The Popp Report – Kitchens & Bathrooms

New stylish kitchen with small dining room

What are the two most important rooms in a house?

Kitchens & Bathrooms

As we continue our tour through a home, we are considering putting on the market for sale; it’s time to discuss the two most important rooms in the house kitchens and bathrooms. Upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms with simple changes can transform the look of your home without a complete remodel. Before any update, it is best to consider the significant cost benefits. How much should you spend, and how much value does this add? Good numbers to know the kitchen holds approximately 10 – 15 percent of a home’s value, the main bathroom carries 10 percent. We do not recommend that you spend this amount, but it is essential to keep in mind the cost of these spaces when it comes to a refresh or a remodel.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the rooms buyers most closely inspect (and judge) in a house. A well-appointed kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so it’s worth spicing up to grab the buyers attention. The same holds true for the bathrooms, especially the main bath. A sparkling main bath with clean lines and a spa-like feel will charm open-house-goers with modern upgrades like his and her vanities and a soaking tub.

Do your homework if surrounding homes have tidy, simple kitchens, then your home should as well. If granite is the local flavor, upgrade similarly. Just because you loved your rooster-themed wallpaper border doesn’t mean buyers will too. Appeal to the masses when planning updates.

New kitchen with bright furniture and flowers

A kitchen upgrade can range from a weekend-long, low budget brush-up (paint and new cabinet hardware) to a full-blown overhaul (with tens of thousands spent on granite countertops and luxury appliances).

Either way, the goal is to make your home look as lovely and liveable as possible without wasting money, overinvesting, and ultimately creating a space that is out of place among the rest of the properties in your neighborhood.

Make the most of what you’ve got. If your kitchen is looking worn and dated, you may be able to salvage some of the basic structure. Keep the main elements and simply improve the rest with a cost-effective, low-labor strategy.

Resurface, refinish or simply scrub down the cabinet doors, replace hardware, install a new faucet, upgrade the appliances, install new lighting fixtures, and add a fresh coat of paint

The least expensive tip is the most important. Clear the countertops of clutter. Get rid of the bulky toaster oven and coffee maker. You will be surprised at how much larger your kitchen will appear when the counter is clear.

The main bath. From the buyer’s perspective, the main bath is almost as important as the kitchen. It is the most challenging room in the house to upgrade, requiring the skills of many different tradespeople.

However, several tricks can help you affordably create an inviting look that buyers like and will pay for.

With time and money at a premium, the key to a bathroom upgrade is making the most of the existing shell. Save as much of the existing bath as you can. A quick update of faucets and lighting can work wonders. Brighten the space with large mirrors, towel racks, and storage for a great new look. Deep clean the tile and grout and organize the medicine cabinets. Buyers will open and take a look. Even if you can’t afford a new low-flow toilet, make sure your bathroom sparkles. No buyer wants to imagine soaking in a dingy tub. Again, a fresh coat of paint is well worth the time and effort.

These tips may seem like a great deal of work. If you are serious about selling your home, it will be these items that will have the most significant payback and make your home the most saleable. 

To view our other articles in this series, see:

  1. Take Off the Rose-Colored Glasses – Curbside Improvements
  2. Home Entries and Views
  3. Bedrooms