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5 Kitchen Upgrades that Will Boost Home Value

No matter what your budget, a kitchen remodel is sure to boost your home value. Home buyers value remodeled kitchens because of the vision they provide of life in that home. The element of staging exists to give buyers the ability to picture themselves in that space.

So, why does the kitchen evoke these same emotions? Kitchens connote togetherness, family, and joy – something that homebuyers (especially first-time ones) can’t help but associate with their purchase. And, with the average American spending 37 minutes a day in the kitchen, it’s important that this chunk of time be as enjoyable as possible.

The kitchen sets the tone for the rest of the home, and even minor upgrades will make it that much more appealing. Generally, a kitchen renovation should earn you more than an 80 percent return-on-investment (ROI) – at least if it’s done right. So, what kitchen upgrades are sure to get you the most bang for your buck?

Replace plumbing fixtures

Unsurprisingly, most of our time in the kitchen is spent prepping and cleaning. That means there’s a lot of washing involved in this one room. As such, upgrading existing plumbing fixtures can be a massive selling point.

Replace your kitchen faucet with a sleek, modern one. Delta, Moen, and Kohler all have beautiful options in different finishes – ranging from chrome to stainless steel. A single-handle faucet with a sprayer will make washing large loads of dishes that much easier. On that note, a dishwasher is an excellent addition too, and is of particular appeal to bigger families.

A tankless water heater, though not a visible plumbing fixture, also holds appeal. It’s a little more costly to install, but it’ll guarantee home buyers that their water bills will be lower. It’s also a more environmentally conscious choice, and guarantees they won’t run out of hot water again.

Throw in a backsplash

Although a cosmetic change, it still holds immense value. A backsplash allows you to throw some color into your kitchen and really spice up its overall appearance. Place it behind the sink, stove, or other major appliances where it will stand out most.

If you want to add some backsplash, but don’t necessarily have a lot to spend, there are stick-and-peel backsplash decals that look like the real thing. Granted, they probably won’t generate as much of an ROI, but they’ll certainly bring out the rest of the upgrades in the kitchen.

More significant remodeling efforts won’t make much of a difference if your walls still look worn, dirty, or old. Backdrop is everything.

Re-do the countertops

Especially if your home still has the age-old laminate or Formica countertops, it’s time for an upgrade. The countertops you choose should tie in well with your faucet and backsplash, so take your time to familiarize yourself with the many countertop materials available.

While you can invest in natural stones like granite, marble, limestone, and soapstone, there are other appealing prospects as well. Stainless steel and quartz countertops are appealing to many buyers for being so easy to clean. They’re also highly versatile, so they blend seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen’s design.

Granite or quartz are usually the go-to for those looking to make an upgrade to their countertops, without going overboard. For more high-end homes though, an upgrade to concrete or wood countertops can also be viable. Remember that practicality goes a longer way than aesthetics in this regard, however.

Paint or replace cabinetry

If you can’t afford to replace your cabinets with newer ones, then you might want to consider painting or refinishing them. Tuxedo kitchen cabinets are one of the most popular and worthwhile upgrades right now. This involves painting your upper and lower cabinets two different colors (preferably top cabinets lighter and bottom cabinets darker). Zillow shows that homes with tuxedo kitchen cabinets can sell up to $6000 more than expected.

If you’re trying to decide on the color scheme for your kitchen cabinets, keep in mind that white seems to be the preferred choice. It’s timeless and gives the kitchen a clean, bright look. You can do white on top and black on the bottom, where things are more likely to splatter on the cabinets. This gives your kitchen the tuxedo look, while still making white part of the overall theme.

Optional: Invest in some high-end appliances

Naturally, this one isn’t feasible for everyone. And, it shouldn’t be attempted if your home is valued at $300,000 or less. If you can afford to install a Viking Range or smart refrigerator, however, you should absolutely go for it.

As can be expected, high-end appliances work best in high-end homes, so you may not see a significant ROI if you have a standard, middle-class home. If you do decide to install some high-end appliances, there are six brands you can’t go wrong with:

  • Viking (known for their restaurant-quality ranges)
  • Thermador (their integrated refrigerators are a huge hit)
  • Gaggenau (contemporary, industrial style)
  • Miele
  • Sub-Zero
  • La Cornue (French, vintage-style)

No matter what upgrades you decide to tackle, just make sure you don’t leave your kitchen untouched – especially if you plan to re-sell your home in the near future. Nearly 80 percent of homebuyers label the kitchen as one of the top three most important spaces in a potential home. About 69 percent said they would have paid more for new appliances – no matter how luxurious or plain they are.

A kitchen upgrade will make you feel more at home now, and will make future residents feel more at home too. If your remodel budget is limited, let this be the one room you allocate it to.