Why Real Estate Agents Wish You Wouldn’t Get Distracted by Outdated Kitchens | Apartment Therapy
Just because a kitchen is outdated, that doesn’t mean it’s going to cost a fortune to update. Take stock of what’s there and see if you need a gut renovation or just a facelift, says agent Steven Gottlieb of Warburg Realty. Generally cosmetic changes won’t be that big a deal, but “if the kitchen needs to be completely gutted, then the buyer should really think about whether they have the bandwidth for this,” Gottlieb says.
That means it can get uncomfortable or frustrating when a kitchen isn’t laid out the way that works best for your family. If you need to completely change the layout or size, de Jong says, it would probably be more cost-effective to walk away. That being said, though, she also notes “remodeling a kitchen is one of the smartest investments you can make,” so it may be worth the extra cost anyway.
All the agents we interviewed agreed that some minor cosmetic changes can make a big difference in an outdated kitchen. You could replace the cabinet doors or paint them (after all, Gottlieb says, “they’re just wooden boxes”), you could update the backsplash or countertops (de Jong says faux stone is a great option), you could add an accent wall or change the cabinet hardware. For a slightly higher investment, but still much lower than overhauling the kitchen completely, change out the lighting, update the floors, or get new appliances.
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