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janbb's avatar

Should I update my country kitchen?

Asked by janbb (53592points) December 13th, 2017

Will probably sell the house within the next 5 or so years. I still like my kitchen but it needs a few things like a new stove which I plan to get soon. It’s not a kitschy country (no stuffed ducks anywhere) kitchen but the cabinets are golden oak and there is wallpaper. Just wondering if it’s worth doing a total remodel which will cost big bucks and may not make a difference in the selling price.

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10 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I think and have read opinions that such remodeling doesn’t tend to pay off in terms of the final sale price, but that it can increase the frequency of people being interested, because of the people who would prefer not to remodel themselves.

As far as official value calculations, the effect is generally less than the cost.

There are also people who would prefer to remodel things to their own taste anyway, or who like older stuff.

So if you are remodeling to sell, it makes sense to think of it not as increasing your final net value, but as an investment that can increase interest in selling sooner. Depending on your house and the market, and how urgently you want to sell sooner, that might be important, or not. (And if you are in a crazy-good market where you’ll actually have competing bids at once, it might increase the number of people bidding against each other, which might possible also affect the final sale price.)

janbb's avatar

I have the feeling my house will sell quickly whether or not I remodel but your points are things I’ve thought about.

rojo's avatar

This is something my wife and I wrestled with for a while. Should we remodel and upgrade our home and enjoy it for a while or do we wait until we sell and do it just for someone else to enjoy. We finally decided that we deserved it ourselves. Also, you can go ahead and offer an allowance toward certain things like upgrades or new appliances or flooring if that is what you think will help sell.

Cabinets can be refinished and have new and different style doors and drawer fronts added for a fairly reasonable (as things go) cost. Golden Oak is certainly a dated finish, most seem to prefer white or dark brown stain (and it is only one or the other, people who like the dark color hate white cabinets and vice versa so you really can’t win). Updating appliances is always a plus as is replacing laminate or tile countertops with marble or granite although realistically if you replace the appliances now then in five years they will be worn looking if not dated and you will not get the pop you are looking for. Get rid of any wallpaper. That is also viewed in a negative light no matter what the pattern. Add fancy tile backsplash. In a country kitchen people seem to want/expect a deep, broad farmhouse sink and if you are going to the expense, get a good faucet that allows pots and pans under it. Another thought (since I am spending your money here) is to add a Pot Filler Faucet either above or beside the stove (the pic is a beside the stove model).
Vinyl floor cover is out, tile or engineered wood flooring is in. Fairly inexpensive upgrage. You can also get tile that looks like wood floors and that is probably a plus for potentially a wet area such as the kitchen just make sure it blends with the rest of your home. We seem to be on a single floorcover throughout the whole home these days, at least not more than two. When we were looking our realtor took us to look at a home and warned us ahead of time that “this house had eight different floorings in it” and she was correct, it did but we were also savvy enough to know that carpet and tile are easily replaced if you don’t care for it.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

People have very different opinions. My own – don’t do a major renovation unless you want one and will enjoy the results during your remaining years in the house.

Taste is so subjective, and each prospective buyer will have his/her own reactions. Your own dream kitchen could be someone else’s nightmare; a detraction rather than a selling point. Also, even if another person loves any changes that you make, you likely won’t recoup the hefty expenses when you sell.

When the time comes to put your house on the market, you can make some superficial, modest-costing fixes – remove the wallpaper, polish the cabinets and change their hardware, and replace a stained and worn floor.

Kardamom's avatar

I wouldn’t bother to remodel. As long as your kitchen is sparkling clean when you sell, that is your best bet.

I watch a lot of home shows on HGTV, I also traipse through lots and lots of houses on my own for fun, and my cousin is a real estate agent. My relatives were looking for a house a few years back and I tagged along and looked at at least 40 houses with them.

What I have learned is that even if you have a freshly remodeled kitchen, people are very specific about the finishes they like, and will rip out perfectly lovely, brand new cabinets and granite if it’s not their taste.

But if you can put a fresh coat of paint (preferable in a nuetral color) and re-grout any tile areas and just clean everything from top to bottom, including the cabinet fronts, and the door/drawer pulls, grates on all the appliances etc, and remove all traces of “strong” cooking smells, that is your best bet.

Also, remove all clutter, and either stage your house yourself, or get a professional stager. My cousin, the real estate agent said that staged homes sell quicker than non-staged homes, and personal clutter, and odd smells are huge turn offs.

One of my friends likes to cook with strong spices. His house always has the faint scent of curry lingering in the walls, even when he isn’t cooking. It’s somewhat off putting.

janbb's avatar

@Kardamom and @Love_my_doggie That’s the way I’m leaning. I may get a new sink and countertop soon because the sink is scratched and I do need a new stove but the rest would cost a bundle and I’m not unhappy with what I have. If I get really unhappy or bored, then maybe I’ll redo it or if I decide to “age in place.”

Kardamom's avatar

@janbb. I absolutely love watching The Property Brothers show. They always do great things for the people buying old run down houses. I always like what they do. But right now, one of the brothers, Drew, is getting married and remodeling his own run down house that he and his fiance just purchased. I had to laugh, because he and his fiance have chosen all sorts of finishes that I can’t stand.

I thought it was funny that he chose lovely (my taste) finishes for other people, but his own taste was awful. I’m still enjoying watching the show, because I love Drew and Jonathan, but now my mom and I place bets on what dreadful thing they will add next. You could could make a drinking game out of it. Lol : )

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Check with your real estate agent. He/she can tell you what the hot buttons are for the area. It might help to have a residential inspector do a walk-thru with you in order to provide a list of any items that need to be addressed.

There are also websites that provide lists of what updates that can increase the value of the sale. Most pertain bringing the home being brought up to current standards and not on cosmetic concerns.

janbb's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Yes, good points. I had thought of those too.

Judy15's avatar

I would only do it if you actually want to. x

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