Homeowners considering a kitchen remodel might be wondering what upgrades they can make in order to improve the resale value of the property. Perhaps they want to put their home on the market right away, and are concerned that an out-dated kitchen won't meet buyer expectations; or maybe the homeower is just planning for a future sale. Either way, a kitchen remodel doesn't have to break the bank, but it can add value to a home.
The first consideration should be the budget you have to work with. Real estate writer, Stephen Jones
, warns that refinancing your home with a cash-out option may give you the cash you need to do a major overhaul of your existing kitchen, but it may not raise the value enough to match the investment. A better option may be to work within a smaller budget using cash you have on hand.
To get the most out of your remodeling dollar, you should give consideration to what local buyers are looking for. Although tastes do vary, there are a few observable trends in the Columbia Gorge area that will appeal to a wide audience of buyers.
Erin Barrett, Kitchen and Bath Designer at Adams Design Center
in The Dalles, says that one common misconception is that refacing cabinetry, or the process of replacing just the cabinet doors, will be a more affordable option than a complete cabinet overhaul.
"The doors are actually the most expensive part," Barrett says, "so it's usually better to redo the cabinets entirely using an affordable product." One way that she helps clients save money without sacrificing quality is to use RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinets. These cabinets save money because they are shipped flat and assembled upon arrival.
Barrett says that the most popular cabinet style, by far, is the Shaker style of cabinetry with its basic, recessed rectangle design. "People like it because it's versatile," Barrett says, "and it goes with almost any decor."
Many Gorge residents are opting for a modern look in their kitchen. One way to achieve a clean and modern look even in a vintage style home is with the use of quartz counter tops. Quartz is popular because it is affordable, and it mimics the look of stone with almost no maintenance.
Another tip is to keep the color palette neutral. Bright or unusual colors just don't appeal to everyone, and neutrals are easier to design around. "We're seeing a lot of grays," Barrett observed.
Replacing older appliances may not be the best bang for your redesign buck. It is almost impossible to anticipate the needs of a future buyer, so it might be best to leave the appliance upgrades to the new owner.
Looking through magazines and surfing the internet for kitchen ideas is a good place to start. If you're not the DIY type and you want to hire a designer like Barrett, having photos of what you like is a helpful place to start.
"Just ask for what you want," she advises, "and don't worry that it's unattainable on your budget."