Whether you’re planning upgrades in preparation for putting your home on the market or prioritizing your list of upgrades for your first fixer-upper, it can be tricky to decide whether or not to heavily invest in any one room of your home. Most homeowners are working within tight financial parameters, and sometimes the list of upgrades one could make seems endless.
Kitchen remodels, however, are almost always a wise investment. As the modern home’s “family room” where families gather to eat, socialize, and plan their lives, kitchens have a major impact on a home’s marketability. As a rule, a home with a fresh, fully modern kitchen will easily fetch a significantly higher price than a comparable home with a shabby or outdated one.
Is this year the best time for you to upgrade your kitchen? Use this guide if you want help figuring out if you’re seriously due for a kitchen remodel or just suffering from a common case of Instagram-induced kitchen envy.
1.) Your kitchen shows clear signs of wear and tear.
It’s impossible for any room as well-used as a kitchen to stay gleaming and perfect forever, but if you look around your kitchen and notice cracks, leaks, discolorations or stains, mold, or areas that are impossible to clean, it’s time to schedule some upgrades.
Prospective buyers and visitors to your home are going to be rapidly turned off by visible signs of disrepair or neglect, so make sure your dedication to keeping your home sparkling is unflagging, especially in your kitchen.
2.) Your appliances are outdated, damaged, or mismatched.
A new set of matching appliances will instantly give your kitchen a lift. Prospective buyers (and frankly even discerning dinner guests) are going to be turned off by stained or damaged appliances, so if this describes your situation, prioritize upgrades.
While replacing mismatched or outdated appliances isn’t an emergency, doing so will undeniably give your kitchen an instant “facelift.” In fact, if your kitchen is otherwise neutral, clean, and in good condition, a gleaming set of new appliances may be all you need to be market-ready.
3.) Your kitchen is obviously dated, and it’s dragging down both the perceived and actual value of your home.
Older homes tend to have kitchens that reflected the aesthetics of the time in which they were built. If your home is intentionally retro or vintage, this is a good thing, but in an otherwise modern home, aggressively dated kitchens can read as cheap or out of touch in the best case, and downright dangerous in the worst case.
Make sure your kitchen is working for you by enhancing the value of your home; anything less is a missed investment opportunity.
4.) Your kitchen is the reason you don’t cook.
This one is clear-cut. You may be short on cabinet space, counter space, or be suffering with an awkward layout, but if your kitchen itself is the number one reason you hate cooking, you need to make some changes.
If you formerly loved to cook, but you now find yourself daydreaming about moving walls, mounting cabinets, and relocating your awkward kitchen island, a complete overhaul will enhance your quality of life and—provided you like to make healthy meals—could actually help you live longer.
If you’re putting your house on the market, realize that buyers will walk through and try to envision themselves working in your kitchen. If you hate trying to make meals, it’s likely that potential buyers will notice the same flaws you do and be reluctant to pay top dollar for your home.
If you can make some straightforward changes that would solve issues of storage or flow, we recommend doing so before you attempt to sell your home.
5.) Your kitchen is a nightmare to clean.
Extensive amounts of fine grout (or even a small section of deep grout), textured paint, shabby, peeling or grooved flooring are all common culprits, but whatever form your kitchen cleaning woes take, you know it with certainty when you’re facing a kitchen that’s almost impossible to clean.
If this describes your situation, you truly are authorized for an emergency kitchen upgrade. As it turns out, a kitchen that isn’t easy to clean is going to harbor harmful germs and bacteria. Kitchens present a serious health hazard when they can’t be fully disinfected.
If you’re going to keep living in your home, get those surfaces replaced or repaired. You deserve to be rewarded for the time you invest in your chores with the satisfaction of a kitchen that’s truly clean, and everyone needs a clean food prep space.
Prospective buyers don’t want a dirty, depressing kitchen, either! If you’re planning to put your house on the market, it’s imperative that you make sure it will be clean, sparkling, and appear relatively low-maintenance for the home cook.
The process of remodeling or upgrading your kitchen is going to be inconvenient, loud, messy, and expensive, but in terms of both life improvements and bang for your buck when it’s time to sell, there are very few areas of your home where you’ll be more richly rewarded for your investment. Take a deep breath and keep focused on your goal: a clean, modern kitchen that’s a joy to use and maintain!