Home Renovation: Should You Do Your Kitchen or Bath?

When it comes to home renovation, kitchens and baths are usually high on the list. A renovated kitchen and/or bath could make all the difference in the world when it comes to the ultimate selling price of a home.

When it comes to doing a home renovation in NYC, the kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms that get the most consideration. Which is understandable, considering that an updated kitchen or bath can help make a home more valuable for resale. Having said that, there are some factors you should consider before you start swinging the hammer.

1. Upgrade (or update) if the comps in your area reflect updated kitchens and baths. Investigation begins at home. If you live in an apartment building where there are several units up for sale, and you’re trying to get top dollar for yours, find out if the other units’ kitchens and baths have been renovated. People are less likely to blink twice at an apartment with an updated kitchen and bath versus one where the appliances are dated. Most listings are available online, so people will be able to see which homes have renovated kitchens and baths versus ones that haven’t been touched. Don’t create a situation where buyers will be tempted to underbid.

2. Upgrade or update if your kitchen and bath are extremely outdated. Kitchens and baths that appear old and outdated can drag down the value of a home. People subconsciously think that a home with a kitchen or bath(s) that haven’t been touched is a home that hasn’t been well cared for. You don’t have to do a full-blown renovation if your budget doesn’t allow for it, but you can at least upgrade key features like fixtures, cabinetry hardware, and flooring. The goal is to make the rooms feel fresh. If you’re not going to do any upgrades, price your home accordingly.

3. Price your home renovation according to the prices in your area. If you’re going to do a renovation, make sure that your budget reflects comps in your area. The worst thing you can do is to pay for an over-the-top renovation in an area where the comps don’t support that level of investment. If you’re going to do a big budget renovation in a mid-budget area, make sure you’re doing it because you love it and not because you’re hoping to recoup some of your investment.

4. Renovate if there are structural issues or defects. If there are issues with your kitchen and bath that can affect quality of life (i.e., leaky faucets or uneven kitchen floorboards), you’ll need to do some renovation. Not doing so will make your home appear run down, dragging down the ultimate selling price.

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