In the some of the most active housing markets, springing for a kitchen remodel is a great investment — often returning more than 100 percent of the cost. Minor kitchen remodels (average cost: $15,273) also provided returns of more than 100 percent in cities including Providence, R.I., Miami, New Orleans. In San Diego, a $17,928 investment netted $27,000 on resale. But you don't have to do an entire kitchen remodel! Starting with a budget of $125, you can have an updated kitchen in an afternoon.
If you are selling your home, keep in mind that the kitchen is the heart of the home. When potential home buyers are looking at houses, the kitchen is often what people will remember.
So how can you increase the value of your home?
Low-Cost Upgrades: Base Price: $125
Make sure that you keep your kitchen clean and organized. Organize your pantry using bins and store any excess food or kitchen gadgets that make your kitchen feel crowded. The more space you can show, the better. Have the stove cleaned and the countertops detailed. Make sure the inside of your oven is cleaned.
Medium Cost Upgrades: Base Price: $250
For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.
Higher Cost Upgrades: Base Price: $400
If you've got a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. "Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into refacing your cabinets," says professional remodeler Gwen Moran, co-author of "Build Your Own Home on a Shoestring."
A skilled handyman can remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes and then add brand-new doors and drawers. With a fresh coat of paint over the whole set, your cabinets will look like new.
You spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Make it a space that you (and potential buyers) will love.
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