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would you spend $ on house updates before selling?

Just trying to see what others would do. Our plan is to put our house on the market as soon as it makes financial sense to do so....goal is next year.

DH does not want to drop another dime into fixing up the place, with the exception of replacing carpeting on steps and hallway which is gross and torn up by cats.

I am toying with the idea of just updating our kitchen counters (they are horrible 1990s blue). I think everything else in kitchen would stay-we have good quality oak cabinets and neutral floors/paint, newer white appliances.

I know personally every time I look at houses online if they have old dated kitchens and baths and I tend to lose interest almost instantly, so maybe I am just basing this on my tendencies. I'm thinking new countertops could be done for like 5K. Am I nuts?

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Re: would you spend $ on house updates before selling?

  • We actually just re-did our kitchen, primarily to make it more attractive to potential buyers (hopefully in the next 2-3 years). I think we did more than we needed to, but we are happy with the outcome. Like you said, people look for updated kitchens.

    If you have blue counters, I would definitely replace them. We replaced our dingy laminate counters with granite and spent less than $2k (on the counters - the kitchen was more!).

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  • No

    I don't think you will get enough return on it to be worth it.

    Look at the other houses in your neighborhood and see what they have.  I think you'd be better off pricing it to move rather than spending another 2K and then still getting less than you want.

    Unless your carpet smells, I probably wouldn't update that either - just say you'll give an allowance for it.

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  • image KathrynMD:

    No

    I don't think you will get enough return on it to be worth it.

    Look at the other houses in your neighborhood and see what they have.  I think you'd be better off pricing it to move rather than spending another 2K and then still getting less than you want.

    Unless your carpet smells, I probably wouldn't update that either - just say you'll give an allowance for it.

    The ones that are selling for the most $, around what we would like to get, have new, pretty, modern kitchens and baths. Ours were updated since the house was built (1978) and are decent, except for the kitchen counters-the previous owners had some strange taste.

    I don't know.....I guess I am just thinking of the people like me who run when they see old dated laminate counters.

    ETA: Oh-and, I thought I remembered reading that kitchen & bathroom upgrades get you the highest return for your investment (maybe 75%??) so that is another reason I am throwing this around.

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  • image KathrynMD:

    No

    I don't think you will get enough return on it to be worth it.

    Ditto. I would have a realtor take a look at your property first and see what advice they offer you. 

    I know when we were looking for houses, we preferred having something with a lower price that we could gut and customize. I would rather get a great deal on a house and replace things ourselves to our liking than end up paying too much for a house with upgrades that weren't necessarily what we wanted. 

    Also a lot of people are really picky about carpet so they might even want to just rip it up and get hardwood or laminate so I wouldn't spend the money on it. Maybe just get them steam cleaned first.

  • I would do it, especially if your counters are the way you describe. Kitchens are one of the top deciding factors people use when deciding to buy a house, if it was an area less cared about I wouldn't do it. We just sold our house in less than a day and the feedback was that the kitchen and updated bathroom sold it. We got an offer for full asking price, which is 5k more than we would have listed it without having updated the kitchen. I would look for a realtor that pays for a stager to come in. Our agent did and it helped a ton, she was honest about what she would and wouldn't spend time and money on and let us decide what all we'd do.
  • We did counters and floors and kept our cabinets and it made a huge difference in how it looks . Replaced a white laminate . Honestly you could put granite in for less than 2k . We have an entire kitchen and island and did it for 2300 . 

     

    At least you could enjoy them for a year too - that was my thinking at least .

    Good luck  

  • image Stef611:

    We did counters and floors and kept our cabinets and it made a huge difference in how it looks . Replaced a white laminate . Honestly you could put granite in for less than 2k . We have an entire kitchen and island and did it for 2300 . 

     At least you could enjoy them for a year too - that was my thinking at least .

    Good luck  

    This is along the lines of what I am leaning toward right now. Thanks guys for your input, I really appreciate it!

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  • Well, for me it depends. I don't know if I would do granite, necessarily (it's not my thing and I've heard it's on the way out, stylewise), but I would probably at least do something cheap and neutral. That way the blue won't be so jarring to potential buyers that they think they have to redo the whole kitchen and you would get something that isn't annoying to you, either.
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  • You could update the counters, but you don't have to go all out on it. If they are blue, that would turn me off as a buyer.(No offense) We just did some small updates, while trying to get the condo back in shape, and I think in the long run, it will be worth it. We don't plan to sell for another few years, but we will enjoy and it will help in selling.
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  • I think the key is making sure you aren't putting in more work than you would get out of it $$ wise.  If you can do updated coutners for 2k, and that will help you sell your house for 5k more, than it's worth it.  But if an updated kitchen will only get you 2 or 3k more (even if it brings you more "looks" online), then it's not really worth it.

     FWIW, we bought a house with a horrendously outdated kitchen and bathroom.  I mean H didn't even want to look at the house in person bc of the kitchen. (great cabinets - solid maple, but somewhat dated, hideous wallpaper, etc) but the house was priced appropriately that I was not bothered one bit by it.  So I think pricing has a LOT to do with it. If your house is priced appropriately for your neighborhood and the shape it is in, I think that will do more to selling it than new counters to be honest.  We looked at a lot of houses where I thought "its nice, but those pretty counters aren't worth the extra $$ to me" because the sellers really were just asking too much.

     So I think updates are great for getting people in the door, but I think you need to be really careful about making sure you don't put in money you won't get back, you know?  I

     I think if you price it appropriately it should move fast.  We put in a full price offer on our current house because it was priced exactly right for the market based on the comps and our realtor's advice.  I t

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