Now that the recession is behind us and the housing market is stabilizing, we’re gradually moving into a real estate seller’s market. After years of having to take a loss or walk away from your mortgage in order to get out of your house, now selling your home for the amount you paid (or more) is becoming a reality again.
The trick is getting your home into the kind of shape that makes a buyer want to shell out the money you need to get out of it. Anyone who knows peanuts about the real estate market will tell you the greatest factor that attracts buyers to a home is the kitchen design, closely followed by the bathroom design.
If your home’s layout and design are outdated, the best way to bump up the value and get home buyers eager to give you their money is to invest in at least a minor kitchen remodeling. Key features that give you the most bang for your buck include:
- An Island
If your kitchen has the space, having an island adds a great “Wow!” factor to home buyers. Not only does it give an otherwise outdated space a more modern feel, a kitchen island adds functionality through additional counter space and storage. Because the cost of adding a kitchen island is relatively low, it’s a great area to add extras to. Think of incorporating self-closing drawers, and high quality hardware. This is a simple add-on that will dazzle perspective buyers.
- Opening it Up
Did you skim past the previous point because your kitchen is the size of a smart car? If your kitchen is closed off and doesn’t have the space for an island, it might be worth the trouble to knock out a wall and open the space up. As long as the wall you need to remove is not load-bearing, the cost and effort associated with removing a wall is surprisingly low. Opening it up gives your home an immediate modern feel. Creating an open-concept floor plan maximizes the spaciousness of even a small home, and it is a feature that most millennial-age home buyer’s look for.
- Investing in a Custom Cabinetry Design
Even if you aren’t ready to sell, spending the money on a custom cabinetry design is a great way to build a space that perfectly meets your needs. Unlike cutting edge appliances, a custom cabinetry design maintains its value long after your refrigerator becomes obsolete or breaks. When you’re trying to sell your home, the value added by having custom cabinetry designs gives the entire house a feeling of being high quality; likewise, having cheap and dilapidated cabinets gives the opposite impression to perspective buyers.
- Dressing it Up
If your renovation budget is too conservative to do any of the aforementioned updates, sometimes you can do wonders with a few aesthetic improvements. Simply remodeling kitchen cabinets by stripping the finish and adding a dark gel stain can bring 1980s-era cabinets into this decade. Adding nice hardware makes it look high-end, without the cost. Installing a nice tile back-splash is an inexpensive home improvement project that will do wonders for the look and feel of your kitchen. Sometimes it just takes a fresh coat of paint to bring your kitchen back to its prime again.
A good kitchen reno does wonders for selling a home, but doing it wrong can have a negative impact. Make sure you avoid these mistakes:
- Getting too trendy. The more blatant the update, the more obvious it will be when it goes out of style. Think of the mirror wall craze of the 1970s.
- Going overboard. If the homes in your neighborhood sell for $200,000 and you spend $100,000 on renovations, you’re going to struggle to sell it for 150% of the area value to get your investment back.
- Not measuring twice and thrice. As the saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” Or as we like to say, “Measure twice, save yourself thousands of dollars of rework because your stove is one inch wider than the cabinets allow for.”