So you’re looking to update your kitchen, huh? Sounds great! But before you bust out the sledgehammer, let’s talk about investing in your kitchen.
I know, I know, not as much fun as daydreaming about your sparkly new countertops and stainless steel appliances, but if you consider which renovations will attract the future buyers of your home (and their wallets), you’ll be much happier in the long run. Because who doesn’t like to get a little extra bang for their buck?
Tips for Investing in Your Kitchen
THE WALLS > > >
Again, put down that sledgehammer. Consider first what a difference some paint and refinishing could do. And if you’re uncertain on the paint color, consult a stylish friend, a few interior design magazines, or even HGTV and Pinterest. Think about your neighbors, especially those who have recently moved in, and choose colors that will appeal to their demographic. Are they young or old? Hip or traditional? Trend-setting or conservative? Urban or country? And most of all, if you don’t want to repaint again further down the line, remember to choose a broadly likable and inoffensive color, not one that only seems to suit your own distinctive tastes. Avoid the neons and brights and wild wallpapers. What I’m trying to say is, think twice about that zebra print stencil . . .
CABINETS, COUNTERTOPS, AND FLOORS > > >
Again, when investing in your kitchen renovations, stick to inoffensive and preferably neutral colors if possible. Dark woods are beautiful, but may not be worth the investment depending on your area. If you want to give your cabinets a new look without spending a lot, think about replacing the knobs. But if you want to see a bigger change in your kitchen and have the money to back it up, look at ceramic tile flooring and solid surface countertops.
APPLIANCES > > >
These days, it’s stainless steel appliances all the way. If you can’t quite afford them, pick clean and modern-looking appliances that complement the rest of the space. But if you can afford stainless steel, go for it. And while you’re investing in your kitchen appliances, consider adding some special features like a glass range hood or warming drawer.
LIGHTING AND SET-UP > > >
Okay, fine. Go find that sledgehammer. Sometimes you really do need to start fresh. If you want to see a huge difference in your kitchen, consider changing its layout. Maybe your galley kitchen is too constricting, and you want to open it up to the rest of your house. Or maybe your counter-space is limited and you want to add an island for more counter-space and storage. Or, if you really want to go really big, consider adding a skylight! Your kitchen will be brightened up in no time.
BUT REMEMBER > > >
Don’t go crazy thinking that you’ll get back just how much you hoped from your kitchen remodel. Ideally, you will earn a 70% return on investment, but that number depends on a lot of different factors, from the housing market to the personal tastes of your potential buyers. And never expect more on investing in your kitchen than your house can support. If your home is worth $300,000, don’t expect to get a fantastic return when you spend $70,000 on your kitchen renovations. Don’t spend more than 6-10% of the home’s value if you want a fair return (and who doesn’t?). Unless you’re committed to dying in this house, always think of what you will happen when you sell it.
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