have features that you will rarely use. Instead, unless cooking is an art form for you and something you enjoy, save your money for what matters to buyers: flooring and cabinets. Mid-range appliances are perfectly fine for most buyers today, so don’t think you need to get the six burner commercial stove because you will get a return on this investment. Buyers don’t demand this.
What is important to buyers, and what a homeowner should concentrate on, is bringing light into the kitchen. A dark kitchen, one where there is not enough lighting and then dark cabinets and appliances are thrown in, can be a depressing place for a family to spend their time. What’s popular: under cabinet lighting, pendant lighting for islands, recessed lights as well as dimmer switches and wall sconces.
5. Buy Quality:
Don’t skimp on quality. Bargains can be great on the pocketbook, but quality lasts longer. Solid counter tops and good flooring for example, may cost a little bit more, but if cared for correctly, they will last a long time. And again, if you plan on moving in the future, products that have a long extended warranty have a huge advantage!
All good kitchen remodels must include ample storage, so when redesigning your kitchen, keep this in mind. Cabinets that reach to the ceiling cost may more, but provides incredible space. Also, look at select home improvement stores to get ideas on what is popular in storage such as shelving units and ceiling mounted racks for pots and pans.
Last, but certainly not least, is make sure you have excellent communication between yourself and contractors to avoid any surprises. Be very clear about your expectations and organize a daily communication strategy if you are out of the home during the day. Many homeowners write their cell number and email address for contractors and subcontractors on a message board so they can be easily contacted. Also, little things such as what bathrooms workers can use, smoking policy, and loud music may turn into bigger things if not discussed prior to construction. Also, it’s always nice to leave water on those extra hot days, coffee for early morning arrivals and praise when deadlines are met. Kindness can go a long way!