Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

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After a successful, 12+ years run as a home staging company in San Francisco Bay Area, STAGED4MORE is now an online school that focuses on home staging education for home stagers, home sellers and real estate agents.

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4 Worthwhile Investments When Upgrading Your Kitchen

4 Worthwhile Investments When Upgrading Your Kitchen

Today’s blog post is contributed by Niv Orlian, a guest contributor. Please see the contributor’s details at the end of this post.

Upgrading your kitchen gives you a blank slate to reinvent the space the way you want it, and in a way that will ultimately add value to your home – both for you and for any potential buyers down the line. But how can you know which improvements will be worth it?

Over the years, as I’ve seen home after home remodeled, I’ve come to realize that there are 4 investments which pay off every time, both in terms of personal enjoyment and home market value. Take a look at the following list, and then talk to your kitchen remodeling contractor.

Expand the Space

When people look for a new home, they rarely walk into a place thinking “I want a smaller kitchen.” Bigger is better, and if you have the opportunity to bust out a wall and expand the overall footprint of the room, you will see a return on that investment.

The kitchens of today are utilized so much more than they were a few decades ago. While kitchens built in the 50s or 60s only needed to accommodate a single cook and a few basic cooking tools, kitchens of today are considered family gathering places, entertainment spaces, and even work spaces (think of where you write your checks, or help the kids with their homework.) In order to keep up with these increased demands, more room is required.

One of the main reasons buyers want to leave their old homes is due to the kitchen coming up short of their needs. If you want to really wow your buyers, give them a spacious and open kitchen.

High-End Appliances

Another thing buyers are often looking for is upgraded appliances. It’s safe to assume they have appliances now, and could probably list off a few ways they could be improved. If the appliances in your kitchen seem to fit those needs, it’s all the more reason for them to make an offer.

Newer, high-end appliances also give off messages of reassurance. When a buyer sees a state of the art refrigerator, he or she won’t be worried about having to replace it shortly after moving in. They also aren’t worried about it breaking down or malfunctioning when they see a respected name brand.

Go high-end on as many appliances as you can, but stick to the basics: refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, microwave. Getting any bells and whistles beyond that won’t increase the value of your home, and aren’t necessary investments.

A Chef’s Kitchen

Cooking shows are more popular than ever, and buyers will often look for the trappings of a TV kitchen when browsing homes. They are looking for things like ample counter space and storage, double ovens, appliance “lifts” (to being out the heavy stand mixer with the touch of a button), and multiple counter heights to allow for food staging and preparation.

The kitchen doesn’t have to be too busy, or include any superfluous built-ins, meaning the proofing oven and the hibachi can stay on the pages of the catalog. These won’t add any value or attract any more buyers. People want to make the best use of the space, so give them every opportunity to picture themselves living out their amateur chef dreams.

Neutral Colors

Light, neutral colors like white, cream, eggshell, etc. all help to make a space feel open, clean, and light. Kitchen cabinets cost a lot, and buyers don’t want to be looking at a super dark walnut and thinking “I’ll have to rip those out after we move in.”  Give them something they’ll love on their first visit.

Light colors act like more of a backdrop to personal self-expression. Buyers will essentially have a blank canvas on which to work, meaning they can bring more of themselves into the existing décor. That’s always a big hit.

Neutral colors can also help a space appear larger than it is, so they can give that extra boost to kitchens that can’t expand the square footage.

On average, homeowners see approximately a 70% return on investment when they renovate their kitchen. By including these 4 recommendations into your renovation, you can help guarantee that you’ll see that full 70% return, if not more.

The most important thing you can do is to think like a buyer. They want to get the most use out of the space, while also being able to personalize it. If you can offer them those opportunities, you are much more likely to sell your house for your asking price.

Author Bio: Niv Orlian is an online marketer and the Co-Founder of DO Online Marketing, a Chicago-based company that helps local businesses such as Planet Cabinets, acquire, manage, and retain local customers online.

4 Clean, Green, Affordable Home Upgrades for 2017

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