Is a new kitchen the answer to increasing the value of your house and selling for as much as possible? Property experts Tepilo explore.
You want to sell your house for as high a price as possible, right? You’ll do whatever it takes to increase the value of your home. But what exactly does it take? Does it take a new kitchen? Not necessarily, according to property experts.
Kitchens and bathrooms are commonly recognised as two of the biggest selling points in a home, but that doesn’t mean you have to add a brand new kitchen or completely remodel your bathroom to win over people who want to buy your home.
Reasons not to add a new kitchen
For one thing, a new kitchen only adds an average of about £4500 to your home’s value, whereas it will cost approximately £15,000 to install – depending on how many bells and whistles you add and whether you’re going to do it yourself or get it professionally fitted.
For another, personal tastes and styles differ widely, so your idea of the perfect kitchen might not agree with prospective buyers’ ideas of style. You could spend a fortune fitting a new kitchen only for the new owners to rip it out and start again.
Then there is the fact that your kitchen might actually be pretty decent, with only a few cosmetic touches required to give it a modern, contemporary design.
Finally, there are other areas of your home that could benefit more from some tender loving care, like the exterior walls, the roof or the plumbing.
Great alternatives to a complete kitchen renovation
Instead of buying a brand new kitchen, you can simply buy and install some new kitchen cupboards. New cabinets will give your kitchen an instant facelift and they’re not very expensive to install. You can also change your kitchen’s old countertops for something in a high-gloss finish for a fresh new feel. Even a lick of paint can transform your kitchen from drab to fab. Be careful when choosing colours though; it’s best to choose neutral colours that will provide a blank slate for new owners, or to choose harmless cheery colours that house hunters are unlikely to object to, like sunny yellow.
When you show your house, make sure that all the kitchen surfaces are free of clutter, that all the dishes have been put away and that it’s spotlessly clean.
Outside of the kitchen, you can safely spend money on painting the exterior (or just give it a thorough clean) and ensuring that your roof is sound. You should fix all the cracks (outside and in), make sure all your doors and windows open and close easily and that all your doorknobs and cupboard handles are in good condition.
If you have carpets, now is the time to get them steam cleaned. If you have wooden floors it might be a good idea to have them professionally polished. Make sure that your house is structurally sound and if it isn’t, make it so.
You can do most of the cosmetic repairs yourself – there are even DIY kitchen kits that you can install yourself if you have your heart set on a new kitchen but want to save costs. Just make ensure that you have the skills necessary to do a good job because a shoddy job that looks cheap and nasty will definitely bring down your house’s price when it comes time to sell.
If you’re not sure what you need to do to your house to increase its value, contact an estate agent for advice. No one knows what sells on the housing market like a property expert.
- Be realistic. If you decide to go ahead, it should be because you want to create a better home environment for yourself and your family, not because you are relying on a new kitchen to add significant value to your home. But remember that too "quirky" a style, which appeals to your taste, could put off future buyers.
- Think space. The most frequently cited reason for people looking to move is to have more space. Bigger rooms topped the list of the most important criteria when shopping for a new home, according to a survey of 2,000 homeowners by ratedpeople.com. So when planning a new kitchen review your living space – are there opportunities to create a different and lighter feel? Few people use a separate dining room any more – modern family life tends to take place in the living and kitchen areas. If you have a dining room in your house, think about creating a larger kitchen/dining area as part of any change
- Plan your expenditure. Most people now budget for about £10,000 to create a new kitchen, but you don't have to spend anything like that if you are just looking to refresh the decorations and make some smaller changes. Replacing the doors on your current kitchen cabinet, changing the layout, upgrading your cooker, will all improve your enjoyment of your kitchen space without costing a fortune
- Be creative. Whilst built-in kitchens are still the most popular option, free-standing kitchen furniture is becoming increasingly popular. The advantage of introducing some free-standing elements is that you can use them to create additional storage but also as interesting features in a kitchen. An antique plate-rack, or an old pine corner cupboard, can add to the attractiveness of the room, and best of all – you can take them with you when you move. With estate agents citing a new kitchen as the most popular home improvement, it's wise to realise that if you decide to upgrade it may make your home more saleable, but it's unlikely to increase the value of your home enough to cover the cost. But just think how much enjoyment you will get from a beautiful new kitchen, designed just as you want it.
This information was provided to you by Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk).
- Paint the kitchen cabinets.
It would be too costly to go out and purchase new cabinets just before you sell. But you and your real estate agent despise the old knotty pine or dark grain cabinets from 20 years ago. A quick fix is to paint them white. It will make the kitchen appear lighter, brighter and cleaner. A fresh coat of paint will give the appearance of new, which will appease many buyers. This can be done in one or two days’ time for just a few hundred dollars.
- Put some new hardware on the kitchen cabinets.
After you’ve brightened up the kitchen with some new paint, throw on some brushed nickel cabinet door hardware. This hardware with the new white paint in the backdrop will make the kitchen pop. Buyers’ eyes may be drawn away from the older counter tops or appliances. And, given that the cabinets are at or just above eye level, the hardware may be the first thing they notice in the kitchen. You can buy new hardware for just a few dollars and install them yourself.