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Bay Area Real Estate: Kitchen remodel, is it worth it?


Bay Area Real Estate: Is that kitchen remodel really worth it?

Are you trying to increase the value of your home by remodeling the kitchen? Do you think you are going to get equal or more return on investment for that complete remodel of your kitchen?  During the housing boom of the early to mid 2000's, remodeling of the kitchen was on the top of the list of both buyers and sellers of homes for sale. A return on investment used to be well worth the money and time invested.  This may not be the case anymore.


kitchen remodel


According to the Remodeling 2011–12 Cost vs. Value Report* (, the cost recouped on a major kitchen remodel is less than 66 percent on a national average.  For minor kitchen remodeling, the national average of cost recouped is slightly higher at around 72 percent.  All is not lost though for West Coast homeowners, as the numbers are higher at 76 percent and 92 percent respectively.  Compared to the same statistics for the year 2005, cost recouped nationally for major kitchen remodel was 91 percent, and 99 percent for minor kitchen repair!


So what does this all mean?  As home prices have trended downward since the housing bust, so have recouped costs on home improvements.  Does this mean you shouldn't remodel at all since you will actually lose money in the end?  Not necessarily.  When putting your home for sale on the real estate market, you still need to make your home appealing to potential homebuyers. But at the same time, you do not want to overspend knowing you will not recoup all your investment.


Some last points.  If you think it will improve the chances of selling your home a little quicker, than remodeling your kitchen may well be worth it.  If you are remodeling because you think you're going to sell your property above the median neighborhood prices, than it will not be worth it as you can see that you get lower than 66% return on investment.  If your kitchen just needs minor touch up, than do just that; don't do a major remodel just because.  However, if the cabinets are rotting, the floor is cracking all over, and the sink has untreatable water stains, you may have no choice but to do a major remodel.


So play it smart when deciding to remodel.  And as always, have a great real estate day!


*© 2011 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2011–12 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at


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