One of the best ways to invest in your home is by upgrading the kitchen. A kitchen remodeling project will not only have a positive impact on the value of your home but will also make your home more attractive to prospective buyers, which means more people seeing your home in-person and more offers.
Among all the home upgrades you can make before selling your home, kitchen remodels have the highest return-on-investment. In this article, we’ll explore why that is, what parts of your kitchen you should prioritize, and how you can maximize your value prior to listing.
Boost both your value and curb appeal
If you’re planning on selling your home in the next 12 months, you’re no doubt interested in maximizing your home’s value. After all, you want the best-possible return as a reward for your patience in slowly building equity. However, the flipside of that equity is that quite a few years have passed since you originally purchased your home; even more may have passed since the home was originally built. If you haven’t kept up with upgrades, your home may have fallen behind the rest of the market.
Why you should upgrade your kitchen
This is arguably most true in the kitchen, where design changes and standards have changed drastically over the past decade alone. Your kitchen has an outsized impact on your home’s overall value. Consequently, any upgrades you invest in your kitchen remodel project will have some of the best ROI of any project in your home.
The new curb appeal
The idea of “curb appeal” originated long before the internet, when buyers and realtors often had their first look at your home from the curb. However, home listing sites like Zillow and others have created the need for digital curb appeal. It’s in these listings that your home needs to make a good first impression that will lead to the prospective buyer looking at your home in-person.
A new kitchen helps with this, too. Many buyers are looking for an upgraded kitchen in their next home and will immediately swipe past homes that don’t have one. Even if they keep your home in consideration, those prospective buyers might not be willing to pay above asking price for your property if they are already going into the buying process knowing they’ll have to pay to upgrade the kitchen.
Focus first on cabinets and countertops
Buyer expectations have changed significantly over the past decade. Stone countertops were once a luxury meant for high-end homes in uber-desirable neighborhoods. Upgraded, tall cabinets were once an extra feature and a sign that the current homeowner put a great deal of time and money into the kitchen. That’s all changed: today, new countertops and cabinets are in more homes than ever, which means buyers have come to see them—and the upgraded kitchen—as the baseline by which they judge all the homes they look at.
If you’re planning your kitchen remodel, prioritize new cabinets and countertops and plan to spend much of your budget on these two facets of your project. They’re a highly visual part of the upgraded kitchen, and you’ll get the most bang-for-your-buck by investing your remodeling dollars in them.
Find the intersection of quality and price. You don’t have to buy the most expensive countertops for a home you’re planning on selling, but you also shouldn’t settle for non-stone materials or cheaply made granite and quartz.
Add ventilation and cooling
Most homeowners do not think about their air conditioner or ductwork when working on a kitchen remodel. But, improving the ventilation and comfort of the kitchen could actually be a big difference-maker if you’re aiming to remodel your kitchen to stand out from the rest.
Here’s our best tips:
Breathe in that fresh air
A poorly ventilated kitchen is a smelly, smoky place where foul odors become trapped and mix with whatever is being cooked. In other words, not a great place to be or to cook. If you’re doing an extensive remodel of the kitchen that includes opening up walls, consider adding additional ventilation to help future owners quickly clear smoke and odors. This will help make the kitchen a much more appealing place to be, and that ventilation will appeal to experienced home cooks when you show off the home.
It goes without saying, too, that a kitchen with windows has a much-improved ventilation situation than a kitchen without. If your kitchen is on an exterior wall but features no windows or natural light, you might want to weigh the benefits of adding in a window. Nothing brings a kitchen to life quite like natural light—it’s the perfect complement to new countertops and cabinets.
Beat the heat
A busy kitchen is a hot kitchen. Especially in the summer, the combined heat of bright lights, a hot stove, an oven, and people busy moving from one dish to the next can mean that your kitchen is sweltering, no matter what temperature the thermostat is set to. In many cases, that’s due to poor ductwork design: the cooled air cannot get from the blower to the kitchen in sufficient quantities to cool down the space.
Talk to your local HVAC professionals about your options for getting more air conditioning into the kitchen to help cool things down when the party heats up. One great option might be a ductless air conditioning setup, which would allow you to supplement the cooling provided by your home’s air conditioner. If your prospective buyers are planning on spending a lot of time in the remodeled kitchen, this might be a tipping point that convinces them that your home is the right purchase for them.
The small details matter
You’ll probably spend the most money on kitchen countertops, cabinets, and flooring. However, don’t forget about these small changes you can make to modernize your kitchen without spending a small fortune:
- Replace Older Appliances: If you have an older range or dishwasher, upgrade to a new model that matches the rest of your upgraded kitchen. An aging stove top will look out-of-place next to fresh quartz countertops.
- Lighting: Switch out any fluorescent lighting or lighting panels for sconce lighting or recessed ceiling lights. If your kitchen features an island or a bar, consider hanging pendant-style lights over it for an extra touch of class. You’d be shocked at how much proper illumination changes a kitchen—especially one that doesn’t get a ton of natural light.
- Pulls & Handles: You’ll have your choices when you have new cabinets installed. Don’t settle for the cheapest on the list. Invest in good drawer and cabinet handles that match the overall aesthetic style of your kitchen. Don’t lose sight of functionality, however! Chances are, one of the first things buyers will do when they get into your kitchen is attempt to open drawers and kitchen cabinets.
- Paint: Repaint your kitchen with a neutral color that complements your choices in countertops, cabinets, and floors.
Ready to start your kitchen remodel? Talk to the kitchen renovation experts at MLM Incorporated. Their design professionals can help you plan a kitchen remodel that fits within your budget and boosts your home’s value. They are an award-winning home construction specialist with a proven track record and portfolio of successful kitchen projects throughout Louisiana. The team at MLM Incorporated can help you find the right countertops, cabinets, ventilation, and more for your new kitchen.
When you’re ready to bring your kitchen vision to life, call them for a quote.
Get a kitchen that pays off
By making smart decisions with your kitchen remodeling budget, you can get the best-possible ROI on your project and reap the rewards when you list your home. An upgraded kitchen can help you draw in offers above your asking price, attract more buyers, and even start a bidding war over your property. Talk to your realtor about what the local home market is like, and then get started on transforming your kitchen by talking to a local design expert.
Katy Peterson is the communications specialist at Southern Air Heating and Cooling, a professional HVAC and plumbing repair company in northern Louisiana. Katy has been in the industry for almost ten years and enjoys writing about topics that homeowners keep their home repair at minimum expense.