Kitchens and bathrooms are often a deciding factor when it comes to home value and resale potential. People spend more time eating, socializing and gathering in the kitchen than in any other part of the home. The size, age and contents of a kitchen hold great influence over your ability to sell your home.
Making the Most of a Small Kitchen
Small kitchens that are efficient and attractive can still be of value when it comes time to sell the house. If your kitchen is undersized but delivers plenty of counter space, new high-end or well-kept appliances and a clean and functional sink, it may be enough for potential buyers to accept without a reduction in price. A kitchen that is not in its prime or comes up short in at least one of these areas can result in reduced resale value.
Placement vs. Size
A small kitchen that is well located within the home can be a net plus when assessed for resale value. Features like breakfast nooks and bar counters that separate the kitchen from an adjacent living room are positives that visually expand the kitchen space outward so that small size is less noticeable. A kitchen that stands near to a backyard entrance is a plus for those who enjoy barbecues or dining outside. In regions with warm weather, outdoor tables and patio space can extend the small indoor kitchen to the exterior of the house and raise resale value significantly.
In some cases, a major upgrade of appliances and fixtures is the best option for maximizing the resale value of a home with a small kitchen. Create the desired impact on buyers and resale value alike by choosing the brands and styles to fit the type of house and local area. As a rule, kitchen remodels should be aligned with the overall cost of the home. For example, if your home has high-end furnishings throughout but the kitchen is standard, the value will be affected. At the same time, a home that has standard appointments throughout will likely not increase in value due to the installation of a high-end kitchen.
Instead of knocking down walls and expanding your kitchen, consider trying some low-cost renovations that may have enough positive impact to eliminate any negative impact caused by room size. Install a new countertop to freshen up the kitchen and add a bit of workable space. Change out the doorknobs and handles on your cabinets to create a new look without the new price. Remove old light fixtures and place more modern features in their place and apply a new coat of brightly colored paint to create the illusion of a larger space while increasing the room's appeal. Together these few steps can increase the impact and improve the resale value of a kitchen on the smaller side.
Although small kitchens may drive down resale value for some buyers, they do not affect all buyers in the same way. Bachelors, couples who don't cook often or at all and career-oriented people without large families are less likely to require a large, top-of-the-line kitchen. Market your property to the right audience and with the right approach to attract the buyers who will not find fault with a small kitchen. If you match up the right buyers with the right property, you can maximize your resale value.
- The Daily Telegraph: Phil Spencer's Top 20 Ways to Add Value to Your Home
- The Washington Post: Kitchens Becoming More Colorful as owners forget about resale
- Real Estate ABC: Buying a Home With Resale Value - The House
- CBS News: Does a Kitchen Remodel Still Boost Resale Value?
- The Wall Street Journal: Freshening the Kitchen for Resale
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.