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We have the good fortune of talking to A LOT of people every week about what they’re looking for in a kitchen. Most people are aware that there’s a big difference between what’s important when it comes to kitchen needs for buying a home versus renting a home. Not everyone is aware of one of the big changes in kitchen trends recently, and only that we have the opportunity to speak with so many of our awesome clients have we been able to discern a very distinct trend in the changes in kitchen demand. You might be surprised to learn this one big change, too!

As expected, specific kitchen features are ALWAYS in the top 5 things homebuyers are looking for in a home, and for good reason. As a culture, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen–eating, cooking, entertaining, feeding our babies, attempting mastery of espresso machines (and then switching to a Keurig), eating again… So, it comes as no surprise that there’s a hot list for what buyers are looking for in a home.

If you’re looking to make upgrades to your home, here’s where you’ll get the best bang for marketing buck when it comes time to sell:

1) An open concept kitchen. If you’ve got a galley kitchen, a narrow entry from your eating area to you kitchen, or if a wall is just completing blocking your view of the living room, then invite some contractors (check reviews first!) over to determine whether it’s an option for you to knock down some walls and create some happy, open space in there! If the wall offers support, see what options the contractors can present in terms of support beams and columns. It’s not a cheap upgrade, but if you can do some of the labor yourself, it will make your space more inviting for you and your family while also making your home just that more inviting to potential future homebuyers when it comes time for you to PCS!

2) Solid Surfaces. The trend to prettying up formica with decorative contact paper is great for your rental home, or for a short-term fix to make an ugly counter more appealing, but it’s not so great for your resale. Buyers want solid surfaces, and while solid versus formica may not make or break a deal, it could be the difference between whether or not a buyer goes into your home in the first place. If your kitchen doesn’t have solid surfaces, and your neighbors or market competition does, your home may not make it onto the short list for those home buyers.

3) Walk-in Pantry. A “step-in” pantry is a close second, but for military families moving off-base or out of apartments for the first time, space in the kitchen is a highly desirable item on the must have kitchen list!

The top 3 features that home buyers are looking for in a kitchen may not surprise you, but what may surprise you is the feature that isn’t making it onto the short list right now.

Stainless Steel. What?! I know! It has held a firm, coveted position on the must-have-in-the-kitchen list for years now, and all of a sudden it’s dropping off. Here’s why — some stainless steel just ain’t pretty. You know what I’m talking about. Cheap black handles; overly shiny surfaces that are impossible to keep clean; dents from kiddos knocking cars, toys, and everything possible into the doors; and scratches that are tough to conceal. They are technically stainless steel, but they don’t have the quality that used to come with it. If it’s not high end, brushed stainless, most home buyers are happy to accept the black appliances (though not as frequently white, or off-white) that come with a kitchen in lieu of stainless that is stainless in name only.

Wanna know what upgrades you should make to your kitchen? Fill out the form and we’ll connect with you.

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