What’s the first thing I always look at when we get inside a new house flip? If you’ve seen even one episode of Flip or Flop, you know it’s the kitchen. Kitchens really sell houses. Creating a modern, attractive space where people can cook, eat, and hang out together will always increase the value of your property. In fact, neglecting the kitchen is one of the worst flipping mistakes I can think of.
So how can you turn even the most rundown, closed-off kitchen into a great space that will draw buyers in and make them want to stay forever? Try these design tips on your next rehab and see what happens.
Open It Up!
A lot of older houses have broken-up floor plans with closed-off kitchens. The living room and kitchen are divided, and there’s usually a separate dining room, too. Homebuyers today like big, open floor plans that allow in a lot of natural light and room for creativity with interior design.
If your kitchen is closed off from the rest of your floor plan, open it up! Usually, there will be a non-load-bearing wall that you can knock out and refinish for pretty cheap. You can leave that space open, or you can add an island or a bar with a deep enough ledge for people to sit at. The more open your kitchen, the more welcoming it will be, and the more of an asset it will be when it’s time to sell.
Update the Appliances
It’s expensive, but you’re going to need to update the appliances. A new refrigerator and a gas range and oven will make your whole house feel up to date. Also, unless you get incredibly lucky, you’re going to have to replace your countertops, so go ahead and update your sink and faucet, as well. These upgrades might hurt your wallet now, but they’ll pay for themselves on closing day.
Keep Your Style Consistent
Make sure that you pay attention to the style of the house as you make your upgrades. If you have light-colored hardwood floors throughout the house, dark cherry wood cabinets are going to look out of place. If you have a mid-century house, an industrial-style kitchen is going to look out of place. Let the style of the house dictate the appliances you choose, as well as your choice of cabinets, pulls, and countertops.
Balance Light and Dark Colors
I’m a big fan of marble, granite, and quartz countertops. They look gorgeous, and they last forever. When buyers see quality upgrades like these, they understand what you’ve put into the house and how much it’s worth. With that said, you can’t just choose any granite countertop for any house.
If you have dark cabinets, choose a lighter-colored countertop to balance the room and reflect more light. With white or other pale-colored cabinets and drawers, you should choose a darker countertop to balance that, as well. If you don’t have a lot of natural light in your kitchen, install some under-cabinet lights to highlight the beauty of the countertop.
The more attention you pay to your kitchen in a house flip, the better. You’ve seen me spend $40,000 on a kitchen rehab on Flip or Flop, so you know I’m serious. When it comes to flipping mistakes, spending too little is always a bigger problem than spending too much. It’s better to lose a little bit of your profit margin than to let your house sit on the market forever because no one wants it.