Kitchen cabinets being installed during a restoration project

The kitchen is often referred to as the “heart of the home” and for good reason. It’s the hub of the home where families and friends gather to eat, socialize and create memories. It makes sense, then, that the kitchen would be the focal point for any buyer looking to purchase your property. If you’re planning on selling your home, making upgrades to the kitchen can improve your property value and may speed up the sale process. But not all upgrades pay off.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

While a renovated kitchen can increase the value of your Austin home, you won’t get a large return on your investment if you do a complete renovation just before selling. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report, a minor midrange kitchen remodel in the Austin area costs about $21,870, and an upscale major kitchen remodel can cost about $128,995. A minor midrange kitchen remodel provides you with the highest return on investment, at around 78.5 percent, while a major upscale kitchen remodel comes in with a lower return on investment, generally around 55.9 percent.

The general rule is that the less money spent upgrading the kitchen before resale, the better. Your goal is to achieve a new look without overspending or upgrading too much. The following renovations and upgrades can help you add the most value to your kitchen.

Less is More

The best way to reap the greatest value for your remodeling effort is to work with the kitchen layout you currently have. Moving walls, plumbing and electrical lines is costly. Instead, focus on making more affordable tweaks that’ll make the kitchen more modern and workable. For example, could you change the size, shape or orientation of the island to create a more open space? Could you replace a peninsula with a new island, thereby improving workflow?

Invest in Energy-Efficient, Coordinating Appliances

Gleaming new appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified directly boost the home’s “wow factor” and help buyers save money — all of which could provide the nudge they need to make an offer.

Consistency is also important when it comes to boosting your home’s value with new appliances. Appliances should all be the same finish (stainless steel is still popular) and should complement the style and appearance of the rest of the home. To maximize your financial investment, ask if there’s an opportunity for a discount if you bundle multiple appliances in one purchase.

Install New Countertops

Countertops set the tone for the entire kitchen, so using stylish, updated materials easily adds value to your home. Buyers are looking for a durable, solid-surface worktop. If you have dated laminate countertops, now is the time to upgrade. While granite is always a popular choice, quartz is another option that’s gaining popularity. Quartz is an engineered stone that’s durable, requires less maintenance and can mimic the look of any material or stone.

Give Your Cabinets a Makeover

Far less expensive than replacing cabinets completely or even replacing the door fronts, painting your cabinets can go a long way toward giving your kitchen a fresh, new look. White or soft gray shades are both popular and timeless choices that’ll have broad appeal to home buyers. These hues also give your space a light and open feel.

Add new hardware (the type of finish you choose ultimately depends on your kitchen’s style) and your affordable transformation is complete.

Make a Splash with a New Backsplash

No longer just to protect walls from spatters and spills, an upgrade to your kitchen backsplash is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to breathe new life into your kitchen. The backsplash should showcase the color scheme and theme of your kitchen, whether contemporary or traditional.

Let There Be Light

Swapping out any outdated light fixtures is a key feature in creating a bright, welcoming space that buyers will love. There are plenty of lighting options to create an illuminated functional space that conveys style. A well-lit kitchen includes task lighting (targeted illumination for accomplishing tasks), accent lighting (to draw attention to architectural details and other points of interest in the kitchen) and ambient lighting (brings diffuse brightness to the whole room).

Replace Worn Flooring

Hardwood is king when it comes to resale value. It’s the floor that buyers look for when they’re house shopping, but it isn’t cheap. You can opt for less expensive flooring that has the wood look, such as vinyl and porcelain tile, which can carry lower price tags.

If you’re thinking about selling your Austin home and have any questions about how a kitchen renovation project could impact the value of your home, contact a member of our team. Our professionals have an understanding of the products, technologies and design choices that are in demand when it comes to adding value to your kitchen, and ultimately your home.