If I had a nickel for every time someone (friend, stranger, client) asked me if they should renovate their kitchen, I'd be a much wealthier woman. Of course, there is no definitive answer, so it ultimately depends on the reason for a renovation. Will it make you happier? Can you afford it? Than my answer is almost always "yes" do it, but do it wisely: Hire a professional, make a budget, and stick to it. However, if your plan is to "flip" the house be very careful because you may not recoup the cost.
Boston Magazine's March issue makes the argument for and against. The takeaway is that if you want to sell a house quickly, an updated kitchen will certainly help, and if your kitchen is out-dated plan to price it to sell or expect to sell it for less than asking. Read the article here:
Boston Magazine "Kitchen Renovation" article
Zillow.com addresses the question, "Should I remodel before selling" and offers some good advice:
1. Go to open houses for "remodeled homes." Think about the asking price and try to imagine how much less the sales price would be without the remodels. Remember that the idea is to sell your house as quickly as possible at the highest possible price. And the point is to make a profit! If all your profits are eaten up in remodeling costs, you've missed the opportunity to make money on your home.
2. In general, it's a bad idea to go into significant debt to remodel, especially if you're about to buy another home. If you take out a large loan to remodel it may hurt your credit rating and your ability to borrow for your new home.
3. Some remodels may be necessary just to make your house competitive in your market. If you own an older home that was built with only one bathroom, consider adding a small powder room. Other older homes in your price bracket that are on the market are likely to have added bathrooms.
4. If you do any remodeling at all, make it modest, and stylistically neutral. Select standard white porcelain toilets and sinks, and stick with faucets and towel racks that are nicely designed but not flashy. And of course, paint the room off-white. Remember, you want to appeal as many people as possible who tour your home.
Read the full article here: "Remodel Before Selling?"
Also, check out This Old House for tips on allocating your kitchen renovation budget: "Read This Before You Remodel a Kitchen" article.
If you need some luxury inspiration, SothebysRealty.com offers Extraordinary angles Inspired by....Kitchens. Click Here to enjoy some kitchen eye candy.
If you're still wondering if a renovation makes sense for your house, contact me to see if the comps in your neighborhood would a support the cost of your kitchen renovation.
Maria Romero Vagnini
I am a Realtor with Mathieu Newton Sotheby's International Realty, working with buyers and sellers in suburban Boston's Metrowest communities.