How Much is a Kitchen Renovation Worth When You Sell Your Home?

How much does a kitchen renovation increase the value of your home?

Outdated and short-sighted formulas tout unreliable percentages on what a kitchen renovation is worth. Real Estate websites, home improvement TV shows quote returns on investment for a kitchen renovation between 30% and 80%. Sadly, these formulas are overly simplistic and misleading.

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Fabuwood kitchen with stacked cabinetry

Kitchen designers know if the design and material choices are poor, kitchen renovations can decrease the value of a home. Renovations that correct poor layouts and done in styles that appeal to most can have ROI’s of 200% or more!

Unfortunately, real estate agents and banks undervalue good design. Selling a home quickly and above asking price are NOT good things. This is a sign that the home was listed for far below what it was worth. This is the problem with simplistic valuation formulas.

Let’s consider a few negative extremes from recent Main Line Kitchen Design customers:

  • In the last 12 months, two homeowners contacted MLKD for new kitchens as soon as they closed on newly constructed Toll Brothers homes with poorly designed kitchens. Obviously, these homeowners placed ZERO value on the kitchen designed and supplied by Toll Brothers. How much the Toll Brother’s home could have sold for with a well-designed kitchen we will never know.
  • Every year, MLKD is contacted by home buyers immediately after they purchase a home that previous owners just finished remodeling. Amateur and outdated designs used by homeowners who think they can work without professional assistance are often ripped out. The cabinetry is either thrown away, donated to charity, or sold on Craig’s List. Again, we will never know how much the home could have sold for with a well-designed kitchen.

The reality is that previous owners in these cases receive no value for their kitchen renovation.

Same kitchen
Chris Rossetti kitchen

Home flippers that improve a design challenged home routinely sell homes above what they paid, plus the cost of renovation.

The most extreme examples we have seen recently are described below:

  • One Main Line Kitchen Design customer renovated a kitchen, master bath, and did some other minor interior improvements. They also took down a number of trees and underbrush in the overgrown backyard. The changes provide for a backyard view including a previously blocked lake. The home was originally purchased for $800,000. The renovations totaled $200,000 making their overall investment $1 million. The home sold quickly for close to $1.7 million. It could have probably sold for more since it was on the market for less than 7 days.
  • Often, stone homes built around 1900 have exteriors that would cost a fortune to reproduce today. Homes built in this era have tiny kitchens with too many doorways, very low windows, and staircases that when relocated/removed create space for amazing kitchens. Opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room further modernizes the space. While larger renovations cost close to $100,000. These renovated homes sell, almost instantly, for $200,000 – $400,000 more than what was invested in them.
For sale sign

Homeowners don’t understand the value of quality design. They think just because other homes aren’t selling for higher amounts, these extensive renovations won’t pay off. They couldn’t be more wrong. Homeowners who are wise enough to do more extensive renovations usually aren’t selling their homes. They are living in them, leaving only the homes with poor or outdated designs on the market. 

The best kitchen designers know that good designs are always undervalued and overlooked.

We also know that designing the best kitchens is impossible for people without extensive experience in these renovations. We ask our customers to be open minded and consider the designs we recommend before we do the design. It is more design work for us this way, but customers get better kitchens when they let professionals help them. The final choices are theirs, but homeowners’ decisions are usually quite different when everyone works together.

So, keep an open mind, the result could pay for your renovation several times over.

Wishing our customers, a Happy and Healthy New Year. . . and of course . . .

Bon Appetit!

Paul, Julie, Chris, Ed, Jeremy, Lauren, Juliet, Camilla, and Mark

Main Line Kitchen Design

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