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Kitchen reno- your opinion as a buyer

jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

So our kitchen is all original 1956 (as you can see in the pic!). We are planning to list the house right after the wedding in 2 months. We know this kitchen has to be updated or it's going to scare everyone away and that giant built in oven does not work so we can't list it with no working oven. We are doing the remodel for as cheap as possible because of a few factors- it's only a 2 bedroom home with 1 bathroom & 1 car garage on a small lot. I'm not in NY/NJ or LA where that would be considered large- it's half the size of most homes around here. So it would be downright stupid to put a high end kitchen in this home- it would not make the home worth more and we would not get a return on it.

We are looking to make it just functional and visually appealing for a faster sale, not necessarily make the home worth more money. So here's the plan- paint the cabinets the color sample on the top right corner. The black hinges and knobs will be replaced with the silver ones that you can see on the left door. The built in oven will be removed and that will become counter top. The existing flat-top stove next to the oven will be replaced with a basic white range. (It sucks losing those cabinets under the flat top but there is more storage over where I was standing). We will get a new stainless steel sink and laminate counters that are white with a grey swirl/ design. The window will be replaced with a new white one. Haven't figured out the backsplash yet, maybe a white subway tile? No change to flooring or lighting. FI and FFIL doing the labor for free so it'll be about $1500.

So what do you think? Any suggestions welcome!

                                                                 

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Re: Kitchen reno- your opinion as a buyer

  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Sounds like you have a good plan. Just changing out those cabinets will make a big difference! One other thing you may want to consider is putting in an island. Not sure how much that would cost you to do, but as a buyer that would make a big difference to me in a small kitchen. You'd have much more counter/prep space.


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  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    What will happen to the hole where the oven currently is?  I'm assuming it will be taken out or are you putting in a new wall unit?
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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think that sounds like a good plan! And I think the cabinets are going to look really good.

  • I can't wait to see the after pictures!
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    jenna8984
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Personally I would just paint the cabinets, change out the hardware on them and leave everything else as is. As a buyer, I would rather upgrade it myself as the things you are suggesting are still going to be pretty basic. If I was going to do anything else it would be the change out the window, but it depends on whether it matches all the other windows in the house.
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    buddysmom80Peaseblossom55lizandmark2014
  • If you are just removing the built in oven and keeping the built in upper cabinet above it, would it be possible to use the cabinet doors that are currently under the stove to make a kind of small pantry instead of putting a counter there?  You would just need to add a shelf or two.  Not sure how much more storage there is behind you, but I would want more storage by the cooking area.
    jenna8984loveislouder
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    If you are just removing the built in oven and keeping the built in upper cabinet above it, would it be possible to use the cabinet doors that are currently under the stove to make a kind of small pantry instead of putting a counter there?  You would just need to add a shelf or two.  Not sure how much more storage there is behind you, but I would want more storage by the cooking area.
    Good idea about reusing the doors from under the stove.  I like storage and appliance garages.   With a plug already there it would be easy.   The cabinet under the stove might have a shelf they can reuse also.






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  • SBminiSBmini member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Your plan is solid. That kitchen is really going to hold you back when you sell it and you will definitely get $1,500 back in a refresh. And probably sell the house faster. Maybe it's a camera glare or something, but your current cabinet plan looks sort of blue/gray and stripped. Something this personal can be a turn off to buyers. I would paint the cabinets white and maybe keep the black pulls you currently have. It would give it a cute cottage look. Taking out the old stove and going with a standard oven/stove combo is also a good idea. Buyers will look at those appliances and just think about them breaking. Check out local outlet stores, you may be able to get a stainless one cheap, which will be a nice selling factor. I think it is a toss up whether or not more countertop or more storage will help you more. If there is more storage behind you, then it sounds like you have thought this through. Backsplash- I would go with something very neutral. Mosaics are super easy to put up, the ones with the little squares are so easy that you don't even need a saw! Use the adhesive mats they sell at any home improvement store and grout. The whole kitchen can be done for probably $100. Walls- if you paint the cabinets white you'll want to put a little bit of color on the walls. Keep it neutral, like a nice tan or cream. I'd pull a color out of your new countertops and stick that up. So I would definitely keep going with your plans. It's going to be money in the bank for you.
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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2014
    Great ideas! @photokitty we would love to just paint the cabinets and walk away but the oven does not work so I don't think we can list it with a non-working oven. The people would take one look at it and say "well shit, we have to rip stuff out to get a replacement oven in there" Making the existing oven space a shelf or appliance garage is a really neat idea! We are in dire need of the counter space but maybe like someone said a rolling island would help with that. downside, there actually isn't a plug/ outlet in that space. Back in the 50's they wired the oven directly to the electrical box in the basement. We have to install an outlet just for the new range lol. Talk about pain in the ass.

                                                                     

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2014
    If you have to install a new outlet for the range, it would not be hard to add another one for the oven space.  Getting the microwave off the counter will open up the space and make the counters not look as crowded.




    ETA - I like the idea of a rolling cart for extra counter space.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @sbmini Yes you are seeing correctly, the color is a light grey. The stripes are already carved into the wood so we can't change that. A lot of people in this area paint their cabinets white and I don't think it ever really looks good, so we were going something a bit different but still neutral. Plus the whole wall where I'm standing and down the hallway nearby is white wainscoting so I don't want white overload. But great idea on backsplashes!

                                                                     

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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    jenna8984 said:
    Great ideas! @photokitty we would love to just paint the cabinets and walk away but the oven does not work so I don't think we can list it with a non-working oven. The people would take one look at it and say "well shit, we have to rip stuff out to get a replacement oven in there" Making the existing oven space a shelf or appliance garage is a really neat idea! We are in dire need of the counter space but maybe like someone said a rolling island would help with that. downside, there actually isn't a plug/ outlet in that space. Back in the 50's they wired the oven directly to the electrical box in the basement. We have to install an outlet just for the new range lol. Talk about pain in the ass.
    Well that sucks. I would love to have a wall mount oven, so I hate to see that go. If you do this, have you considered it might require electrical updating and what that will cost? Once you start ripping and tearing it can uncover larger issues...
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    I personally would rather have it as is and get my own oven. I like built in ovens and natural cabinets. I think if you paint the cabinets gray, you limit buyers. The natural wood will give them the opportunity to do what they want with it. 

    theartistformerlyknownasthetimewillcomesmgold6
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Honestly, I would rather have the price of the house reflect the fact that the whole kitchen needs to be redone, rather than pay money for someone else's "cheap as possible" cosmetic upgrades. Unless you're prepared to not add a cent to the cost of the house and lose all the money you're putting into these renovations. I'd rather have something not done at all, leaving me a clean canvas to work with, than have something done halfway leaving me to have to rip out something that's "new" but not what I would have chosen or want to live with for 15 years. Maybe that's just me though.

    Maybe list the house as-is but take the $1500 you're going to spend on these renos, and offer it as cash back at closing toward new appliances so the buyers can pick out something they actually want?

    Have you gotten a Realtor's advice?

    ETA you can absolutely list a home with no working oven. Houses are sold without appliances all the time. 

    Yea...my Realtor showed us one 5 houses down from mine. It had no updates at all. She showed us comps of others in the area that were slightly updated (nothing high end) and they sold for 15k more so I'm not really prepared to take what that 1st house sold for. She recommended we do the cheap update since we have already done costly ones like new roof, new furnace, new energy efficient windows, new electrical. She said with those updates we've done, we can definitely list at what the higher comps sold for.

    (We did all those items out of necessity a few years ago, not for the sale)

                                                                     

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  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    @SBmini I covet your kitchen!


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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @sbmini True- yours looks great. Your cabinets look like they came in white though, that's a different look than having thick white paint on a cabinet. My brother's 50's house had that and it didn't look anything like yours hahah. Also it would be too white with white appliances and we already own white ones so it would be kind of silly to purchase stainless ones. :(

                                                                     

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  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Honestly, I would rather have the price of the house reflect the fact that the whole kitchen needs to be redone, rather than pay money for someone else's "cheap as possible" cosmetic upgrades. Unless you're prepared to not add a cent to the cost of the house and lose all the money you're putting into these renovations. I'd rather have something not done at all, leaving me a clean canvas to work with, than have something done halfway leaving me to have to rip out something that's "new" but not what I would have chosen or want to live with for 15 years. Maybe that's just me though.

    Maybe list the house as-is but take the $1500 you're going to spend on these renos, and offer it as cash back at closing toward new appliances so the buyers can pick out something they actually want?

    Have you gotten a Realtor's advice?

    ETA you can absolutely list a home with no working oven. Houses are sold without appliances all the time. 
    I agree. I HATE looking at houses with "new" kitchens (and the price that is reflected) that are done cheaply. I would rather pay less for the house and do it myself. Cheap remodels often come off as looking cheap and terrible.

    I think painting the cabinets would go a long way.
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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @lolo883 & sarahufl - I do agree with you when they slap up some builder basic cabinets and stainless appliances and try to market it as a 30k kitchen. But that's not our intention at all. We are just going for "Oh cute, it's not straight from 1956" like the Realtor recommended. hahah We aren't trying to fool anyone into thinking (or paying for) this is an expensive kitchen.

                                                                     

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    The more I look at the gray the less I like it.     I guess I need to know what the rest of the house looks like?






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I think it is a good idea that you are doing the kitchen.  An older house, that is half the size of most homes in your area is likely going to attract buyers that simply do not have the cash reserves to do their own kitchen remodel immediately after buying a house.  If they could afford a nice kitchen remodel, they are likely looking at bigger and/or newer houses.  

    My neighborhood has a lot of houses like yours.  The buyers that are interested are first time buyers with (relatively) modest incomes that use FSA loans with small down payments that pretty much wipe out their savings.  I was one of them.  A mortgage was cheaper than rent for an apartment, and it was easier to get a few thousand dollars more in a mortgage than it was to have a few thousand dollars cash sitting around after buying the home.  There is no way I could afford new appliances and full kitchen remodel immediately after buying my house.  Any houses that needed obvious work which couldn't wait went right off my list of options.  I was looking for exactly what you are going to offer.  A new, lower end kitchen that was functional and fine for a few years while I built my savings back up and could then remodel how I wanted.

    I also agree with others that think the cabinets should be either white or a neutral cream/beige to go with the floor. 
    jenna8984Bubblegum5586NYCMercedes
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
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    jenna8984 said:
    @sbmini Yes you are seeing correctly, the color is a light grey. The stripes are already carved into the wood so we can't change that. A lot of people in this area paint their cabinets white and I don't think it ever really looks good, so we were going something a bit different but still neutral. Plus the whole wall where I'm standing and down the hallway nearby is white wainscoting so I don't want white overload. But great idea on backsplashes!

    Agree, do NOT paint them white. Our kitchen is pretty old, thought not quite as old as yours. I would guess it's a 1970s kitchen and they painted over the cheap particle board cabinets with white paint (well, more off white) and it looks TERRIBLE. I don't know what we're going to do with them besides replacing the hardware.

    Another suggestion for the counter top - FILs tiled over their existing counter top and it actually looks pretty nice. They used the bigger tiles in neutral color and did wood trim around them (matching the cabinets). No ripping anything out and FFIL did it all himself - they have around the same amount of counter space as you do. FI and I plan on doing the same with our awful, 70's style faux-butcherblock laminate countertop.

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    jenna8984
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    lyndausvi said:
    The more I look at the gray the less I like it.     I guess I need to know what the rest of the house looks like?


    @lyndasvi LOL dammit. Maybe we should get samples of like a beige/ ivory and see what that looks like? I'm just abnormally worried about white overload because the walls over where I'm standing are white wainscoting with 3 white doors (closet, bedroom, basement) so it's a lot of white going on with no wall space available to paint a color.

    The rest of the house has gorgeous 50's hardwood floors. We have painted the trim work white and replaced the original wood doors with white paneled doors and brushed nickel knobs.The dining room, hallway, and living room are all light beige.

                                                                     

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  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    sarahufl said:
    Honestly, I would rather have the price of the house reflect the fact that the whole kitchen needs to be redone, rather than pay money for someone else's "cheap as possible" cosmetic upgrades. Unless you're prepared to not add a cent to the cost of the house and lose all the money you're putting into these renovations. I'd rather have something not done at all, leaving me a clean canvas to work with, than have something done halfway leaving me to have to rip out something that's "new" but not what I would have chosen or want to live with for 15 years. Maybe that's just me though.

    Maybe list the house as-is but take the $1500 you're going to spend on these renos, and offer it as cash back at closing toward new appliances so the buyers can pick out something they actually want?

    Have you gotten a Realtor's advice?

    ETA you can absolutely list a home with no working oven. Houses are sold without appliances all the time. 
    I agree. I HATE looking at houses with "new" kitchens (and the price that is reflected) that are done cheaply. I would rather pay less for the house and do it myself. Cheap remodels often come off as looking cheap and terrible.

    I think painting the cabinets would go a long way.
    QFT. The whole entire house that FI and I bought was done on the cheap and you can tell. In the 6 to 8 years before we sell, we're going to basically re-do everything they did (most of it small stuff) with better quality. The house looks great at a glance but once you start living there, you can see how cheaply everything was done. Drives us nuts.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    That does sounds like a lot of white. Add in the white appliances, I get it. If you go with light grey make the back splash pop with color. Something like SBmini has.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    jenna8984
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    jenna8984 said:
    @lolo883 & sarahufl - I do agree with you when they slap up some builder basic cabinets and stainless appliances and try to market it as a 30k kitchen. But that's not our intention at all. We are just going for "Oh cute, it's not straight from 1956" like the Realtor recommended. hahah We aren't trying to fool anyone into thinking (or paying for) this is an expensive kitchen.
    But inherently it is still straight from 1956. It's lipstick on a pig, and $1,500 is a lot of lipstick for a home that small. I would get a few other opinions from local Realtors on how best to spend that money, knowing these upgrades won't add value to your ultimate list price. IMO, new laminate counters and tile backsplash aren't a good place to spend it. As a buyer, I'd much rather have cash toward getting what I wanted.

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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    @nikkijay3333 Exactly!! Anyone who can afford to rip out my kitchen and do it all fancy they way they want is not in the market for my house lol. It's definitely going to be an early 20's first time buyer just like I was with no money (I had 20% but it all went to down payment). So I would have enjoyed the cheap, simple remodel when I bought it. It would have looked nicer but still been in my price range.

    @sbmini Your kitchen is what I'm looking for in my next home :)

                                                                     

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    SBmini
  • I'm not an expert, but if you can do all the work yourself and get an updated kitchen for $1500, I think you'll see at the very least see all your money and then some back. 

    I like PPs suggestions of a movable island (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80035920/). If you do the island, you'll increase your counter space and you could use the old oven area as a pantry. I like the colors and hardware you've picked. I think replacing a broken oven is a good idea. If you have a Sears Outlet around you, take a look - they have pretty inexpensive stuff due to a scratch or ding so it's majorly discounted, but if it's on the side, you wouldn't notice in your kitchen anyway. 

    Are you sure the window needs to be replaced? Could you just paint the trim white? If so, maybe you could put that money into updating the light fixture if needed. You have such a small space to replace the countertops, do you think it'd be worth it to go with a solid surface?
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