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Many homeowners ask me which rooms they should remodel before listing their house.

Here’s my simple answer: kitchen and bathrooms sell the house.

Your home has to be clean and decluttered before we put it on the market. But nothing says outdated more than old oak kitchen cabinets and carpets in the bathrooms.

How Much Should You Invest in Upgrades?

Remodeling your kitchen and bathrooms can be expensive. Here’s what the Remodeling Calculator estimated for our kitchen:

Another website, www.costvsvalue.com, gives you estimates of remodeling costs in different parts of the country. It states that a kitchen remodel in Columbus can run between $20,921 and $62,512.

The site also claims that you can recover 85% of the cost for a minor remodel and 65% for a major project.

Are these numbers accurate?

Do you really have to spend more than $60,000 to upgrade your kitchen?

Let me share with you what we spent at our house this spring.

The Kitchen Remodel

When we decided to remodel our kitchen, we wanted to go from old oak cabinets hung on soffits and vinyl floors to a modern, European style kitchen. We did not change the layout, but we replaced everything.

We went from the kitchen you see below …

​… to completely clearing out the room almost to the studs, running new electric lines, getting rid of the soffits and installing new inset, LED lights …

… to this modern white kitchen with soft-close drawer cabinets, quartz counters, dark, stainless appliances, and hardwood floors.

How Much Did We Spend?

We hired a general contractor to handle most of the work. My husband decided to install the kitchen cabinets himself which saved us $2,500 and kept us busy for 10 evenings.

Here’s a breakdown of the cost:

  • Demo-ing the old kitchen & hauling junk away: $2,000
  • Drywall work and electric installations: $4,000
  • IKEA kitchen cabinets including quartz countertops: $10,500
  • Kitchen installation: $0 (IKEA quoted us $2,500 for cabinet assembly and installation)
  • Faucet, sink, lighting: $1,500
  • Backsplash & painting: $1,200
  • New kitchen appliances: $4,500
  • Hardwood flooring: $1,000 (for the kitchen area)

So the total kitchen remodel cost $24,700.

Can We Recover the Money When We Sell?

I believe so.

Here’s what I know: homes that are nicely upgraded sell above the average price of a neighborhood. They will attract more buyers and possible multiple offers during the prime selling season in spring.

An old oak kitchen, even if it is perfectly clean and in good condition, keeps buyers away. Today’s buyers do NOT want to spend time remodeling when they purchase a house. They are used to high end finishes from the many modern apartments that flooded the market in the past few years.

Many homeowners never upgrade their kitchens. So, it is easy to compete against other listings, even if you are pricing your home on the high end of the market.

PS: We are not going to sell our home. We decided to remodel now so we can enjoy the new amenities of our almost new home.

​If you want to find out which upgrades will add true value to your home, where to buy cabinets, lights, fixtures, and which contractors we used, don’t hesitate to call me.

​Call or text me at (614) 975-9650.

Susanne Novak has been a Realtor since 2007. She is the broker and owner of RE/MAX 24/7 in the Dublin Historic District. Susanne typically helps 50-60 families each year with their real estate needs. She's your trusted advisor when you search for your dream home, and a skilled negotiator when she lists your property to get top dollar when you sell.

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