Author Topic: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?  (Read 1892 times)

buddhapeace1

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Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« on: March 04, 2019, 08:16:04 PM »
Hey ya'll,
My husband and I are serious savers and live happily and simply. Our home is in an upscale neighborhood and the value of our home is a significant asset for us. Our kitchen is looking dated and could really use a refresh; i.e. re-facing the cabinets, new counters, sink, faucet, and tile back splash. I'm a DIY person and am willing to do quite work myself, but also work full-time, volunteer, have kids, etc., so time is not something I have tons of, so we would need to get some help with a remodel. The kitchen makes me somewhat unhappy, but I can live with it, if that makes sense to do. We will be moving in about 10 years, and by then the kitchen will DEFINITELY be dated and worn compared for the rest of our home. I'd love to redo the kitchen, but am unsure if it's a smart move. Here are the options as I see them:
1. Redo the kitchen soon as inexpensively as possible doing a lot of the work ourselves
2. Hold off and redo the kitchen before we sell the house so it looks brand new
3. Don't do a damn thing and take money off the price of they house for the next owner to do what they want
I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this and remodeling in general--when does it make sense to spend money? Remodeling is expensive, but keeping our homes nice is also important.
Thank you very much and happy saving!
Ellie

nwhiker

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 08:58:53 PM »
I would go with option two if you are sure about the move. Ten years will put a lot of wear on the kitchen. I would add one caveat. I would look online for comparable homes and see what their kitchens look like. If the market is hot when you go to sale it won't matter that the kitchen is dated as long as it is not falling apart. Also if renovating for sale I would put aside your personal test and ensure that anyone can adapt it to their style. Do not put in a better kitchen than what is typically in your neighborhood.

Malkynn

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 05:54:08 AM »
If you aren't moving for 10 years, don't worry about it until 10 years from now. You have no idea what the market in your area will do or the circumstances under which you will be selling and moving.
Ask a realtor in a decade what the best move is.

As for renovating now, do it if the cost is worth it to you, don't if it isn't.
In my current house the kitchen is fine. I put in a new laminate counter and a bigger sink because the old ones were falling apart, but otherwise it's good although ugly.

I just bought a place and my new kitchen will absolutely need to be reno'd if I'm going to be happy living there for a decade. No question.

Do what makes sense for you now.
Worry about 10 years in 10 years.


Fishindude

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 06:17:32 AM »
Heck, if you're going to live there another ten years why not get the remodeling done now and enjoy the updated kitchen.
Most families spend more time in their kitchen than other rooms of the house, why not make it nice. 

former player

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 06:34:36 AM »
This isn't about your investment in your house (who knows what kitchens will look like in 10 years' time?) it's about you being "somewhat unhappy" for the next 10 years.

I think you need to unpick that "somewhat unhappy".  Is there something functional you don't like about the kitchen, for instance it's layout or poor condition of certain elements?  Is it purely aesthetics?  Work out what it is you don't like, then game out how you could change each element you don't like, working from cheapest fix to more expensive fixes, and whether you can realistically DIY (given your skill level and time and energy availability) or can outsource it.

Given what you say about your general situation, if you can pay cash for any renovations without going into debt or reducing retirement savings, then you are in a good position to make the most effective changes to your kitchen.  The only thing I would question is: you say you live in an upscale neighbourhood, which makes me wonder to what extent your unhappiness with your kitchen is a matter of making comparisons with your neighbours/wanting to keep up with the Jones's.  If it's that, no amount of renovation is going to help in the long run.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2019, 06:36:05 AM »
Heck, if you're going to live there another ten years why not get the remodeling done now and enjoy the updated kitchen.
Most families spend more time in their kitchen than other rooms of the house, why not make it nice.

+1
If you like using the kitchen, then get yourself a practical and nice looking kitchen, but don't pay more than you have too.

Definitely replace the kitchen before sale. Potential buyers might run away if they see a kitchen that looks very dated compared to the rest of the house. Even replacing it before the sales with a new el cheapo kitchen might pay off.

You could at some point replace only the doors. If you buy your new kitchen now, it might look very used after 10 years (especially since you have children). Then before the sales, you could replace the doors and door handles. And polish the counter top, if it is made of wood.

Dee18

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 06:38:57 AM »
+1 for do it now and enjoy it.  And you can make it so it is pretty timeless.  Read the relevant posts in Maria Killamís blog. 

Cassie

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2019, 09:08:46 AM »
Redo it and enjoy it.

robartsd

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 09:45:35 AM »
This isn't about your investment in your house (who knows what kitchens will look like in 10 years' time?) it's about you being "somewhat unhappy" for the next 10 years.

I think you need to unpick that "somewhat unhappy".  Is there something functional you don't like about the kitchen, for instance it's layout or poor condition of certain elements?  Is it purely aesthetics?  Work out what it is you don't like, then game out how you could change each element you don't like, working from cheapest fix to more expensive fixes, and whether you can realistically DIY (given your skill level and time and energy availability) or can outsource it.

Given what you say about your general situation, if you can pay cash for any renovations without going into debt or reducing retirement savings, then you are in a good position to make the most effective changes to your kitchen.  The only thing I would question is: you say you live in an upscale neighbourhood, which makes me wonder to what extent your unhappiness with your kitchen is a matter of making comparisons with your neighbours/wanting to keep up with the Jones's.  If it's that, no amount of renovation is going to help in the long run.
+1 to this advice.

The answer to your direct question "Does it make financial sense?" is very likely no - you'd likely be financially better off investing the money elsewhere until you're getting ready to sell.

SunnyDays

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 10:11:36 AM »
Any realtor will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.  Personally I would wait until you move to do serious upgrading, since then it will look current and brand spanking new, but in the meantime, smaller improvements might make you happier with it.  You could paint the cabinets now and maybe replace the sink and faucet as they don't look dated as quickly.  You can actually paint formica counters too, if that's what you have.  I wouldn't make the improvements now too extreme, though, because it might make the rest of it look shabbier than it does now.

FindingFI

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 10:12:38 AM »
Having updated a condo right before selling, I can't recommend that route. I wish I had done those updates sooner and gotten to enjoy them myself.  Since your timeframe for selling is so far into the future, the resale component is almost irrelevant to the decision since who knows what kitchen trends will be like by then and what buyers will be looking for.  The real choice is whether or not an update is worth it to you right now.

Our kitchen also make us unhappy. Our unhappiness comes from a poor layout, cabinets that are starting to fall apart, and a stove hood that vents to another room rather than outside which will cause more issues down the road. We deemed those problems to worth the expense to fix, so we are re-doing our kitchen and keeping costs to a minimum by doing most, if not all, the labor ourselves, finding good value materials that balance quality and price, salvaging what we can from the existing kitchen (mostly appliances and some flooring) and paying it all in cash.

Your situation may or may not be similar. Perhaps a fresh coat of paint or stain would go a long way if the issues are purely in looks. Maybe the cabinets and appliances are reaching the end of their useful lives and it's a much bigger project. You have to determine how big the problem is for you and then find out how much money it will take to fix it, then decide if that amount is worth it.

The_Pretender

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2019, 12:02:09 PM »
We just renovated our entire kitchen & half bath.  Our kitchen had been updated by previous owners with cheap Lowe's materials.  They chose laminate counters, pressed board laminate cabinets, 30 inch uppers when the kitchen could handle 42s, floating laminate floor...  Few other things too... but in our case we did not enjoy the space. and it was noticeable things were not top quality.

What really drove the remodel was getting the most optimal layout for us.  We also wanted to do it so that we could enjoy it for a few years before moving and still having a nice kitchen.  In the end, we increased the amount of cabinet storage by 60 cubic feet mostly driven by a pantry cabinet.  We also found a factory direct wholesaler for cabinets and got solid wood cabinets with soft close doors/drawers.  We also splurged on doing granite counter top which was unique and tied the entire room.  We did try to avoid products and materials which we felt weren't timeless or poor quality (wouldn't look nice after 10 years).  We did the majority of the demo and prep work like plumbing and electrical.  Splurged and paid for labor to lay tile floor, hang cabinets and install granite.  Paying for these 3 items in my book were worth it.

So, I say reno your kitchen if you are drastically improving something which bugs you... If you are just swapping out/upgrading items in your kitchen just because, maybe need to delay and think more on the project.  Also, ask the question someone already posed... are you doing this to just keep up with the Joneses around you?

frugaliknowit

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 12:11:36 PM »
Removing emotion from the equation:  Only fix what's broken.  There's no return on renovation that you do now ten years from now.

There's no shame in renovating "for you" as in a consumer purchase.  Realize that you might be compelled to update when you sell.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Does it make financial sense to remodel our kitchen?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2019, 01:50:29 PM »
Unless the increased sale value is more than 15k compounding on the market for ten years, I would say the answer is no.  At least financially.

The real question is the enjoyment of having a nice kitchen worth it for those ten years? There's a reason why a house with a nice kitchen costs more. For my wife, that lost thousand a year (making up a number based on list returns), is worth it because she spends a lot of time there. For me, I'll let the current kitchen sit. Chances are my handpicked designs will be torn apart by the next owner in ten years anyways.