Homeowners who plan to relocate often consider making property upgrades before placing their homes on the market. After years of homeownership, sellers want to feel satisfied with the resale values of their homes. One way to improve the return on their investments is by remodeling outdated home features. Kitchen remodels are one of the most expensive home improvement projects and therefore renovated kitchens are a major draw for buyers.


Although sellers want their properties to appeal to buyers, the cost of construction is typically more expensive than the value add to the price of the home. According to Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, only 9 percent of home improvement projects throughout the last year increased home values by more than the cost of the upgrades.

So, should sellers make home improvements before listing their homes? In most cases, it’s not cost-effective. House-flippers are an exception; they purchase extremely low-cost properties and make rapid, large-scale, low-budget upgrades for profit. However, homeowners often justify the value of expensive remodels by making upgrades during their residency. If kitchen upgrades improve their own lifestyles during years of homeownership, then the added benefit of increased resale value is advantageous.

Project Scale

Mid-range or lower-cost projects have better returns than higher-scale projects. Besides a slight preference to upscale bathrooms over midrange bathrooms, it’s more cost-effective for sellers to invest in less expensive improvements. In addition, less expensive improvements are more affordable for sellers and generally create less stylized final products. These simple canvases allow home shoppers to visualize their own belongings and personal style in the spaces, making the upgraded rooms more appealing to buyers.

Highest Value Kitchen Projects

Costs for kitchen remodels add up quickly because they include numerous appliances, woodwork and stone slabs. Many buyers take this into consideration and look for properties with upgraded kitchens to avoid the remodel work themselves. The cost of buying a home is expensive, and taking on the burden of remodeling can be daunting and out of budget. Home sellers looking to impress home shoppers and keep costs low should invest in mid-range kitchen remodels.

Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel

The most cost-effective kitchen upgrade is the minor, midrange remodel. These projects cost the homeowner an average of $18,856 and improve their homes’ values by $15,585. Minor remodels include updating the current layouts versus demolishing the spaces and starting fresh. Sellers should keep their current cabinet boxes but replace the fronts with wood doors and drawers. Opt for energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Midrange remodels include mid-priced replacements such as new laminate countertops, affordable flooring, sinks, faucets and hardware. Lastly, repaint and stage the space before listing the home. These remodels recoup 82.7 percent of construction costs, an improvement from last year’s 75.4 percent.

Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel

The next most valuable kitchen upgrade is the midrange major kitchen remodel. The midrange remodel includes the same quality level of products, but major refers to a larger scale of improvements. The average cost of these remodels is $54,909, increasing home values by $40,732. In addition to the replacements in the minor kitchen remodel, these kitchens include an island, double-tub stainless-steel sink, proper ventilation system for cooking and custom built-in appliances and lighting. Major remodels are finished with fresh wall and ceiling paint, molding and staging. Midrange major kitchen remodels recoup 74.2 percent of their costs, up from 68.9 percent in 2013.

Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel

Lastly, upscale major kitchen remodels provide cost recuperation of 63.6 percent. Though it’s improved since last year’s 59.7 percent recoup, it’s still the least cost-effective of the kitchen remodels. These remodels cost $109,935 on average with a home value increase of $69,973. Upscale remodels consist of higher-quality features such as custom built-ins and designer appliances. Replacements include custom cherry cabinets, stone countertops, glass backsplashes, trending cork flooring and cherry wood molding. Appliances include high-end, built-in ranges with ventilation hoods, energy-efficient refrigerators, faucets with water filtration, trash compactors and custom task lighting.

Before remodeling, sellers must evaluate the current condition of their homes, how outdated their kitchens are and how much they’re willing to spend on upgrades. The sooner homeowners invest in kitchen remodels, the longer they’ll experience the lifestyle value addition, making the resale value increase a more beneficial gain.

A professional post fro By Tali Wee of Zillow

Image source – Zillow Diggs

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