real estate

6 best home fixes for the money

No. 3: Upscale major kitchen remodel
No. 3: Upscale major kitchen remodel © pics721/Shutterstock.com

No. 3: Upscale major kitchen remodel

Buyers love stylish kitchens and bathrooms. So it's safe to say that "kitchen remodels and bathroom remodels are the typical candidates for adding value," Morrel says.

And your buyer doesn't have to be a chef or a foodie to appreciate a good kitchen. Even for people who don't cook, "kitchens are important," Gaylord says. "Very often, in selling a home where the kitchen hasn't been upgraded, buyers talk about upgrading the kitchen," he says. "It adds to the resale value."

Especially in an older home, Combs says.

In her area of Michigan, "there are 80-year-old homes that are stately and beautiful," she says. "But if you are trying to sell with an 80-year-old kitchen, that doesn't make it in today's market.

"To sell it, they're going to have to put in a new kitchen," Combs adds. "This is going to make or break it at resale."

If the home and kitchen are older, a smart kitchen remodel has to go beyond mere finishes and appliances, Holmes says. Homeowners also need to update the old systems (electrical, plumbing, etc.), he says. "Otherwise that renovation is just cosmetic, and that's a no-no."

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