The kitchen clincher

You want to sell your house for as high a price as possible, right? You’ll do whatever it takes to increase the value of your home. But what exactly does it take?
It’s common knowledge that bathrooms and kitchens can be the clinchers when it comes to sealing the deal on selling your home, but it doesn’t mean you have to add a brand new kitchen or completely remodel your bathroom to win over people who want to buy your house.
Fact. A new kitchen only adds an average of about £4500 to your home’s value, even if it cost £15,000 to install (that can obviously go up and down pro rata, so you do the math) – depending on how many bells and whistles you add and whether you’re going to do it yourself or get it professionally fitted. For another, personal tastes and styles differ widely, so your idea of the perfect kitchen might not agree with prospective buyers’ ideas of style. You could spend a fortune fitting a new kitchen only for the new owners to rip it out and start again. Then there is the fact that your kitchen might actually be pretty decent, with only a few cosmetic touches required to give it a modern, contemporary design.

So instead of buying a brand new kitchen, why not buy and install some new kitchen cupboards. New cabinets will give your kitchen an instant facelift and they’re not very expensive to install. You can also change your kitchen’s old countertops for something in a high-gloss finish for a fresh new feel. Even a lick of paint can transform your kitchen from drab to fab. Be careful when choosing colours though; it’s best to choose neutral colours that will provide a blank slate for new owners, or to choose harmless cheery colours that house hunters are unlikely to object to.
When you show your house, make sure that all the kitchen surfaces are free of clutter, that all the dishes have been put away and that it’s spotlessly clean.
You can do most of the cosmetic repairs yourself – there are even DIY kitchen kits that you can install yourself if you have your heart set on a new kitchen but want to save costs. Just make ensure that you have the skills necessary to do a good job because a shoddy job that looks cheap and nasty will definitely bring down your house’s price when it comes time to sell. If you’re not sure what you need to do to your house to increase its value, contact an estate agent for advice. No one knows what sells on the housing market like a property expert. Be realistic. If you decide to go ahead, it should be because you want to create a better home environment for yourself and your family, not because you are relying on a new kitchen to add significant value to your home. But remember that too “quirky” a style, which appeals to your taste, could put off future buyers.

Plan your expenditure. Most people now budget for about £10,000 to create a new kitchen, but you don’t have to spend anything like that if you are just looking to refresh the decorations and make some smaller changes. Replacing the doors on your current kitchen cabinet, changing the layout, upgrading your cooker, will all improve your enjoyment of your kitchen space without costing a fortune. Be creative. Whilst built-in kitchens are still the most popular option, free-standing kitchen furniture is becoming increasingly popular. The advantage of introducing some free-standing elements is that you can use them to create additional storage but also as interesting features in a kitchen. An antique plate-rack, or an old pine corner cupboard, can add to the attractiveness of the room, and best of all – you can take them with you when you move.
With estate agents citing a new kitchen as the most popular home improvement, it’s wise to realise that if you decide to upgrade it may make your home more saleable, but it’s unlikely to increase the value of your home enough to cover the cost. But just think how much enjoyment you will get from a beautiful new kitchen, designed just as you want it.

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