Don’t Update Your Kitchen

Many people rush to update their kitchen when buying a new home. Though it can be tempting to rip everything out and start anew, it might be a terrible idea. According to the site Remodeling, the national average for a significant kitchen remodel over the last year was $68,490, but the resale value attributed to that kitchen was only $40,127.

Of course, if you’re not planning on reselling your house, this might not matter to you. But given dramatic shifts in the real estate market over the past few years, it might be good to keep resale value in mind.

Kitchen trends are some of the quickest to change, and to do so dramatically. For example, granite countertops were once perceived as high-end and somewhat exclusive. However, granite has become a builder-grade material sold in every large home improvement store, and can easily make a kitchen look dated. Bob Vila’s “Kitchen Trends You Might Regret” lists speckled granite second, after open shelving.

If you have an older home with original built-ins, leaving these intact can add to the old-world charm of your home. If you have a 1950s mid-century modern home with original fixtures, it might be better to sell it as-is, since original mid-century design is extremely popular right now. As mentioned above, an average kitchen remodel’s resale value is already about $17,000 less than its cost. However, if your home is a trendy and original 1950s home, and you do a new, mid-range kitchen remodel that doesn’t fit with the rest of the house, you could lose significantly more money on resale than the national average.

It’s often a better idea to focus on cleaning and modernizing the basic functioning of a kitchen rather than doing a dramatic remodel. That is, a fresh paint job, refinished floors, and the addition of a new garbage disposal and refrigerator are probably a wiser use of money than ripping out original built-ins and covering all surfaces with speckled granite.

That said, if you’re passionate about speckled granite and price is no object, don’t let us stop you from reaching for your dreams!